Last year at this time, despite the many challenges we faced as the city grappled with multiple crises, we believed change was in the air. Amidst record-high food insecurity, housing instability and homelessness, opioid poisoning, mental health crises, workers experiencing burnout, and an ongoing gender-based violence epidemic, we still felt that there was hope and that change was coming. Over this past year we have seen a further worsening of these crises. And we have also seen some positive change, with more to come.
During the mayoral by-election this past June, revenue tools and the City’s finances were top issues featured in the debates. Now, residents across the city are more knowledgeable and supportive of progressive municipal funding tools and how they can help build a better city. And our current Mayor and Council just recently approved many of the tools we have been calling for.
Last year, we had just witnessed record-low voter turnout for the 2022 provincial election. Now, a year later, more people seem engaged across the city. Through our work around the City budget and the two municipal elections this past year, and our work convening and facilitating engagement amongst nonprofit partners and residents, we see increased knowledge, capacity, and action in policy and systems change work.