More than 75 all-candidates meetings have been held in Toronto Community Housing communities over the past few weeks as residents gear up for the Tenant Representative elections on March 26.
Meeting the Tenant RepresentativesA number of representatives shared why they decided to run as a Tenant Representative.
“I’m a social service person and I’ve worked with food banks and kids in universities all my life. I get a good feeling out of it. Doing good things for people is what makes me happy and I want to see them content,” said a Tenant Representative candidate for St. George Manor.
Another Tenant Representative candidate for St. George Manor said, “Being the president of the social club and knowing many tenants, I’ve been to their meetings so I can understand what their needs are. I’m hoping to make a positive change and help them get what they need.”
The role of a Tenant Representative is to understand what issues are important to their community, get other tenants involved in community life, help keep tenants informed about initiatives and other resources, make connections, advocate for change, ensure residents have the resources they need, and participate actively on tenant councils.
Tenant Representatives have the opportunity to work along with their fellow tenants and Toronto Community Housing staff to build healthier communities and be part of the change that they want to see happen.
A candidate for Cedarbrae Manor said; ‘‘I want to make a better quality of life for tenants and to build better communications between housing and tenants”
The elections processEvery community is entitled to elect a Tenant Representative, no matter how small it is. If a community has more than 250 units, they are entitled to elect a Tenant Representative for every 250 units in that community. If a community is a mix of highrises and townhouses/lowrises, each part of the community is entitled to elect a Tenant Representative.
“It’s a tough job because you are representing everyone. But this is a very important process because the Representatives are elected by their peers—they have to answer to the people, because they were voted in,” said Cathy Mullins, a current Tenant Representative who is not running for re-election.
Come out and vote
(Left to right) Residents Kathrame Kanagasingham and Anthony Ragel take in a laugh at the Cedarbrae Manor All-Candidates Meeting.
Kathrame Kanagasingham and Anthony Ragel, two residents from Cedarbrae Manor agreed that, “If residents want to effect change, they have to get out and vote.”
(Left to right) Residents (and long-time friends) Margaret and Jenny share fond memories during the St. George Manor all-candidates Meeting.
Margaret and Jenny, two residents from St. George Manor, explained why they will be out to vote on election day.
“We’ve both been residents here for 20 years. We want to see things done more in our communities. We know it takes time, but we want someone who can make changes,” said Jenny.
The 2015 Tenant Representative Elections will be taking place on March 26th in Toronto Community Housing communities across the city. Successful candidates will start their new three year terms in April 2015.
To find out more about Tenant Representative Elections, visit the Tenant Representative Elections page.