FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Youth-led town hall yields recommendations for tackling violence
Toronto, Canada - July 19, 2016 - On July 18th, the Community Panel of the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy and the Toronto Youth Cabinet co-hosted a Town Hall to discuss what the City of Toronto can do to address the recent increase in gun violence. Community members made recommendations for re-entry programs for youth leaving the criminal justice system, additional funding for youth-led initiatives and initiatives that proactively address the root causes of violence and crime, as well as the urgent need for enhanced mental health and crisis response services. The community also highlighted the need for better access to open data on youth services provided by the City and improving accessibility of housing supports.
The Town Hall brought together over 130 young people and youth allies. While ivitations were sent out to all City Councillors, none were in attendance, reinforcing the opinion of many present that “they don’t take young people seriously”. A representative from Mayor John Tory’s office was present for as long as his schedule permitted. They will be following up on the actions put forward by the community.
“Last week, Councillors cut budgets across City divisions. Tonight, we heard the stories of how lack of funding is affecting marginalized communities. We can’t keep cutting. We need to invest in our youth.” said Tom Gleason, Executive Director of the Toronto Youth Cabinet.
The Community Panel and Toronto Youth Cabinet will be summarizing the discussion points from the Town Hall and reporting back to City staff and Councillors later this summer with recommendations.
The Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES) is a City of Toronto strategy aimed at building resiliency and supportive systems for youth most vulnerable to involvement in serious violence and crime. For more information, please visithttp://toronto.ca/youth or follow us at @TorontoTYES.
Established in 1998 by Toronto City Council, the Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC) is the official youth advisory body to the City of Toronto. The TYC advocates on youth issues with various youth organizations across the city, and promotes youth involvement in civic engagement and policy development. For more information, please visit http://thetyc.ca or follow us at @TOYouthCabinet.
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Primary Media Contact:
Co-Chair, Toronto Youth Equity Strategy
Secondary Media Contact:
Executive Director, Toronto Youth Cabinet