Simon Wookey at the DigIn Vigil

   11 November 2006, mid-afternoon

Simon Wookey at the Vigil

I attended a small vigil last night. It was organized by a couple of people in DigIn. A couple if the candidates running in our ward were on hand to talk to people about their platforms. Simon Wookey was there at the start of the event, and I got to speak to him a fair bit before he headed off to get back to canvassing. Simon had prepared a speech for the event, but since it was a fairly small crowd, he opted instead to chat with anyone who wanted to talk to him. One of his volunteers passed on his speech for the event to me, which I’ve included below:

This event is to remind us that citizen engagement empowers people to create change, and this evening we are calling on the three levels of government to make this neighbourhood and others across the city, places were parents know their children and elderly are safe and can see for themselves that they are part of a living neighbourhood.

For too long, all levels of government have abdicated real responsibility for the crime in our communities. Contrary to what City Hall keeps saying, crime has not gone down in all communities. 14 Division reported robberies were up 20 per cent in Bloordale. I support community policing but more police officers on the streets are not going to solve our crime problem in Bloordale.

If elected councillor, I am not going to wait for government to get their act together. I will begin working with the community, police, local business and City Hall to make the neighbourhoods of Davenport unattractive to crime. I will work to better support shelters like the Christie-Ossington Centre and other agencies to ensure they have the resources to help the needy and vulnerable.

My campaign is about citizen engagement. It is about events like this one, when the community stands up and says: we remember and government needs to do better.

As your councillor, I will initiate new community programs without government help. I will work with other partners and funding groups to get new programs for our youth in Davenport and the nearby neighbourhoods. I want to start a music program in Bloordale, to provide free music classes to local youth that might not otherwise be able to learn a musical instrument. This program will reach out to all children across the area and not just Ward 18.

Along with my plan to renew the economic health of Bloor St., and supporting efforts being made by local groups like the DGRA, I will work to help revive small, ethnic and other mom and pop businesses in Davenport.

While we work towards that, I will dedicate one staff person in my constituency office to work with constituents, police, business and other stakeholders to address crime related issues

Finally, over the course of this campaign, I’ve learned of many good ideas put forth by other candidates in this race. I will take on some those ideas and work to create more green spaces in Davenport, get better help for seniors living around Dufferin and Lansdowne subway stations and make them more friendly for our elderly and needy.

I will work to ensure every citizen knows what’s going on their community. I will work to build communities, not destroy them.

I hope I have your support on Monday.

It was a nice event. I got to chat with a few more poeple from DigIn, who I hadn’t really met properly before hand. It was also really good to speak to Simon in person. As I’ve mentioned before, he has a lot of good ideas for how to improve the ward.

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