Message from Adam…
I view Oshawa as an extraordinary community creating life together. However, the political landscape keeps Oshawa culturally fragmented. The key to the City of Oshawa having a happy, healthy, and prosperous culture & community as a whole – lies precisely in expanding cooperation and restoring trust with the constituents.
In Oshawa, the arts and culture run rife with anxiety — displacement of intellectual, emotional, or aesthetic– but “this anxiety, when acted upon, can release numberless creative and emotional explosions.”
And this is the movement towards a thriving and prosperous Oshawa that involves a new economy of creative collaborators and social entrepreneurs to solve problems facing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
I see the opportunity to make a difference by opening a channel for public debate and representation for accountable decision-making. A new Oshawa created by the hearts and minds of the constituents.
Politics isn’t a career. It’s not a job. It’s a Public Service.
If Oshawa needs me- I’m ready for the responsibility and privilege, and sacrifice to serve the People.
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My platform is about “fighting the good fight for Oshawa” and “culture & community matters” because the story unfolding in Oshawa isn’t being told by the Constituents.
There is an underlining information bottle-neck in City Hall. While public policies establish the image and character of the city, this City Council doesn’t fully understand their housing economics continues to marginalize the homeless and low income residents, and their agency. The pressure for additional resources to deliver more services to extensive urban developments is an increasing tax burden on the middle-class families- as property tax now stands second highest in the GTA.
Don’t get me wrong, City Council and City Staff put in their good hours of work to keep the city operating and do their best to stimulate socio-economic growth. It’s just their philosophy of doing the minimum that is expected and operating to minimum standards – I cannot understand will somehow impact the image and character to live a high standard of life. It feels like Oshawa is “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Politics is a blame game, A Statesmen is loyal to the people
Cultural activities and creative expression is key
It’s through cultural diversity that community learns and explodes new ways to solve social-economic issues, such as: quality and accessible healthcare, tiny houses for the homeless and low income residents, maker-spaces for reusing or extending life of products, art hives and community living centres providing art therapy and life skills, and ecovillages as a means for sustainable communities.
Through the wisdom of the community, with the focus on values, awareness, and creative collaberations – will prove instrumental for a resilient and viable business model. The new economy of organic and social entrepreneurs leading the movement of a thriving and prosperous Oshawa.
The New Oshawa
This all leads to an environment of productiveness and how everyone can relate to each other and shape a meaningful life created from: Experience, interpretation, contemplation, and imagination. Culture and community puts meaning into what people create. It’s important for individuals, groups and community to recognize culture as a pillar of support in our lives together – breaking down barrier to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s through an open channel a stronger voice is heard, and policies will change for the constituent’s benefit and experience a thriving and prosperous Oshawa.
I’m ready for the responsibility and privilege, and sacrifice of Public Service
I’m the best candidate for City Councillor of Ward 1, because I align myself with the grassroots who deserve leaders representing their voice for diversity, equity, and inclusion. I recognize the need for a new partnership between the People and City of Oshawa to restore trust and delivering services for value in money. I’m someone you can talk too, and not use rhetoric, but listen to your issues and concerns and take action. My loyalty is to you. I believe in the wisdom of the community, and we should be optimistic about our future.
Cognitive Diversity: Being well informed about a wide-range of topics and issues to have a world view.
Communication: Effectively communicating information with no presumptions.
Collaboration: Coming together in sharing a common purpose and limitation to minimize effort and maximize output that is enjoyed by all.
Coordination: Keeping the flow of decision-making simple and expedient.
Collegiality: Engaging others with respect, openness and trust in pursuit of a common purpose, having regard for individuals, ideas, and Oshawa as a whole.
Convalescence: Taking time to recover from illness by rehabilitating to your greatest version.
New Economy Matters
- The new economic landscape will be shaped by addressing the needs of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- It’s through a lifelike feedback loop between customers and businesses, that customers set in motion a business cycle of increasing demand for goods and/or services, and hiring.
- Entrepreneurs are key problem solvers, because they see opportunities to deliver goods and/or services in niches where demands for specialized goods and/or services is increasing, so rules and regulations should be enabling creativity and streamlining productiveness, not strangling it with red tape.
- Worker cooperatives, not for profit cooperatives, and community based organizations will be the new economic back bone, because of it’s self ownership and connectedness to the heart of society, at the grassroots level of knowing customer demands and cultural values.
- Whether a City Councillor or City Staffer, everyone should feel inspired that they represent and are contributing to making life better in Oshawa.
- We are all roving leaders with a responsibility to keep an open channel for constituents to share their issues, concerns, and feedback, for opportunities to improve policies and procedures, and to establish high standards impacting the image and character of Oshawa.
- A positive cultural and community image and character begins inside Oshawa City Hall with a healthy and caring environment that wants to address issues facing diversity, equity, and inclusion to high standards.
Creativity and Collaboration Matters
- The People expect their elected representatives to work together to deliver services for value in money.
