In My Opinion: Community meetings have inspired number of actions in Beaches-East York

Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford updates residents on a number of community initiatives in his In My Opinion column.

By BRAD BRADFORD

BEACHES-EAST YORK COUNCILLOR

Hi Neighbours! With my first few months as councillor wrapping up, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts and invite you to join the many productive conversations happening all over Beaches-East York to make our city better.

When I decided to run for office I knew our community was one of the most engaged in Toronto. Since becoming councillor, I’ve been amazed by just how plugged-in we are.

I’ve received over 10,000 emails from constituents and thousands of calls. Each one has brought forward thoughtful considerations and helped inform my decisions at council and work in the community.

Knowing this, and given the cuts to city council Doug Ford made in the middle of the election, I made it a priority to hold regular town-hall style community meetings. These meetings are essential to keeping our community involved and addressing the change in representation our residents have at City Hall.

The impact of these meetings has been tangible. Through the various efforts they’ve inspired we’ve been able to help elderly neighbours stuck in their homes because of the heavy snow, championed resident-led petitions leading to traffic calming measures on streets like Boardwalk Drive and Herbert Avenue, secured a crossing guard for Crescent Town Elementary School and reduced speeds on Sammon Avenue to name just a few.

With your involvement I’ve been able to advocate for term limits at city council and call for an investigation into the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Crescent Town last November.

I’ve met with dozens of you to start the process for improving the Woodbine bike lanes, and have had the support of our business improvement areas and community associations to find innovative solutions to increase pedestrian safety.

On that note, I’m excited to announce that we’re bringing Canada’s first Vision Zero pop-up to Woodbine and Danforth for a weekend this summer! This unique initiative will show the rest of Toronto what happens when we design streets with safety in mind. I think it will also help demonstrate for the rest of the city the kind of local leadership we have in Beaches-East York.

At council I’ve been advancing important city-wide initiatives, including accelerating the construction of the Relief Line by two years, bringing forward dedicated revenue tools to fund more housing allowances and making zoning amendments to make housing more affordable, as well as responding to the need to improve snow removal through the budget process.

I want to use my office to achieve more for this community than partisan politics. This winter I was able to meet amazing community organizers through the Not Your Typical Beach Cleanup Project. In January I helped support Trigger Change, a petition to ban assault rifles and handguns across Canada. This was an initiative that came up at our first community meeting in Crescent Town.

I am enjoying getting to know so many of you and look forward to an opportunity to get to know those I haven’t yet met.

Whether it’s our conversations on the street or by email, I continue to be inspired by your ideas and solutions to the challenges our city faces. Even if we don’t always agree, I am committed to always listening. A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from.

I hope to see you at our next community meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 24 at the Naval Club of Toronto.

Stay up to date by signing up for my newsletter at www.bradbradford.ca/newsletter_sign_up. Please feel free to contact me at Councillor_Bradford@toronto.ca or 416-338-2755. Thank you!


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