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Introducing The CivicsTO101 Collection
July 5 2023
For many years I have been following the ins and outs of Toronto City Hall very closely. I have studied the meetings and committees, taught myself who was who and how they are most likely to vote, and have reached out to councillors regarding issues that matter most to my community. More recently I have engaged with other advocates and have expanded my learning even more to understand the big issues that affect all corners of the City and beyond. I regularly keep taps on our next door neighbours in Mississauga and as far out as Hamilton, Ottawa, and Kitchener.
What I also have learned over the years is that there is a great deal of interest in Federal and Provincial matters while local politics just does not gain the same attention. Even though last week we saw about a 10% increase in votes for the unexpected Toronto Mayoral Election over last fall’s expected Municipal Election, that shows us that almost 60% of eligible voters in this city did not bother to take part. The focus on Federal issues affects everyone and there is a general consensus in the media that these issues bring viewers and readers to their outlets so these are the stories to feature most on the air and in print. The same can be said about provincial politics on a more local media scale. Even in schools I have found that the Ontario required grade 10 civics course spends most of its 9 weeks teaching our kids about the Federal level and Provincial level, leaving little time to discuss the everyday matters that come out of any City Hall found across this province.
Over the coming months I will be taking the time to teach others who want to increase their own knowledge about how to become more engaged at the local level by offering interest-based courses that will teach the basics of how municipal politics works in Toronto and beyond. Expect new full courses every other month with the first one starting in mid-August. That is when “An Inside View To Toronto City Hall” will open which will take students on a tour of what happens over a month to bring together the city council meetings many watch both online and in-person.
During “An Inside View To Toronto City Hall” you will meet the characters who make decisions on your behalf, understand more about the committees who bring forth the issues, and then take a look at how community support can divide and conquer when needed! This 4 week course will be fully online and will be maintained in a Google Classroom for students only. Each week I will post a new video lecture and the discussions will be open to all throughout that week. Real world examples will be posted and there will be further reading available to those of you who wish to go further into the issues. I will moderate each discussion and will be available to answer question in the course forum.
The courses are open to all Paid-based subscription readers and will also be available to those who wish to pay on a per course basis of $25 each if room is available. A one time course sign-up form will be made available in late July depending on space.
Starting this weekend and for the rest of this month, I will be posting for all readers a free mini-course “Unleashing the Power of Words: Using Storytelling to Advocate for Local Community Issues”.
Over the next 4 weeks you will get one specific post per week that will help you to craft letters to support the issues you care deeply about and showing you how to get the most attention from both your local councillor and others on council who are deciding on the future of our city. At the end of this month you will have the tools and ideas you need to go beyond the “fill in the blank advocacy emails” and you will be ready to write (or email) your own letters that will get the attention of those in office.
Saturday morning you will get the first post to start your own advocacy journey and I look forward to helping to inspire you to make your concerns heard and your ideas brought to light!
As always if you have questions, story ideas, or even course subject requests you can reach out via the comment button or you can email TheEtobicokeVoice@gmail.com
Coming Soon …. The Etobicoke Voice is headed to a YouTube channel near you!