- implementing policies for a sense of place and the potential for creative collaboration and urban partnerships to address local challenges more quickly and efficiently.
- Whether it’s a community yard sale, potluck fundraiser, or Neighborhood Watch, its about building stronger communites where individuals, great groups, local government, and Durham Regional Police Services can partner, share, and collaborate together to solve issues impacting neighborhoods and communities.
Culture and Community Matters
- Oshawa is exploring itself. A beautiful life has always been there, just has to be unfolded, has to be discovered.
- The treasure is there to experience, but public policies, resources and investment is needed to enable people to have agency and productive lives.
- It’s through arts-cultural activities and community lifestyles that is the key to unlockinging the door to a happy, healthy, and fun Oshawa.
Value in Money Matters
City Council currently has minimal involvement in the development of the annual City budget. The Treasurer will prepare the budget, assuming that year after year, the same expenditures get planned, without much debate. They announce the tax increase percentage, and then open the floor to have Council tap-dance to reduce the increase a few percentage points. There is minimal opportunity for public discussion, debate or scrutiny. This is an oldstyle way of doing business.
Many municipal governments have eliminated this old way of doing business a long time ago. But this is Council’s financial convictions and norms, doing the minimal expected, so Council has grown comfortable doing the minimal, yet the group-think has lose touch with the original reasons for the department’s expenditures and the bottom-line. Mistakes made in one year may be compounded from year to year with a big cost to taxpayers, with little or no opportunity for changing the system given the way things work now.
Open Government Matters
- Representation is accountable decision-making, so an open channel establishes trust and understanding how and why decisions are made.
- Civic engagement is the bedrock of a participatory democracy, so Committee and City Council Meetings need to be a conducive environment where constituents voices are heard and considered in the decision-making process.
- Committed to delivering goods and service, and creating spaces that makes Oshawa an inclusive, universally accessible society, where all people belong and are valued.
A revised City Council Charter with key principles of good governance
- Leading like statesmen who work for the good of society, and should first of all think about these fundamental interest and prioritize them.
- City Council should think of the possible consequences of irresponsible policy making decisions by putting the Corporation needs over community well-being.
- City Council needs to be enamored with an imagination and community base to forge allies, working relationships with other Municipalities, Provincial and Federal Governments, and the Global Community for investment opportunities and expand productive livelihoods of the constituents.
- Some of the critical problems facing Oshawa are: poverty, affordable housing, victimhood, quality healthcare, dogged deals and defeit spending, and accessibility, but these issues have not seen a true focus and commitment by any past or present City Councillor. Doing the minimum expected philosophy needs to change into doing the maximum expected. These problems cannot be fixed with a wave of the wand, but creative collaboration. With City Council working together with the constituents to form programs and initiatives – mini-miracles can be created to solving barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion,
Hosting Regional and International Conferences and Submits on: trade, technology, science, medicine, urbanization, arts and culture, and quality of life
A variety of emerging industries, culture and community submits, in which all key Stakeholders, entrepreneurs and investors can talk directly and on the whole of a vibrant and vital Oshawa. These types of events can give Oshawa recognition as an enterprising city where successful and productive agreements can be reached. I like to think of a foundation for positive change being laid.
Integrated Sustainable Community Plan
Integrated Sustainable Community Plan is a guideline intended to provide a process that enables neighborhoods and neighborhood Stakeholders to connect and coalesce around a shared future vision for their neighborhood, and also allows them to collaborate on the realization of that vision, one step at a time.
The City of Oshawa has enjoyed intensive urban community growths. The demographics and social-economics is changing the cultural landscape. Majority of the new home owners are coming from the GTA and work outside of Oshawa. Traditionally, individuals and families moved to find work, but in Oshawa- its affordable new houses. With that said, there will be a culture barrier because of little attachment to the industrial base that is rich in Oshawa’s culture and heritage.
An urbanization plan is needed for creating sustainable new communities. An urban partnership framework for understanding ethnographic nature of areas when developing infrastructure for anyone seeking to move into a new neighborhood in Oshawa with intention of raising a family, a place to live-work-play, and chose to be apart of the community.
A sustainable neighborhood creates for people to meet their needs and enjoy fulfilling, decent and respectful lives while enhancing the ecological, social and economic conditions of the neighborhood, community, City of Oshawa and Durham Region.
- Criteria for new urban communities should have easy access to a neighborhood park that have amenties (like: a skatepark, basketball court, green infrastructure), a clubhouse that holds cultural activities, and have protection from being an urban heat island.
Affordable Housing Plan
A home is needed to build equity and have a productive livelihood. A housing plan that can streamline affordable housing and renovations. It’s economically feasible, it just needs an open debate and discussions for best way way to take action. Here are my proposals:
- A Training and Education Session for City Councillors related to employment equity, ethno-cultural equity, and access to professions and trades initiatives. This knowledge would contribute to implementing more comprehensive partnerships, programs and grants to not-for-profit or community groups to enrich the lives of those in need of help to lead productive livelihoods.
