Now I fully understand that there will be people out there that will say I have completed this exercise in an effort to hi-jack the whole Tenant's First Advisory Panel process. Those would be the same people that have me labelled as a quote unquote "Troublemaker". That's ok. Six months ago they only referred to me as "stressed".
(Stressed. LOL Is it any wonder? I was sending emails to the mayor, my city councilor, Toronto Community Housing staff, and a contact at Toronto Police Services, Most of my emails seemed to just disappear into the ether. Every once in a while they would spark a response. In the body of those countless emails is where I flushed out the ideas that became pieces of my application to the Tenant's First Advisory Panel and finally, this document. This truly is A Tenant's Manifesto on the Final Report of the Mayor's Task Force on TCH(C).)
For the record, I am not trying to sabotage the Tenants First Advisory Panel's efforts. I'm hopeful that they would be given this document to use as a baseline for discussion. There is only so much they can accomplish in 7 - 10 meetings over the next year. Especially, if the members are not all seasoned advocates (aka "Troublemakers").
When I was declined a position on the Tenants First Advisory Panel I responded with the following -
"Thank you for the opportunity to at least apply to the Tenants First Advisory Panel.
I would hope that at the very least there will be a public record of these meetings (like minutes to be emailed to those of us who applied as well as tenant reps/leaders). If by chance they will allow a more open process whereas the public could attend these meetings I will be there with bells on.
I will most definitely be editing the material from my application and posting it as My Manifesto on The Mayors Task Force for Toronto Community Housing to my website ASAP. At that point I will send the mayor, my city councilor, members of the media, and yourself links to the document once it's complete. I would be honored if you would share the link with your members but regrettably I would also understand how that may be counter productive for the limitation of TCH Tenants involvement.
The Tenants First Advisory Panel has a very difficult road ahead of them. I wish you all the best of luck. I will still be working towards significantly improving TCH long after the City of Toronto retires the Tenants First Advisory Panel."
This whole Tenant's Last Advisory Panel concept is simply unacceptable. Why were we not represented on the Mayor's Task Force on TCH(C) to begin with? Honestly, as a TCH(C) tenant, to have been included in the discussion from the very beginning would have been ideal.
After all, any change agent will tell you, change comes from within."
Welcome to Toronto Community Housing. Hope (still) lives here.