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.