What have you done, and what will you do, to address isses of equity, accessibility, and diversity in Guelph?

 What have you done, and what will you do, to create solutions to address equity, accessibility, LGBTQ2IA+ rights, underserviced and marginalized citizens in Guelph?

Guelph is a city for everyone. When we lift up our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbours, we lift up everyone.  

What I've done:

I enthusiasticly supported the hiring of our very first Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, Anti-Racism & Indigenous Initiatives. I look forward to more of her future recommendations.  I have supported the use of technology to access city services, especially during the pandemic, to allow citizens to directly participate in civic government. I have been involved in the Municipal Campaign School for two elections, designed to encourage a more diverse pool of municipal candidates. I brought forward a motion to Council last term to include Indigenous consultation in our net zero planning, and I am committed to seek meaningful and sustained relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations, to work collaboratively towards equitable, accessible, and culturally relevant and responsive services for Indigenous children, youth, and families (TRC Call to Action 66).   I have been a long-time and consistent supporter of neighbourhood-based programs through the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition to engage marginalized and low-income youth and families into the Guelph community.

I actively and visibly support organizations, business and individuals in our community who are members of marginalized communities, and/or those who celebrate and promote equity, accessiblity and diversity.  I do this through participation in events, promotion on social media, decision-making as a city councillor and more.

What I'll do:   

We’ve come a long way, but there is more work to do.  Diversity is sometimes invisible — religion, gender and sexual orientation, ability, age, income, family status, education, etc. -- are not always obvious when we interact with others in our everyday lives.  I will be working to add more diverse voices to our boards, committees and work force. We need to address hate crime and address the roots of disproportionate use of force in policing.  This is not an anti-police statement - I 100% support our front line responders.  I support adding mental health responders to their toolkit and more prevention programs for youth.  I will champion an increase in community grant funding which provides stable resources to many programs and services that help marginalized communities - such as Action Read, Guelph Black Heritage Society, HIV/AIDS Research and Community Health.  Link her for a full list of community grants recipients.

I am committed to accessibility improvements in our infrastructure funding for parks, roads, trails and other city amenities to reduce barriers for all.  I will continue to lead and support the necessary actions for our local government to address the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).   Finally, I commit to listening and learning from the diverse voices in our community, hearing their stories without judgement, and making space for them to be heard.