This week, the 5-Year Action Plan for the Downtown East has been made public. This is the most comprehensive plan being developed to address chronic health and safety issues in our downtown communities in recent memory. It will build and expand upon the work of the 12-Month Action Plan that I moved at City Council last year.
On June 26, the Economic & Community Development Committee will vote on the plan and it is critical that we get it passed. We are in the midst of an overdose and housing crisis and we can see the challenges everywhere around us. Building-up healthy, safe, inclusive communities is going to need this plan and it is going to need your support.
On November 15, 2017, residents, agencies, community groups, and advocates from across the downtown joined me at Covenant House for our Healthy Neighbourhood Summit. With local public health workers, emergency responders, and staff from many other City divisions, we broke down the issues in our communities, identified systemic and chronic challenges that have perpetuated harm, and set targets to achieve over the following year. This event marked a shift in how we address our collective challenges, expanding upon the community officers program we achieved in the Church-Wellesley Village, safety audits I organized with residents’ and business associations over the previous year, and targeted investments to make parks throughout the ward safer for all users.
Working with Councillor Lucy Troisi, I had Council endorse the creation of the 12-Month Action Plan that went into effect last summer and initiated the creation of the 5-Year Action Plan which will set comprehensive targets and strategies to improve conditions from Bay Street to Bayview Avenue, Bloor Street to the waterfront. It has taken a lot of work and community advocacy to get us this far and it is imperative that we not lose our momentum.
We need you!
Sign up to Depute
The 5-year Downtown East Action Plan will be going to Economic and Community Development Committee June 26, 2019. One week before, on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the 5-Year Action Plan will be available to the public here. You can register with the City Clerk to depute at the June 26, 2019 meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 416-338-5089. The Committee needs to hear from residents why we need more comprehensive services for those in need, coordinated safety plans for our neighbourhoods, and the funding necessary to improve conditions for everyone.
Sign the Petition
If you are unable to depute, you can still make your voice heard. Sign the online petition in support of the 5-Year Action plan here. Please share widely with your friends and neighbours and ask them to sign as well.
Provide your Feedback
Let me know how effective the 12-Month Action Plan has been by completing an online survey here. Your feedback will help me work through the implementation of the 5-Year Action Plan with staff to achieve concrete results.
If you have friends, family members, or neighbours who are committed to seeing positive change in our downtown communities, share this information with them. Please share this link on social media and help spread the word. This is an important moment of time to mobilize and ensure that our needs are front and centre as Committee and City Council considers the next steps for the Downtown East.