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Shared Prosperity: The Municipal Role in Reducing Poverty

Pathway to Potential (P2P) is Windsor-Essex County’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.  P2P’s Collaborative Leadership Team, of which SECC is a member,  recently underwent a strategic planning exercise and set 4 priorities for 2014-2017:  literacy and lifelong learning, income security and equality, employment and training, and food security.

P2P recently conducted the “What Matters” survey and here are a few things survey respondents had to say:

  • 79% agreed that “everyone has the right to live in a community with dignified access to sufficient, affordable, health, safe and culturally appropriate food.”
  • 63% said it matters “a lot” that “public transportation reaches all municipalities in Windsor-Essex”.
  • 85% support efforts to” encourage employers to pay a living wage” and 75% said they would be “more likely to buy things from a business that pays a living wage”.
  • 83% said it matters “a lot” that “the number of people living in poverty is reduced”.

1 in 10 people are living in poverty in Windsor-Essex.  Why does this matter?

  • Research shows that health and well being are linked to financial resources.  Having an income allows us to meet our basic needs.
  • Increasing literacy rates for all ages contributes to the well being of individuals, communities and families.  It affects physical health and nutrition.  It affects productivity in the workplace.
  • Having access to affordable transportation increases employment and business activity, increases mobility, decreases transportation costs for users, and creates growth for the local economy.

Poverty affects us all.  We want our region to be a prosperous one that invites new business investment, creates good employment opportunities, and is a safe and inviting place to live for all.  If creating a shared prosperity for all residents of Windsor-Essex is important to you, then you need to share those views with candidates running for municipal office this fall.  Our municipalities can and should create plans to address poverty in Windsor-Essex.  Attend the All Candidates Night hosted by Pathways to Potential at the Essex Recreation Complex on August 27th from 5:30-7:30.  Visit www.pathwaytopotential.ca for their reports on the What Matters survey, their strategic plan and the Windsor-Essex Transportation Report.  Municipal politics have a role to play in reducing poverty and creating a shared prosperity.  Make sure you tell this year’s candidates why it’s important to you.

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