Mid-term review

Ben Isitt

Friends,

I hope you will take a few minutes to read this message and provide feedback – as we are now midway through the term of Victoria city council and the regional board.

I'm honoured to serve on your behalf and I value your input and ideas.

Some highlights of the past two years include:

  • Mobilizing $60-million for the Regional Housing First Program and initiating the Victoria Housing Strategy, to substantially reduce homelessness and expand affordable housing;
  • Initiating the Biketoria plan – a 24-km network of protected bike lanes for people of all ages and abilities;
  • Increasing funding for community centres and seniors centres by 50%, with annual indexing to inflation;
  • Creating a new public library branch in James Bay;
  • Moving forward with Neighbourhood Planning to improve traffic safety, enhance public spaces and ensure neighbourhood-appropriate development;
  • Initiating the Parks Master Plan and Arts & Culture Master Plan to shape improvements to these vital services;
  • Creating public advisory committees for Accessibility, Active Transportation and Food Systems, to open up local government and make it responsive to community input;
  • Providing cost-effective public services, with the lowest tax increases in the past 15 years;
  • Advocating to senior levels of government on issues including: the Kinder Morgan pipeline, climate change, protection of old-growth rainforests, First Nations rights, a National Pharmacare program, door-to-door postal delivery, adult basic education, a British Columbians with Disabilities Act, a livable income and supports for people in need, renters' rights.

In the last election, I promised to stand up for people and the planet and work hard on parks and trails, affordable housing, neighbourhood-appropriate development, support for community centres, seniors, libraries and the arts, and cost-effective public services with open government. I believe I have carried through on these commitments, though work remains to be done in partnership with you and grassroots organizations.

Today, I'm asking for three things:

  1. Provide feedback on how I'm doing and your ideas for our city and region, by emailing me at bisitt@victoria.ca;
  2. Complete the City of Victoria's Budget 2017 Survey and consider attending the Budget Town Hall Meeting this Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm at Victoria City Hall to share your ideas on the city budget;
  3. Share this message with others, to help grow our movement for people and the planet.

Recent developments in the US and around the world provide cause for concern – threatening to undermine hard-won advances for human rights, climate action and non-violent resolution to conflicts.

Here in Victoria, we will continue to stand for solidarity rather than hate, and continue to build a community and world that supports people who need help; provides access to affordable housing, transportation, food and public services; and protects the ecological systems that sustain human and non-human life.

In solidarity,

Ben


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