- Establishing an Oshawa Housing Advisory Committee to advise and assist City Council on the availability of affordable housing, different types of sustainable housing, reviewing rental unit standards, and the ethnography of areas for future housing developments.
- Development Services to create a report of all available surplus lands and properties, and market selected free land or property to a not for profit housing or co-op housing corporation to meet the demands of affordable and accessible housing for the homeless, low income and senior residents
- Creating an Oshawa/Durham Region joint coinference, forum or seminars with public, private, and not-for-profit housing experts for affordable housing for low income residents, seniors, and rental housing policy.
Saving Hoodwink Businesses from bad deals initiative
An example would be the Durham Outlook raised monies for 15 years to purchase land for the relocation of St.Vincent’s Kitchen (a soup kitchen serving hundreds of Durham Regions marginalized citizens). After deal was made to acquire the land where Midas was formally located on South Simcoe, it was larer discovered that the land was contaminated, and St. Vincent’s Kitchen can’t built there. It is costly to take this land acquisition dispute to court. So it looks like for now, without a sound remedy, Durham Outlook and the citizens they provide dinners too, are further marginalized.
- City of Oshawa Joint partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Durham Home Builders Association, Durham College and UOIT, Durham Outreach, and Tim Horon’s Ltd. to renovate the Tim Horton’s store on Athol St. as the new St.Vincent’s Kitchen.
- City of Oshawa can review it’s inventory or surplus lands and property, and gift the Durham Outreach with a selected land or property to establish the new St.Vincent’s Kitchen.
The best way to not dogged by bad deals and cost surges is applying the principles of zero-based budgeting. In a zero-based budget, each department must defend their expenditures on an item-by-item basis for each budget period. Just because it has been done in the past, doesn’t automatically justify continuing in the future. Zero-based budgets will put Council in better control to make changes required if municipal departments are not performing according to plan, or if new citizen priorities emerge. This strategy eliminates waste and requires a conversation around spending that is critical to good fiscal management.
Council should direct staff to empower our front line workers to apply their skills and knowledge to solve problems quickly and make sure they have the tools and training to meet today’s needs. We should adopt the newest operating procedures, streamline our business processes and learn from other successful cities ways to get more for our money.
It’s not about cutting back our services. It’s about doing things better! It’s about doing things smarter! Its important to remember that our municipal government is not a business. Business is motivated by self interest and profit. Our city government should be dedicated to delivering important services that matter most to citizens, and protecting public interest. Prudent business practices should be applied with this in mind, making sure we get the best value for each tax dollar. Our goal should be to build the tax base, not the tax burden.
Joint Partnerships for Energy and Environment Initiative
An economic partnership initiative to be aware of the key players in the world for renewable energy and green infrastructure to deliver affordable energy, creating vibrant green spaces, storm water management, and kick start a new industry.
- It’s essential to have sensible sustainability programs to meet Oshawa’s growing energy needs and unique green initiatives. It’s an opportunity to partner with key players in renewable energy sector to development infrastructure that delivers affordable energy and strives environmentally. Oshawa can be Durham Region’s leader in renewable energy industry, while creating a market and demand for jobs.
- Green infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing wet weather impacts that provides many community benefits. While single-purpose gray stormwater infrastructure—conventional piped drainage and water treatment systems—is designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure reduces and treats stormwater at its source while delivering environmental, social, and economic benefits.
- An Education and Training Session for City Council to be aware of the best strategy to promote sustainable stormwater management on a larger scale. It’s an opportunity to know the most complex challenges, like resources are limited, responsibilities are fragmented, and the tolerance for risk is generally low. These strategies should help municipalities overcome those challenges.
- Communities can experience the benefits of green infrastructure by having the City of Oshawa adopt urban development high standards or incentives promoting green infrastructure while using City owned facilities and parks for demonstration projects.
Building Garden City Plan
The concept of the Garden City will perhaps be the most radical and relevant legacy of the new Oshawa. The planning aspires to provide a blend of environmental sustainability, social inclusion and steely economics; a new kind of mutualised community with the highest standards of design accessible to all and profits of rising land values shared for the benefit of everyone. For excample, an ecovillage is a traditional or intentional community with the goal of becoming more socially, culturally, economically, and ecologically sustainable.With the Oshawa and Durham Region now facing an acute housing crisis, these principles are more relevant than ever.
Expanding the Commemorative Tree and Bench Program
Allowing donors the chance to dedicate a tree or bench in their neighborhood park, side street, bus stop, and open urban space.
At the moment, the Commemorative Tree and Bench Program is under utilized because it is only being implemented at Lakeview Park, Oshawa Botantical Gardens/ Kinsmen Park. Furthermore, there are no trees or benches available at these sites, with the exception of trees at Lakeview Park.
By expanding comemmorative tree and bench program, allows for more community participation to contribute beautification and character in their neighborhood park, side street, bus stop, and open urban space.