2018 > Candidate for City of Toronto, Councillor - Ward 25
We need a Councillor who actually understands the needs of the Ward they are charged to represent AND works to build consensus among colleagues, to effect REAL change, NOT for change's sake alone BUT for the sake of residents who want things to be done & better!
Being elected to office is not intended as a step to advance someone's career nor should it be a chance to amass wealth. Being elected to office is a precious opportunity to serve a community's needs and to help shape its future!
We don't need a Ward Boss who doesn't even live here! If you want to represent a community you need to be invested in that community. Those residents should be your neighbours, because their issues are your issues!
Too many politicians are elected because we have confidence in their pedigree as ambitious careerists or bosses. Corporate elites and lawyers have little in common with most of us! Ward 25 needs someone who has experience with management and business, sure, BUT also one who understands struggling to make ends meet! Ward 25 needs a REPRESENTATIVE, who has lived as they live and continues to be a part of our community.
We expect candidates to have all the answers. Nobody has all the answers! They might know the answers you want to hear, whether doable or not, and too often NOT their real priorities, if elected. I don't have all the answers nor do I know all the issues. I've been busy, like you, working to pay my bills while trying to have a life! Not having all the answers doesn't mean I don't make every effort to inform myself. Sure, I have some ideas.
My name is Rob Wolvin. I live and often work, in Ward 25! I'm willing to offer myself, to be our voice on Council, to speak of, find solutions to, the issues that matter, to OUR community.
As a candidate, if elected, as OUR representative, I'll listen! If you place trust in me, I'll employ staff to actually consult with my neighbours, NOT to arrange photo opportunities for MY reelection. I'll harness the professional talent already in our employ at City Hall to find answers. THEN I will listen to the experts, craft public policy AND work to build consensus for REAL change among my colleagues on Council. That's the kind of REPRESENTATIVE that Ward 25 residents deserve!
Elect a representative that understands they are hired, by you, to be YOUR voice at City Hall, not a government's voice AT YOU or a local big shot, above the residents he/she is hired to represent!
Toronto, last election, was suffering from neglect and loss of leadership from a Mayor and council that had been fighting for facetime on TV, holding to rigid ideological rhetoric. Little has changed as Toronto's NEW Council includes few new members, one elected, one appointed councillor and a new Mayor?
Mayor Tory only gets one vote, like every other person on Council. Who he works with, that same politically polarized, self-aggrandizing gang of blowhards, pretty much. While we've seen more civility in Council discourse, little is being done that makes Toronto more liveable.
2018 is our chance to change the equation! Voters have the chance to bring in new people with a fresh vision to many new Wards AND retire all that dead wood. It's time to pay attention to who is running AND whos friends are now salivating for a seat at the public trough. Toronto residents deserve better representation!
Having a Councillor that hops from neighbourhood event to neighbourhood event JUST to get a photo taken IS NOT community engagement. It's self promotion. Calling out a sick, misguided former Mayor WAS NOT courageous. It was political opportunism. Now the incumbent has found, yet another Ward, that is not her home, to seek election, offering her protege as our new 'representative'.
I'm tired of rigid ideologues bent on protest and confrontation to get attention or shore up their support in an isolated corner of the electorate. Left vs right with little respect for good governance now or a quality life for future Torontonians. They seem to be here for a good time, while the party lasts! Condos & more condos... transit, infrastructure, complete streets, local schools, small businesses, recreation, libraries, heritage... community, at best an afterthought. That's how it looks, to some of us.
The right on council are battening down the hatches and the left are storming the gates. Councils in Ontario are supposed to represent their constituents working together without party lines that divide. THAT is why city ballots are without party affiliations. OUR local representatives should be more pragmatic, not slaves to ideology. Their #1 goal should be, making things work, for you, finding solutions to the issues that we care about? #Transit #Housing #Jobs #Safety #Affordability #Community
I can work with conservatives on council, if they want to see partnership with the private sector to build our communities. If the proposal is to solve all the problems by raising taxes or running more debt, I hear their concerns. I can find common ground because we don't have endless supplies of public monies.
Large commercial property owners MUST pay their fair share in taxes BUT small business owners and those who primarily rent to them MUST see some tax relief. Not all creative, hard working small business owners are great managers. Not all can afford first rate accountants. The city can do something about those things to free optimistic small investors to do what they do best.
Kicking the tax burden up to the province means taking from the right instead of the left pocket of the same taxpayers! It's NO solution!
