Art and Potholes

Good morning all,

Some of you may know that last year I was extremely active with a group of volunteers known as Artsvote. We spent over a year working together to educate artists and arts workers on the importance of their vote, created a report card grading all incumbents and challengers on their art-friendliness, and hosted a wildly successful Arts Debate (I really would hazard a guess that ours was the best attended debate in town). The election happened, there’s a new Mayor, some new Councillors, and although we thought our work would end the day after the election – it has not. We continue to update artists and arts workers on the happenings in our fair city that will directly affect them. And by them, I’m pretty sure I mean YOU – yes, you reading this.

So a couple of things:

As I’ve mentioned, I will be heading to on of the City’s roundtable discussions for the Toronto City Services review. If there are still spots available and you can make it, for the love of art – register and go. Why? Because according to the registration letter I received:

This roundtable session is very different than a town hall meeting or a deputation to Council Committee. The issues are complex and our goal is to encourage learning and discussion as well as collect input from all participants.These roundtable discussions will give you the opportunity to learn about City services and explore issues with others from across the City.  Facilitators will be at each table to support the discussion, and make sure participants have a chance to speak and ask questions on the issues they care about.

All I will say is that I am fairly sure those who are angry about taxes, potholes, garbage collection and road congestion will be there. Those are not the only things our city is about. Please ask yourself, “Is my art less important than a pothole?” and act on your answer accordingly.

ETA: Speaking of Art and Potholes, Colette Stevenson just tuned me into this incredibly cool project. Thanks for the tip!

If there are no spots left, then please fill out the survey you’ve seen mentioned around Facebook, Twitter and the interweb. It is long, it is somewhat cumbersome, but please raise your voice. Run your own session if need be. Remember, the Creative Capital Gains report was accepted unanimously. What we do is important. Remember and remind.

Along these lines I have an email in my inbox from C2C that I thought I would share with you.
Calling all community activists! Organizers meeting to defend City Programs: June 9, 1pm at the 519
Dear Friends,
As we speak, Toronto City Council is making plans to balance a huge operating deficit in the 2012 budget.  Apparently, everything is under review, all city services are on the line, and decisions are being made very quickly about the future of our city and what programs and services will be cut.   The impact of these cuts will be felt by all Torontonians for years to come.
With no time to waste, we have started a campaign that calls on local residents like you to demonstrate your Commitment to Community (C2C).  Sign on as a member of the C2C campaign to join your fellow community leaders and neighbours to protect the community services that make your city a healthy, safe and vibrant place to live. Get involved as the C2C campaign grows by attending our upcoming action-oriented organizing meeting:
The Commitment to Community Campaign Presents:  An Action-Oriented Organizing Meeting
Location: 519 Church Street Community Centre (Church & Wellesley)
Date: Thursday June 9, 2011, Time: 1pm – 5pm  (The 519 is a wheelchair accessible space.)
To stay informed, please join the C2C mailing list by signing up here

This has been your political PSA for the day. I’m off to cost and source marketing materials.

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