Hello friends of CodeRedTO!
– CHECK IT: new website coming soon!
– PRINT IT: take the flyer linked below and spread it around!
– DO IT: contact your councillor plus one friend who doesn’t live downtown!
“This spirit of compromise is why Toronto is such a great city,” said Councillor James Pasternak after the final budget vote on Jan. 17.
For City Hall-watchers, Tuesday was quite the day. Mayor Ford’s budget was amended significantly by council. He got his wish to limit the inflation-adjustment of property tax rates to only 2.5% (less than inflation), but he lost almost every other vote on cuts. Services were saved by councillors using existing funds, by moving them around smartly to reflect the priorities of their constituents.
This is significant not just because of the votes, but because of who led the charge: council’s formerly-“mushy” middle. These councillors, many new on council this term, have voted both for and against the Mayor. Tuesday they were *mighty*, and solidly on the side of city *building*.
Now that the budget is out of the way, let’s give them a new opportunity to spend existing funds in a smarter fashion – through an improved rapid transit plan!
The Transit City plan would have brought new rapid transit options to about 460,000 Toronto residents in 28 wards, while Mayor Ford’s idea – still not approved by council – covers less than half the distance, less than half the population, and less than half the wards! But at the same price. This is not a smart use of Ontario and Toronto taxpayer funds.
We’ve created some resources – now we need your help.
– Our new website launches soon, bringing the SaveTransityCity.com and CodeRedTO.com banners together as CodeRedTO, with the goal of bring a large *smart* portion of Transit City back to life. Watch for it coming soon!
– We’ve created an updated two-page flyer which makes the case for a smarter use of funding and a smarter use of space. You can see it here: http://files.
YOUR THREE STEPS TO BETTER RAPID TRANSIT:
1. PRINT THIS FLYER, and put it up somewhere for people to learn more about rapid transit options. If you can, print out many and get them somewhere visible outside of downtown. Don’t litter! http://files.coderedto.com
2. TALK TO ONE FRIEND OR RELATIVE in Etobicoke, Scarborough, or North York. Find out how much they know about rapid transit, and tell them what plan you want to see. If they stump you let us know – maybe there’s some useful information we can provide!
3. CALL YOUR CITY COUNCILLOR. This one is tough: if you live downtown you might think your councillor doesn’t need your call, and if you live outside downtown you might think your councillor is a lost cause. Both things are untrue. City councillors need to hear from you, especially if you live near a proposed rapid transit line. They are hearing from local businesses, retirees, talk-radio listeners and complainers ALL DAY LONG! Give them some positives to talk about! Make it personal and tell them why you think LRT would be better for your commute, and for drivers, and for kids, and for local businesses. Note: Twitter doesn’t count; make it a real phone call!
4. BONUS FOURTH STEP: write back and tell us how your conversations went!
We Can Do This. But not without some effort. Unlike cuts, which were ruled out during the election, the Mayor was always clear about his transit goals (even though they weren’t realistic). We need to show councillors that his goals are not realistic, not wanted and not smart for Toronto. And we have to do it FAST – votes are coming soon!
If you need info, email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. We’ll do our best to help!