Volunteer with the Campaign TODAY

Turnout Toronto

The 2010 Toronto Civic Election was a good example of what can happen when there is a disconnect between candidates and communities; disaffected voters without candidates they can identify with or who speak for them is perhaps a major reason we have the representation we currently do.

A primary premise of the Robb Not Ford / We Can Do Better, Toronto! campaign is civic engagement — that being a citizen is more than simply voting once every four years; but rather finding accessible, day-to-day ways to contribute to making a BETTER city.

Turnout Toronto is a civic engagement fair, aimed at educating citizens on the opportunities to get involved (e.g. working on a political campaign, volunteer with Elections Toronto, etc), which hopefully leads to things like higher voter turnout, civic participation, and love for this great city.

The Robb Not Ford / We Can Do Better, Toronto! campaign is one of the Civic Champions to be represented at Turnout Toronto TODAY from 5-8pm at the Centre for Social Innovation Regent Park.

 

If you have been following the campaign and may be interested in volunteering, or simply meeting and discussing a BETTER Toronto with Robb Johannes, today is the day to do so!

More info is at the Events page, and you can RSVP on Facebook.

Turnout Toronto is the perfect prelude to the volunteer information session that will take place next Wednesday, April 16 (see the Events page for details).

Posted in Citizens, Civic Participation, My Campaign, Participation, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#MayorQs with Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow chats with Metro columnist Matt Elliot.

Photo by David Van Dyke / Metro News

We’re happy to welcome mayoral candidate Olivia Chow to the “We can do better, Toronto” (@wecandobetterTO) campaign that was recently launched as a sub-effort to the Robb Not Ford campaign, most notably at the CityNews mayor’s debate:

In her #mayorQs profile with Metro this week, Ms. Chow’s headline “We can do better” is certainly a forward-thinking initiative that we have been advocating since the very beginning and will continue to on the road to October 27 — without running attack ads against other candidates as Ms. Chow’s office possibly has.

Like Ms. Chow’s expanded rapid bus service plan, also announced shortly after we brought it into our platform (and discussed with Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star), amongst others, we welcome other candidates to look at our ideas and adopt them if they so choose.

We are all in this together because we can do better, Toronto!

Posted in Buses, Candidates, Debate, My Campaign, Olivia Chow, Participation, Transit, TTC, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#MayorQs with John Tory

Mayoral candidate John Tory, centre, speaks with Metro columnist Matt Elliott and reporter Jessica Smith Cross.

Photo by David Van Dyke / Metro

Going forward, (John) Tory needs to remember the reasons people like him as an advocate and a personality. There’s no need to abandon those qualities just because he’s decided — again — to be a candidate.
Matt Elliott, Metro News

This week, Metro is publishing the results of conversations under the social media tagged #MayorQs with mayoral candidates John Tory, Karen Stintz, David Soknacki, and Olivia Chow.

I’ve stated previously (in response to the CityNews televised debate) that John Tory, who I have met, and do respect, has thus far been non-committal about pragmatic issues in his still unreleased plan for Toronto. The evasiveness continued in his profile with the Metro — including, once again, a commitment to eventually release his plans on the Yonge Street Relief Line. “I will have a plan, it will be complete,” while understandable in the bigger picture of developing an inclusive and calculated platform, is challenging on what has been stated time and again to be Tory’s top priority if  elected Mayor.

In this election, we need a leader with a solid plan who is willing to compromise to get the job done but not compromise the plan itself. It appears that John Tory’s plan is at risk of being demoted to win votes.

The Robb Not Ford team is committed to our core platform about what will make Toronto BETTER — ideas that have emerged from talking to Torontonians. Collaboratively incorporating citizens’ concerns into the plan is what will make for a BETTER, successful Toronto.

Posted in Candidates, Citizens, John Tory, Leadership, Subways, TTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizen: Katie Grant

Citizen: Katie Grant

Katie Grant (indesology.wordpress.com/)

Katie Grant, an entrepreneur and founder of a not for profit design and technology Toronto based group called Indesology operating out of the Centre of Social Innovation, seeks better innovation in social services, transit, cycling, and arts and culture.

Read Katie’s full profile HERE.

If you are interested in being profiled on robbnotford.com, please contact us!

Posted in Arts and Culture, Citizens, Communities, Cycling, Diversity, My Campaign, Social Services, Youth, Youth Employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Ford Posters?

City workers take down anti-Rob Ford posters

Photo by Cynthia Mulligan / CityNews

This week, the newly-launched No Ford Nation campaign (which includes a feature on other mayoral candidates in the civic election, including yours truly), put up spoof candidate posters in Trinity Bellwoods on Monday to raise awareness of other options for the civic election on October 27. Tongue-in-cheek, yes, but highlighting a fundamental message regarding the need for change in Toronto.

The photo above captures City workers removing the signs later in the same day.

Not just the removal of the signs, but their role in freedom of expression, harks back on the first time I beat Rob Ford — in court on postering charges with my band, Paint. Our argument was successful on precedent set by Ramsden v. Peterborough, in which the Supreme Court of Canada deemed blanket bans on postering without reasonable limitation an infringement of s.2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with respect to freedom of expression.

The irony is that in 2011, Rob Ford’s campaign office had $13,000 in postering fines waived while our case against him was happening… and now the Mayor is using paid City workers to remove posters that challenge him on a basic political level — which, without prejudice, would be reinforced by Canadian federal law.

Do we need to call in the feds?

