No cuts to programs and services!

Jane-Finch makes it clear to the City:

On November 5, 2013, more than 200 residents of Jane and Finch community attended a hastily arranged City “conversation” that was organized to get people to agree to the cuts to social programs in Toronto’s 13 Priority Neighbourhoods.

Originally, the City neglected to organize a “consultation” in the area about the future of Priority Neighbourhoods (Now called Neighbourhood Improvement Areas), but the community publically challenged this. In about one week, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty and other community organizations reached out to thousands of community residents. What is more, community-based 2013-11-06 JFAAP  (72)organizations helped arrange for food, child care and TTC tokens, all of which the City did not supply.

Attending the meeting at the Oakdale Community Center,, seniors, parents, youth and adults resisted the top-down structure of presentations by City officials and small group sessions chaired by the City’s staff.  Instead of addressing the fixed and prearranged set of criteria, residents raised the issues of concern to them and made it clear that they knew the meeting was in fact about cutting services, which they passionately opposed. 2013-11-06 JFAAP  (30)

The youth in attendance demonstrated both their serious disappointment with the City and a very high level of knowledge of community issues, 2013-11-06 JFAAP  (41)challenging the top- down approach of the City officials with reasoned arguments.  The high level of participation and articulation of community issues by a wide-range of community residents clearly showed to the City officials and “elected representatives” that they cannot and must not take our community for granted. The Jane -Finch community, like many other systematically excluded and disadvantaged communities in Toronto, faces serious issues when it comes to poverty, high unemployment and underemployment, low wages, bad jobs, inadequate housing, targeted policing and structural racism and classism. 2013-11-06 JFAAP  (10)

JFAAP is very proud of all community residents and organizations that took part in the largest City “consultation” despite the short notice. We thank all our friends and allies across the City. Our community’s solid message to the City officials was loud and clear: No cuts to community programs and social services! We need better and more accessible programs and services, good jobs and a better life for all! And we need it now!

December 13, 2013

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