Will you donate a portion of your council pay to the community?


Council just voted for a raise in their pay.  Given there are many people struggling to get by, will you donate a portion of your council increase to the community?

The answer is yes!  In fact, I already do, but I don't make a big fanfare about it.  I have supported many local charities during my term on council, including the United Way, Guelph & Wellington Children's Foundation, Heart and Stroke, Michael House, Woodlawn Memorial Arbour Fund, Guelph Hiking Club, Cystic Fibrosis, Guelph Historical Society, and many others.  This past year I have directed most of my charitable donations to the Sick Kids Foundation through the local Guelph  Run For Emilia 5K Run event, which is near and dear to my heart.


I am very blessed and was taught from an early age that giving back to the community (time, funds, whatever) is essential to a caring and equitable society.  In Guelph, we look after those less fortunate and marginalized as part of who we are as a community.  Supporting local business -- especially independing Black, Indigenous or LGBTQ2S+ owned business -- is another way to give back in a meaningful way. 


I realize it's not enough.  Community benefits organizations are always struggling to do more with less.   As your city councillor, I believe our Community Grants allocation should grow annually to reflect higher costs and local need.   Yes - I am saying that I believe a portion of your tax dollars should be allocated to lift up and support the most vulnerable in our community.  Last year $319,700 in grants were allocated to 54 different community benefit organizations (out of a $627 million budget).  That's 1/5 of 1 cent for every dollar.  A drop in the ocean.


This month, we kicked off the Guelph & Wellington United Way fundraising "Radical Recovery".  One of the things I love most about the United Way is that my donations reaches so many different organizations in our community - including groups who support marginalized populations such as Anishnabeg Outreach, HIV/AIDS Resources, Aboriginal Health Access and the Guelph Black Heritage Society.  Here is a full list of the organizations supported by our local United Way.