This kit encourages the long-term civic engagement of residents. It helps residents bring community concerns to the attention of City decision-makers so that positive change happens. This kit originated from an initiative originally called Making Votes Count, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, engaging Ottawa residents living on low-income in elections (2013-2016). Currently called Making Voices Count (MVC), with additional funds from United Way Ottawa, MVC is an initiative of the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), community partners and residents to work with City of Ottawa decision-makers to create a city for all.
This Civic Engagement Kit was identified by the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres (CCHRC) as an important tool for its staff, Board members and advocacy groups to help the Coalition build the long-term civic engagement of residents and bring issues to the City of Ottawa for change. City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) remains committed to its history of training and supporting women to have a voice in city decision making.
In using this kit, we can influence and bring positive change for the health and wellbeing of all Ottawa residents. We especially want to engage residents whose voices are least likely to be heard by City decision makers, including women from diverse backgrounds, people who are racialized, Aboriginal, LGBTQ+, newcomers, older adults, youth, people living with a disability, and/or people living in poverty and rural residents.
We thank those who contributed their ideas and experience through the Working Committee: Gillian Keefe, Community Development Framework; Emilie Hayes, Somerset West Community Health Centre; Susan Kuruvilla, South Nepean Community Health Centre; Tammy Corner, Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre,; Heather Badenoch (Village PR); Andrea Balfour, community leader, City for All Women Initiative (CAWI); Lisa Quesnel, community leader, CAWI; Suzanne Doerge, CAWI,; and Tong Zhao-Ansari, CAWI.
The material in this kit has been adapted from CAWI’s Civic Participation Kit and the Community Development Framework’s Creating the Change We Want Guide. We thank the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare for materials, which were adapted for the original kit.
Together, we contribute to better city decision-making.
Edit and Layout: Fatima Barron, CAWI
Translation: Nadège Nelson