Take Action on the 2012 Budget! (JAN)

As part of our continued commitment to community, we each need to act on our concerns about the impact of proposed budget cuts to cherished community services and programs. Right now, a 9.8% budget cut to the Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) is still on the table. Cuts to CPIP will have real, detrimental impacts on our city – they will increase homelessness, make life even harder for women, children, youth, seniors, immigrants and the many residents of the city who are low income, live with chronic illness, are racialized, LGBTQ and disabled. You can learn what’s proposed in the 2012 budget by reading 2012 City Budget: Proposed Service Cuts and User Fee Increases.
It is important to note that the city budget process is not over and that no final decisions about the proposed budget cuts have been made yet. The budget committee will do a final wrap up on January 9th and on January 12th Executive Committee will decide what goes before city council when all 44 councillors and the mayor vote on the budget from January 17-19th. You can read the 2012 City Budget Year-End Update to learn where the budget process is at before the committee reconvenes January 9th.

Expressing our concerns to all city councillors about budget cuts before January 17th will make all the difference in stopping cuts to vital services and programs. In 2011, residents showcased their tremendous commitment to community through all night deputations, ward meetings, thousands of emails and numerous phone calls and meetings with city councillors – we have already had an enormous impact on this budget process and should be proud of our work so far.

As January 17th fast approaches, communities acrossToronto need to take our last opportunities to affect the 2012 budget. Be sure that you and everyone you know speaks up so that the value of CPIP is top of mind for city councillors deciding how to vote on budget cuts. Here is what you can do:

1. Take the time right now, before you close this email, to call or email your local councillor to express your concerns about proposed budget cuts to community services in your neighbourhood, home ward or the city as a whole. You can call or email their office 24/7 and leave a message. Find out who your councillor is by calling 311 or by entering your address here and accessing their contact info.

If you are leaving a message for a councillor, please be sure to provide your name, address and preferred contact info; make it clear that you live in their ward. Please also email c2c@socialplanningtoronto.org after you have left a message so we can track how many people have taken action in each ward.
Want more info on proposed cuts? You can review a summary here
Find out more about What’s at Stake for Toronto here.
Want to know what organizations in your ward receive CPIP funding? View this list.
Want an idea of how to structure your message to councillors? Personalize the examples in this brief guide with your own experiences.

2.  Attend a budget forum being held in your ward! Many councillors are hosting meetings about the proposed 2012 budget this week and next. These meetings are a great opportunity to find out your councillor’s position on the budget and to share your concerns. Upcoming forums that have been publicized are listed below, but a full list, including past forums and whether councillors intend to hold forums or not, can be accessed here.

Forums on Tuesday January 10th:

Scarborough Community Council, which includes all of the City Councillors in Scarborough, is holding a meeting on the budget  at 7:30 p.m. at the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Boroughs Drive. Community members are invited to make deputations at this meeting, but should register in advance to speak: scc@toronto.ca or 416-396-7287
Councillor Parker, Ward 26 Don Valley West:  holding two events – 1) Tuesday, January 10 from 7-9 p.m. at OFL Building, 15 Gervais Drive (east of Don Mills, north of Eglinton) 2) Thursday, January 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Leaside Gardens, 1073 Millwood Road
Councillor Pasternak, Ward 10 York Centre: planning one for January 10, details to come.

Forums on Wednesday January 11th:

Councillor Augimeri, Ward 9 York Centre:  7 p.m. at Downsview Secondary School Cafeteria, 7 Hawksdale Road (east of Keele, north of Wilson)
Councillor Colle, Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence: 6:30 p.m. at Glen Long Community Centre, 35 Glen Long Avenue (west of Dufferin, north of Glencairn) (Social Planning Toronto speaker among guest speakers at this town hall)
Councillor Crisanti, Ward 1 Etobicoke North: 7:00pm at Albion Library (1515 Albion Road)
Councillor Fragedakis, Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth: 7 p.m. at S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Avenue (west of Coxwell, south of Cosburn)
Councillor Matlow, Ward 22 St. Paul’s:  7-9  p.m. at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Avenue West

3. Request a meeting with your city councillor. Invite members of your community to attend the meeting so that the councillor knows that a diverse range of people are concerned, including seniors, young people, business owners, faith leaders, volunteers and many others. Arrange a meeting by calling or emailing your councillor’s office – their contact info can be found here or by calling 311.

4. Stay tuned to C2C messages for an upcoming online petition that will allow people to email their individual councillors about saving CPIP. We will be launching this petition very soon and hope you will share it with all of your contacts when it is ready.

Thank you for taking action on your commitment to community! If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions please let us know by emailing c2c@socialplanningtoronto.org.

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