Posted in Arts and Culture, Candidates, Graffiti, Leadership, Rob Ford | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Not Divide Communities: Skedline Interview

Robb Johannes / by Joyita Sengupta

Photo by Joyita Sengupta / Skedline

“The mayor is only one vote on council… they do have additional responsibilities to do with your ability to listen and facilitate everybody, to not divide communities… I don’t think there’s anything really all that radical in my campaign. It’s nothing that’s not already being done in terms of Canadian federal law and other parts of the world.”
– Robb Johannes (via Skedline)

Thanks to Skedline for an interview and feature with Robb and social media/volunteer coordinator Katherine Cummings on the nucleus of the Robb Not Ford campaign and the challenges facing grassroots candidates despite the strength of their platforms.

Read the full article HERE.

Posted in Candidates, Communities, My Campaign, Olivia Chow, Participation, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is the Day: Toronto Island Airport to City Council

The issue of whether or not to expand Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport (a.k.a. YTZ / Toronto Island Airport) to include CS100 jets finally comes to vote at City Council today. It’s come up a lot on in my campaign: blog posts (Part 1 / Part 2), as well as attending public consultations, being profiled by NoJetsTO, comments on last week’s Executive Committee, as well as the above discussion to press at last week’s CityNews Mayor’s Debate.

Toronto City Hall, Council Chamber (3rd floor) at 9:30a.m. is where and when it happens. NoJetsTO will be live tweeting (@NoJetsTO) throughout the proceedings, and the Toronto Star will be hosting a chat forum at 1 p.m. EST.

Posted in Environment, My Campaign, No Jets TO, Toronto Island, Waterfront | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keeping it Clean

Mayor's Debate - Ryerson March 27, 2014

Photo by Sam Yohannes / The Eyeopener

Another mayoral debate at Ryerson University last Thursday (without the winner of the first debate present), and another mud-slinging fest that had little to nothing to do with the City of Toronto, civic policies, and what matters to its citizens. Rather, it read more along the lines of John Tory, Karen Stintz, and David Soknacki saying to Rob Ford: “I don’t like you, and here’s why…”

I’ve said it before, but simply pointing to Rob Ford’s personal life is not the route to presenting Toronto with BETTER options for October 27‘s vote.

However, if the personal attacks in the debates have indirectly allowed the floodgates to open up facts-based questioning candidates (as did the CBC’s Matt Galloway’s examination of Rob Ford’s so-called points of success in his term as mayor) rather than talking points, that would be a step in the right direction.

Aside from the widely-dismantled and factually false “billion dollar” savings that Rob Ford continues to refer to (for example, read this, this, thisthis, this, and this) — Ford, whose tumultuous relationship with truth continues to raise questions, also claimed the 23 per cent youth unemployment figure in Toronto was “fictitious,” despite the fact that it’s completely true:

toronto-unemployment-rate

Courtesy of Toronto Life

While Mark Twain did once say, perhaps ironically: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” the best story of all that could come from a BETTER Mayor of Toronto, which would not be a story but a reality, is that the Mayor represented this great city honestly as a public servant rather than a politician, facilitated its diversity, and didn’t have to resort to divisive politics and alienation to choose which supporters mattered the most.

I know, and you know, that we can do better, Toronto!

Posted in Budget, Candidates, Citizens, Communities, David Soknacki, Debate, Democracy, Diversity, John Tory, Karen Stintz, Leadership, My Campaign, Rob Ford, Youth Employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizen: Cynthia Gould

Citizen: Cynthia Gould

Cynthia Gould / highheelslofi.com

This week’s Citizen profile is Cynthia Gould, a graphic designer and musician with the Toronto band High Heels Lo-Fi, whose love for Toronto revolves around its arts and cultural communities, as well as the accessibility of public transit.

Read Cynthia’s full profile HERE.

If you are interested in being profiled on robbnotford.com, please contact us!

Posted in Arts and Culture, Citizens, Communities, My Campaign, Transit, TTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Debate Next Door

Robb Johannes talking to CityNews

Talking to CityNews against Toronto Island Airport expansion (click photo to watch video)

Thanks to CityNews for hosting several mayoral candidates beyond the “big 5” last night in the lounge next door to the studio. Whilst it may have been a little odd to have not only been at the debate table after being referred to as the winner of the first mayor’s forum last month by The Toronto Star, The Grid, and others, I do recognize that since that time a few key candidates have entered the race, and myself and my team are committed to earning our spot at the next debate.

In the meantime, thanks so much to everyone for the support and generous feedback of the comments I made during the breaks last night, and to put it all in once place, here are some observations of the debate:

The debate was a great example of rhetoric, but not of debate or discussion. Everyone involved was a professional politician, who could talk about themselves, but not about the City of Toronto. They claim to listen to the people but their actions are demonstrating that they don’t hear us.

Excluding the fact that the winner of the first debate wasn’t at the table, I don’t think anybody won. The city lost. And I know, and you know, that we can do better, Toronto.

Incumbent Mayor Rob Ford demonstrated his tumultuous relationship with the truth.

Olivia Chow has many ideas, some of which I share, but I’m concerned about the pragmatics of their fiscal application compared to my more practically-based approach.

It was great to hear John Tory and Karen Stintz stand up for things resembling platforms; though I hope they can come up with ideas for all of Toronto rather than particular interests within the city. For example, John Tory has had to take a deferred position on the Island Airport expansion because of a vested family interest, and Karen Stintz will continue to take positions that she feels will win favour with voters — which is a sign of an excellent politician, but not necessarily a good leader for the city as a whole.

David Soknacki has a very pragmatic outlook on Toronto, which is commendable. But I’m worried his team is trying to manufacture a cult of personality, and we don’t need another Ford Nation in this race. Candidates need to be people rather than characters.

I look forward to being represented at future debates to welcome newer candidates and discuss BETTER directions for Toronto.

In closing:

Posted in Candidates, David Soknacki, Debate, John Tory, Karen Stintz, Leadership, My Campaign, No Jets TO, Olivia Chow, Participation, Rob Ford, Toronto Island | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments