KJIPUKTUK (Nova Scotia) – You hear this a lot. “Why vote? Municipal politicians have nothing to offer for people living in poverty. Politicians will say anything just to get elected.”
ACORN Canada, a nation-wide anti-poverty group with chapters in Halifax, Dartmouth and Spryfield, doesn’t agree.
Gentrification, affordable housing, slum landlords, pay day loan sharks, and even the price you pay for Internet access are issues that directly affect people who struggle to make ends meet.
And the folks who make decisions about those issues are no other than your mayor and the councillors of your city, town or municipality.
To help you decide who to vote for this October, and to ask the right questions when smiling candidates come knocking on your door, ACORN Canada has issued a list of demands that put the interests of the poor front and centre.
These are some of the things ACORN believes will make a difference:
- Free wifi in pubic housing buildings;
- A living wage of $20.10 per hour for all municipal workers;
- Re-zone pay day loan lenders;
- Designate 30 percent of units in new housing developments as affordable. And by the way, make sure that affordable means exactly that;
- Landlord licensing and proactive inspections to fight slum landlords.
ACORN doesn’t mention affordable public transit, but feel free to add it to your own list.
Not all candidates running for the October election are indifferent to the plight of the poor. But nothing will change until poor people vote, and then continue to remind councillors of their election promises.
Download ACORN’s municipal elections pamphlet here.