I understand the cost of managing debt.
I can support councillors who seek to bring investment to the city and work with large employers to locate and expand in our city. I part ways if this is done at the expense of locally owned and operated small businesses.
The backbone of any job growth is small business and it's also one of the most potent tools for social mobility. I know what it's like to run a small store front business, in Ward 25, trying to attract people struggling to navigate narrow & crowded sidewalks. Countless hard working small shop owners have been engulfed by dirt and noise alongside increasingly gridlocked streets, endless construction, choking from regulation and taxes. Boarded up shops on Yonge, between Gerrard & Bloor Streets attest to this sad reality.
Public services are part of the infrastructure of our communities. If those same conservatives' only solution is to cut essential services, I part ways.
I can work with progressives on addressing the need for more affordable housing because I know what it's like to struggle to make ends meet, alone in a big city. I support the initiative on the part of some councillors to persuade the Ontario government to require affordable units in EVERY residential development.
I know what it's like to struggle to find my place in a neighbourhood where most of its peoples are just visiting or newcomers. Mental Health and safety are among the benefits of people who feel a part of a community. Knowing about, preserving & together, celebrating local heritage is part of being a community. Today heritage is too often being gutted or erased.
I live on Yonge St., in the heart of Ward 25. I'm tired of a Council that thinks of OUR neighbourhoods as nothing more than a thoroughfare to pass through or a bedroom to leave every morning.
I want Council to direct development that also builds community. Greenery, bike lanes, wide sidewalks, central community squares, a fully funded LOCAL school, seniors integrated with other generations, a mix of income groups, mixed use zoning so one can work, live, shop and engage in recreation, steps from home, child care, health care, 1st generation & multi-generation Canadians, max. accessibility for disabled, preservation and promotion of local heritage, monuments, community centres, libraries, more small AND medium sized, locally owned, shops & cafes that encourage neighbours to get to know each other... REAL people live in Ward 25.
OUR neighbourhood does not have to be reduced to a forest of near identical steel & glass towers.. over priced bedrooms in the sky with residents who have little stake in our community, strangers to us, to each other > they leave their expensive boxes by elevator to a basement garage, drive off through clogged streets, miles to work, shop, leisure... some with postage sized green, at the base of a tower, manicured & sterile > masquerading as a park, fenced, no pets, no kids, no sunshine ... It doesn't have to be this way!
Why not require developments to include public green space in every development, contribute space for local schools, community centres or daycares? Why not require developers to respect, even promote local heritage rather than erase, at best be indifferent to, the components of communities that exist where they have decided to build?
Why not require developments to incorporate solar and/or wind energy into EVERY development, helping to reduce the overall usage of power in Toronto & helping to reduce obscene hydro costs? Exploring this potential, regulating accordingly might help the environment, the low income households AND the cost of doing business in Toronto!
Let's find a way to encourage more food production in Toronto with an Urban Food Production Initiative. Streamline regulations. Provide an office where residents can find assistance working through the process of starting their own grow project. Provide incentives to those businesses that supply the materials necessary to grow food in your home, on your balcony, in your yard, on your roof or in a larger vertical farm operation. This would be good for the environment and provide more affordable produce for low income households.
Why are people who find themselves in need of assistance forced to live on $675 a month? It's unrealistic and encourages an underground economy when more rational assistance would give a person the much needed lift up, back to a productive, more fulfilling role in their community. This is not only about respect for human dignity; it's about fuller participation from more creative voices AND lower health and law enforcement expense for all of us!
I applaud a transit option that advocates subways over RT because I believe the less transfers the smoother the trip and want TTC to have the option to transfer trains between lines as congestion warrants. I don't believe Scarborough, though important, is priority #1 and I don't believe the expense of tunnels, in that region, at this time, is affordable!
I advocate a Downtown Relief Line NOW!
The most expensive, time consuming, disruptive, prone-to-overruns part of building subways is the drilling of tunnels and construction of stations. I propose laying subway track on existing open corridors and partnering with development to help build and maintain new stations along that line. It's cheaper, faster and presents the least possibility of disruption to neighbourhoods along the route.
We need to elect one of our own to serve our community!
Your issues are my issues and your community is my community. If you want me to be on the ballot in 2018, please lend me your support. I can't do this alone.
Getting together, to make a difference, is the kind of community building I advocate. Together, let's make OUR Ward 25 a better place for our families, our neighbours AND ourselves!