I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer so far! I'm on a short visit to another city so today's post is short and sweet. I do love visiting other cities to see how they are designed...so you can be sure to see some upcoming posts related to that shortly!
I also love seeing public art in cities. Today's picture is taken from the city I'm visiting now. Any guesses as to where I am?
Folks at OK2BME are busy planning the 2020 Gender and Sexuality Conference and are in need of workshop facilitators and presenters. Workshop topics should "educate, inspire and connect LGBTQ2+ youth from grades 7 to 12 in Waterloo Region. The conference will have four workshop streams: Creative Arts, Gender and Sexuality, Leadership, and Wellness." Apply here if interested, by September 20th at 5pm.
Note from the organizers: "The OK2BME Youth Leadership group will review all applications. Workshops will be selected based upon strength of application, scheduling limitations, and efforts to maximize diverse community representation. An honorarium will be available to all presenters."
If you have any questions, you can contact OK2BME Program Coordinator Washington Silk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.844.0000 x213 #365ofgoodWR
It's the middle of summer and if you're a parent, you've likely already heard the phrase "I'm bored" more than you'd like! So why not check out these great colouring pages posted by the Huffington Post and print off some pages of some great women throughout history to colour. Pages include Frida Kahlo, Sojourner Truth, and Marie Curie. There's even one of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a unicorn with a rainbow in the background, so you know you can't go wrong with these :) Bonus - most of the links include information about the important role these women played in our history - stories that too often go untold. #365ofgoodWR
Have you seen the #SheIsYourNeighbour campaign on social media? It's a project that highlights the prevalence of domestic violence in our region and was created by Women's Crisis Services. The campaign also wants to bring to light that domestic violence is not only physical abuse, but may include emotional, sexual, financial, and other forms of abuse. They also wanted people to understand that this is very much a societal problem that happens right in our own neighbourhoods. The campaign also includes a variety of resources so we can all learn how to be a good neighbour in these situations. Visit the website to find out more about the campaign and check out this article as well. #365ofgoodWR
Having volunteered with the Food Bank for over a decade now, I've definitely started to see trends and patterns. One of those patterns is that the food stored up in the warehouse gets low this time of year but of course the need for food in our community does not decrease over this time. In fact, given that the "safety net of school programs providing breakfast, lunch and snacks is gone" during the summer months, the need for food is stronger than ever. In response to that need, the Food Bank is trying to raise ½ million meals by August 31, "giving peace of mind to struggling families and filling the hearts and bellies of kids in our community." And you can help!
Ways to Make a Difference:
Wow, we are already nearing the end of Brent Toderian's 25 city resolutions. Resolution #20 encourages us to "plant a tree in your front yard, and fight for street trees on your street, in your neighborhood, and across your city. There are literally dozens of ways they make life better in cities. See my hashtag #StreetsAreBetterWithTrees." This is definitely a timely reminder as we deal with the impacts of climate change in our communities. But it's also a lovely 'to do' as trees not only provide great environmental benefits, but they're also helpful for our mental wellbeing and they truly add beauty to our neighbourhoods.
Earlier this year, Kitchener Council approved the Sustainable Urban Forestry Strategy which aims to plan, engage, maintain, protect, and plant a sustainable urban forest throughout the city. Learn more about that strategy on the city's website. This year, Kitchener also introduced the Neighbourhood Park Tree Planting Pilot Project through the #lovemyhood strategy. The deadline has passed to apply this year, but hopefully we'll see this pilot turn into a permanent program next year. And finally, Reep Green Solutions offers a tree planting program for homeowners that subsidizes the planting of trees on private property. #365ofgoodWR
The Sexual Assault Support Centre is doing important work in our community. Find out a little about that work in this presentation during the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation's recent Town Hall meeting by Sara from SASC. Sara delves into the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' recent ranking of Waterloo Region as the least safe city (of those ranked) in Canada for women to live. Find out why and what SASC and other organizations are doing to address that issue.
Also, if you are looking for a way to support the important work that SASC is doing, then read about this event coming up in August, #RAWRforSASC. You know by now that I love partnerships, and that definitely proves true as Waterloo Region Crossing partners with SASC for the Race Across Waterloo Region event. Also worth noting is SASC's goal of signing up 30 monthly donors in celebration of their 30 years of service. Visit their website to find out details. #365ofgoodWR
Although the Hohner Ave and Grand Porch Parties have come and gone, you still have a chance to enjoy music, food, and fun this Saturday with the Schneider Creek Porch Party! Starting at 3pm, you can head over to the Schneider Creek neighbourhood to hear a variety of musicians play on front porches all down Peter St. Even the Schneider Haus Museum's front porch will be a part of the fun! Find out all the details, including the artist line-up on their website.
Yesterday's post was about affordable housing. Today's post follows nicely as it's about a living wage. A living wage refers to the hourly wage one needs to earn to cover basic costs of living in a particular community. Some employers voluntarily use this amount as their base pay and there employers are often referred to as living wage employers. In Ontario, Ontario Living Wage Network provides detailed information about the living wage as well as a list of current living wage employers.
Another indicator of affordability is the rental wage which is the hourly wage required to rent an average 2 bedroom apartment without spending more than 30% of one's income. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has calculated the rental wage for communities across Canada. In their recently released report, it was noted that in only 3% of the nearly 800 neighbourhoods studied, could a full time minimum wage earner afford to rent the average 2 bedroom apartment. The report also includes an interactive map where you can take a closer look at particular communities across the country.
Creating an equitable and affordable city is not something that can be built by only addressing one issue, such as building more homes. Wages, mental health, distribution of wealth, and many more issues must also be considered. However, knowing some of the data, as provided above, can give us a baseline to understanding some of those core issues so we can better address them. #365ofgoodWR
I'm excited to be a speaker at this event tomorrow night hosted by Waterloo Region Yes In My Backyard. It's all about affordable housing and inclusive neighbourhoods and what we might be able to do to ensure we're working towards creating more of them! Attendees will also hear from Michael Druker, Rhonda Lee, and Clarence Cachagee. The event is at Queen St Commons, July 23rd starting at 6:30pm and is free to attend. If you're interested, register on the event page. Find out more about the speakers and their topics of discussion here. #365ofgoodWR