Well winter has finally arrived here in Toronto. So before moving on to the latest updates about our work to bring ranked ballots to our city, we wanted to first take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season. We really hope that it’s one that is full of joy and happiness for you and your friends and family.
RaBIT at YIMBY
On Saturday, December 9th, RaBIT volunteers were out in full force at Toronto's annual YIMBY (Yes in my Backyard!) festival, a wonderful event that promotes grassroots civic engagement in the city. As in previous years, our volunteers had a lot of great conversations about ranked ballots with other attendees and came away feeling inspired about Toronto's future possibilities. We also got a whole bunch of new signatures on our petition!
Report from RaBIT’s First Meetup
You may recall that in our last update, we announced RaBIT’s first monthly meetup. The meetup was held on Monday, December 4th and, as we’re happy to report, was a great success. We had about a dozen new supporters and volunteers come out and, after some introductions, we launched into a great discussion on how to move RaBIT forward in an election year.
A few weeks ago, we told you that we were working on some new initiatives as we ramped up our efforts ahead of the 2018 municipal elections here in Toronto.
We’ve already told you about our participation in the DemocracyXchange campaigning conference and our partnership with WillowWood school to use ranked ballots for their student elections. And you’ve surely signed our petition right?
Now we want to provide you with a new opportunity to get directly involved in our work.
Here at RaBIT, we’re always looking for new ways to make experiencing better democracy more accessible to more Torontonians. That’s why we were so excited when we discovered ElectionBuddy, a web app that brings ranked ballots to your smartphone or desktop. By combining a simple user interface with the ability to vote from anywhere, ElectionBuddy makes it easy to use ranked balloting for anything from choosing the next book for your book club to picking tomorrow night’s movie with a group of friends.
RaBIT recently put ElectionBuddy to the test by partnering with RaBIT supporter Jeff Clayton. Jeff is a teacher at WillowWood School, a private K-12 school in North York. Jeff wanted to teach his students about different types of voting systems by using ranked ballots for the school’s student elections. Check out Jeff’s super-cute and informative video on our YouTube page. As you’ll see, the election was a great success!
Just over a year ago, the provincial government made good on its promise to enable Ontario municipalities to use ranked ballots in their local elections. Since then, London City Council voted decisively to switch to ranked ballots for their 2018 election and Kingston City Council voted to hold a referendum in 2018 on whether that city should make the change.
Unfortunately, here in Toronto, our city council has shown much less leadership. Not only did our council vote against ranked ballots, they even voted against a proposal to ask citizens what they thought about using them.
This is a big deal. Here at RaBIT HQ, we're so excited that we've decided to celebrate by hosting a Victory Party for London on Thursday, June 15th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Check out event details here.
You are invited to a special Town Hall meeting on Monday, March 6 at 7:00pm, to discuss RaBIT’s plan for moving forward. The event is being held at Metro Hall.
At the Town Hall meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to hear a brief update on ranked ballots in Toronto, and our plans for our next steps. More importantly, we’d like to hear your ideas on how best to mobilize our fellow Torontonians and get city council back on board with ranked ballots.
We hope you'll join us on March 6 to catch up & share your ideas for the future of ranked ballots in Toronto!
View event details - everyone is welcome!
Photo Credit: By The original uploader was SimonP at English Wikipedia - Taken by SimonP in April 2005 - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1911689
RaBIT Is Recruiting Two New Volunteer Members of Its Board of Directors - Apply Now!
RaBIT is upping its game as we continue and expand our fight to bring ranked ballots -- and the more fair, diverse, inclusive, and friendly politics they can help create -- to Toronto’s municipal elections.
As we take this next step and work to further expand the network of ranked ballots supporters across the whole of Toronto, we need to increase the size of our team.
On Wednesday, 14 December 2016, Toronto City Council voted - by the slim margin of 22 to 17 - against a motion to have city staff investigate the possibility of creating an independent citizens’ reference panel to examine whether Toronto should switch to ranked ballots for future elections.