Power of Uniting Our Voices
This week, Dania from our Action for Neighbourhood Change Department is sharing about the importance of civic engagement in the community. Action for Neighbourhood Change is a project to help strengthen the influence of local residents, enhance neighbourhood life, and increase access to resources.
Engaging community members in local advocacy, and various forms of civic engagement enables residents to realize the power of their voice, and they can witness the changes in their neighbourhoods.
Civic engagement is usually catalyzed by challenges to neighbourhoods, or around larger political issues, such as the recent Ward 42 by-election. But in the case of Malvern, residents have been mobilized around bringing resources into their community to improve everyone’s daily lives.
Highlights through Action for Neighbourhood Change:
- 42 Voices hosted the All-Candidates Meet & Greet for the Ward 42 by-election with about 50 residents in attendance
- 2 Malvern Caterers were featured at the University of Toronto Scarborough Winter Farmer’s Market and their food was totally sold out!
- Malvern Eats celebrates their First year anniversary this week with over 9500 meals served
Most recently, with the transit debates around the proposed Scarborough Subway Extension – Malvern residents have realized how ignored north-east Scarborough is, in the City’s transit infrastructure plans. This realization has allowed residents come together to strategize ways, and seek resources to create awareness of the daily struggles that people face while commuting to and from work, school, appointments and social visits.
Residents have discovered various tools for advocacy that suits them; some have gone out in person to depute at executive committee meetings, some have written letters to councillors while others have sent in video deputations.
They have also learned about the power of organizing petitions. All of these have helped raise the profile of north-east Scarborough’s transit needs at the various levels of government, and has gotten the conversation started about bringing in more resources to our neck of the woods.
This is of course is not the finish line. With any form of civic engagement, consistent efforts are crucial as it can be a long journey. Hopefully through ongoing efforts, we will be able to see greater levels of transit investment, which will change the landscape of Malvern. And also inspire other grassroots movements to develop our community further.
If you are interested in igniting your passion or interest, join us in our Resident Engagement Department.
Dania Ansari is the Malvern Neighbourhood Action Partnership Convenor at MFRC. Dania has been serving with us for 2 years. Dania completed her Master’s degree in urban planning and is excited to be able to use her knowledge and expertise. Her favourite part in this role is being able to connect with other organizations and learning about their perspectives on the Malvern Community.