The mayoral race in Toronto is being closely monitored by Torontonians and politicians, alike. Since John Tory resigned, 102 candidates are registered to run in the next by-election taking place June 26. Chloe Brown is one such candidate who is changing the face of politics by making her mark amongst millennial voters as a voice worth supporting. Brown is prioritizing the neglected and unheard voices of Toronto. A millennial herself, Brown demonstrates a breadth of knowledge and expertise utilizing her background as a policy analyst. She is shaking up how Torontonians understand and engage with the policies that govern this city.
Chloe Brown’s presence is approachable, she is personable and she offers honest conversations around power distribution, lack of transparency and policies in place which hinder full citizenship for residents of Toronto. Brown is a Rexdale native who has firsthand accounts of challenges faced by Torontonians – from the decline of Toronto’s public transit system to policies which hinder affordable housing for most residents. Her platform seeks to change the limitations these policies perpetuate; Brown posits, “there’s a level of trauma associated with living in Toronto. The cost of living is astronomical, the transit system is declining, housing affordability has hit record lows and millennials like myself are declining to have children because it just does not seem feasible”. Affordability in Toronto is one of the most discussed themes of this political race. The pool of candidates each offer solutions to this crisis; some suggest raising taxes, others endorse the usage of community resources to offset scarcity on a micro scale. Brown takes it one step further; make the policies work for Torontonians, first. The 3C Policy is how Brown demonstrates how the Toronto mayor can foster cohesion between community, connectivity and commerce.
The 3C Policy offers a pragmatic approach to developing communities by utilizing community resources and connecting residents. Community members will act as stewards who will learn the importance of civic engagement. These residents act as an advisory committee to determine how best to develop their own neighbourhoods. Brown calls it the Local Stewards Advisory Committee Program (LSACP). Connectivity sees the development of land by way of a community-driven approach and the amalgamation of many arts, leisure and entertainment departments. The consolidated department will be known as the LACE department. This plan reimagines Toronto as a year round experience, transforming the city’s waterfront and investing in spaces for art, entertainment and leisure activities to flourish and be affordable. This plan will also transform how library cards are seen and used. Brown suggests making library cards an access pass to leisurely activities and attractions. This new card would provide access to cultural events, professional development and social work and health care referrals.
Brown seeks to reframe how Torontonians perceive community safety and well-being. Looking beyond crime and policing, her policies aim to develop preventative measures to mitigate the effects of trauma and offer resources and early intervention strategies for those in need. Brown’s reasoning comes from Toronto’s excessive reliance on police intervention which has resulted in increased instances of police brutality, racial profiling and the criminalization of marginalized communities. Brown’s solution is to create a Public Health and Safety Commission which will work to support Toronto’s disabled community, their caregivers and practice restorative justice. Accountability is key in Brown’s platform, “elected officials must understand the limitations of policing and work to develop strategies which foster the betterment of Torontonians. Beyond this, we need to create a cohesive system of governance for safety. We need to modernize and consolidate the coordination of public safety services as many frontline workers are experiencing burnout while our crisis intervention efforts are ineffective”.
Brown further demonstrates her dedication to fostering real change. With housing insecurity and affordability key themes in this political race, Brown has developed the Housing First Strategy to End Homelessness. This strategy pulls from successful international initiatives which saw homelessness and harm reduction significantly plummet in parts of the United States, namely New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Finland, Portugal, Switzerland and Amsterdam. Brown’s Housing First policy seeks to provide residents with adequate shelter regardless of mental health, ability or income.
When asked how she felt about the data related to polls, Brown declares two things, “polls are not equitable due to its process” and there is tremendous bias in “[choosing] candidates based on name recognition and not their platforms”. The archaic nature of landlines is something many millennial voters cannot relate to. This demographic is reluctant to answer their phones in an effort to avoid spam calls. Instead Brown, “is not worried about polls as the demographics [she] is campaigning for has been neglected by our electoral system for decades. [She] is prioritizing the neglected and unheard”. Though millennials make up much of Brown’s voter pool, she offers seniors her Campus of Care plan. This strategy encourages respect of older citizens by providing businesses and employers with age friendly resources with the goal of creating an age friendly neighbourhood. Brown was inspired by the Dementia villages in British Columbia, which supports the social inclusion of the elderly who have memory-related conditions.
Brown offers, “[she] is not a politician… [she] is just tired of watching the direction Toronto is moving in and [she] knew [she] had to make a change”. Stay up-to-date on Brown’s next stop on the campaign trail using her Instagram @ChloeBrown4to. Find out more about Brown’s platform by visiting her website.