Residents and communities play an active role in shaping social policy, but only through public consultation and on-going advocacy. Input from residents groups and citizens is essential in order to respond to community needs.

As Senior Advisor of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives for Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, we brought together residents groups, businesses, community agencies and City of Toronto staff from Parks and Recreation, Public Health, Toronto Police and Toronto Fire in the first-ever Healthy Neighbourhood Summit with over 150+ participants.

Responsibilities:

  • Managed the strategic direction of the Healthy Neighbourhood Summit from inception to competition, including the initial public consultation to identify community needs and services, Summit format and design, as well as the creation of consultation materials and surveys
  • Selected and coordinated expert panel to kick off the Summit: Uppala Chandrasekera, Director, Public Policy, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, Pauline Larsen, Senior Economic Development Manager, Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Constable Melissa Huntley, Neighbourhood Officer, Toronto Police Service, Division 51, FOCUS and Susan Davis, Executive Director, Gerstein Crisis Centre
  • Led team of 6 staff and 10+ volunteers to execute all aspects of the summit from promotion, strategic partnerships, issues management, event logistics and more, while I stage managed entire event
  • Facilitated round-table public consultation and audience report-back to provide an opportunity for participants to voice concerns and identify key resources that will help support the community

Outcome:

Through resident feedback and community needs identified at the Healthy Neighbourhood Summit, and an increased public awareness of the social determinants of health, our office was able to work with City divisions and the Mayor to create the Immediate Downtown East Enhanced 12-Month Action Plan and the 5-year Action Plan: Closing the Service Gaps in the Downtown East Revitalization Area.

Read more about the Healthy Neighbourhood Summit here.