by Aliya Bhatia, Director of Community Engagement
Everyone is political. Think about the last time you were on a streetcar — the text you sent your friend, the frustrated sigh you exhaled, or the feel-good song you decided to listen to — those are signs that everyday we think about the city or community we live in and have ideas of how it could be better. Every second Thursday of the month, the Toronto Youth Cabinet meets at City Hall to tackle these issues whether they be funding programmes that could help youth get jobs or whether Presto is better than tokens and tickets.
The idea that youth are disengaged in our city is a misconception, given that the Toronto Youth Cabinet attracts new members to every meeting, and the Toronto Public Library has Youth Advisory Groups in almost all branches that inform the programs and services offered across the city.
The Toronto Public Library and Toronto Youth Cabinet are working together because we are both committed to giving youth a voice to make Toronto an equitable, accessible, and youth-friendly city. One of the steps towards that is giving us the vocabulary, getting us up to speed with the rules of the game that is #TOpoli. With this list, we’ve collected some of the best, most compelling and exciting books to come out of work on civic engagement, municipal matters and politics. We want to give young minds bursting with ideas the tools to shape the city into one they want to live, work and play in for years to come.
And that's not all! If you’re interested in writing a review, interviewing an author, or simply sharing your views with the rest of us, we are also giving youth across the city to opportunity to have their voice heard on the Toronto Public Library Teen Reads blog. So, if you’re interested in municipal politics, just want to learn more, or want to share your voice then we’re happy to have you. Let me know by getting in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what we’re reading this summer:
The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics by Edward Keenan
Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto by Shawn Micallef
Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder by Ken Greenberg
Free? Stories about human rights by Amnesty International
Leading the way: Young women's activism for social change by Mary S Hartman and Mary K Trigg
Local Motion by Dave Meslin, Christina Pallassio, and Alana Wilcox
Making Democracy Fun by Josh A. Lerner
Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths by Sheila Sampath
Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity edited by John Lorinc and Jay Pitter
The Ward edited by John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg, Tatum Taylor