City seeks bold ideas on jobs, livable income
Forum Monday to ‘set the stage’ for anti-poverty strategy
Ann-marie Moulton is the third of four immigrant children from Jamaica, raised by a single mother in Scarborough who worked in a factory to put food on the table.
“Where I come from, we were always told a good education is the key to success. Work hard and you can achieve your dreams,” says Moulton, now in her late 30s.
“But in reality, you can go to school and still work hard and still find yourself in a situation that is not what you dreamed,” she says. “For too many people in this city it’s a struggle every day to live a good quality of life. I have seen that first-hand. And I want to change that for others.”
Moulton, a member of Toronto’s Lived Experience Advisory Group, will be among the panellists at a city hall forum Monday evening to discuss how the city can support quality jobs and livable incomes.
It is part of a series of panel discussions the city’s anti-poverty advocate, Coun. Joe Mihevc, hopes will generate bold ideas “to set the stage” for the next phase of Toronto’s 20-year poverty reduction strategy, approved by city council in 2015.
As part of the strategy, city council must set priorities for each four-year term. With municipal elections in October, Mihevc says the discussions will arm voters with questions for candidates about the city’s role in fighting poverty.
“The first line of defence in the fight against poverty is a fulfilling job with an adequate income. Everything else is dealing down-river with the effects of poverty,” Mihevc says. “So this is why we’re starting with jobs.”
Future sessions in the coming weeks will deal with the anti-poverty plan’s other action areas including food access, service access and co-ordination, transportation equity and housing stability.
Moulton, who became a single parent during college, completed her social work studies and found a job in a youth homeless shelter where she worked for 15 years and “found my passion.”
“I never knew such places existed or that teenagers could be homeless. I knew then that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping them,” she says.
For too many people in this city it’s a struggle every day.