Other - Autres
Earlier this week long-time Ottawa ACORN member Lorna Smith (pictured right) passed away, below is a note written by another long-time member and friend Nadia Willard.
April 14th, 2011 - Lorna Smith was one of those people who touched everyone she came in contact with.
Her commitment to social justice was shown by the way she lived her life – she held a deep belief in right and wrong and always worked to persuade others of her point of view. She volunteered every week at a local food bank and could always be counted on to help her neighbours make it to community meetings, even going so far as to learn Mandarin so she could better communicate with her neighbours.
As an active member of ACORN, she attended meetings and helped when help was needed. She attended Leadership Trainings and participated in many ACORN actions in the City of Ottawa. Lorna was also a member of the Poverty Issues Advisory Committee for Ottawa City Council. She was thrilled to be asked to sit on this committee and share her perspectives and work for the things she believed in.
Lorna made time to be with the people she loved. If she wasn’t taking time to encourage her neighbours to pull weeds and plant flowers, she was taking time to visit her children and grandchildren and, oh, how she did love them. She worried about her children, as mothers do, and she talked with pride of her grandchildren.
Earlier this week Lorna passed away; she will be sadly missed by all who knew her. If there were more people like Lorna, the world would be a better place.
Wayne joined Ottawa ACORN in January 2011 at a local chapter meeting in Britanna. Since then he has been deeply involved in all aspects of being a community leader and member.
Wayne is a neighbourhood block captain - meaning he takes responsibility for letting his neighbours know about upcoming meetings and actions. Wayne has facilitated outreach tables at university events and community hubs, helping raise awareness about the work of Ottawa ACORN and why people should get involved.
When asked about what campaigns Wayne is most passionate about, he was unequivocal: "The living wage campaign, because working folks need a raise. People can’t live on the minimum wage, I’ve been there and I know."
Wayne is also deeply invested in our campaign for improving ODSP/OW rates, benefits and keeping the special diet since this also effects his loved ones.
EMC News - For the third year in a row, Ottawa's branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (ACORN Canada) was given a helping hand from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
OPSEU gave a donation of $5,000 for ACORN, a collection of community-based organizations that fights for the rights of the impoverished in cities across Canada.
Most recently, ACORN [Canada] provided free tax-return services and has been fighting for living wages and special diet allowances in government-based assistance programs.
" OPSEU's members provide a lot of services that ACORNs members rely on," said David Lundy, regional vice president for OPSEU. "We look at ACORN and see a group of like-minded community people who believe, as we do, people should come before profits and communities should come before corporations.
"We definitely put our support 100 per cent behind ACORN's drive to have a living wage in the City of Ottawa."
ACORN, on their behalf, was very appreciative of the donation.
"The donation was presented to us by OPSEU, which was deeply appreciated," said Wayne Mahoney, a volunteer with Ottawa ACORN.
Payday loan regulations. Living wage policies. Apartment repairs. These are the kind of bread and butter issues ACORN Canada has been winning real benefits for low and moderate income families for over 6 years now.
On issue after issue, ACORN Canada has shown we’re different - that we are uniquely able to deliver tangible social change on the issues that impact our members.
It’s time to take things to the next level. We’re looking into 2011 and planning how to win a living wage policy in Ottawa, improved apartment inspections in Toronto, a raise in the minimum wage across BC and a National Affordable Housing Strategy.
2011 is going to be a big year - and we’re going to need folks like you to help make it happen. Can you chip in $5 or more a month? Just click here: https://www.acorncanada.org/monthly-sustainer
- Payday Loans: This was our first campaign, and has led the Governments of British Columbia and Ontario to bring in new regulations including capping the fees and interest that can be charged.
- Living Wages: This spring we helped pass Canada’s first municipal living wage policy in New Westminster, and Ottawa ACORN continues to spearhead a similar campaign in Ottawa.
- Apartment Repairs: It is estimated that Toronto’s new apartment inspection regime has forced large institutional landlords to spend upwards of $100 million to bring their buildings up to municipal code.
These aren’t always the issues that are on the front pages of the newspapers, but they’re the issues that matter to our members - average low and moderate income Canadians.
If you can chip in $5 or more a month Iwe’ll send you a copy of the new book Global Grassroots: Perspectives of Global Community Organizing. Chip in here: https://www.acorncanada.org/monthly-sustainer
Natalie Hundt is a student, activist and mother of two daughters, ages 6 and 9. She was born in Kitchener but raised internationally, giving her the opportunity to study health and sociology in Europe. Upon returning to Canada in 2006, Natalie discovered that her credentials are not recognized in Canada, posing major obstacles to employment and forcing her to move to a low-income high-rise apartment building in Scarborough.
In 2006, Natalie received a knock on her door from a Toronto ACORN organizer who asked her if she had any issues in the building or the neighborhood. Ms. Hundt was so frustrated with the unresponsive property management company that she joined the organization immediately with the hope that something could be done.
Natalie quickly became a leader in her local Toronto ACORN chapter that was working to fix her apartment building, and has seen how powerful organized tenants can be in affecting change. She has since attended community meetings, rallies, deputized at city hall, spoken at town halls, and Toronto ACORN leadership schools, and built her knowledge of legislative government at all three levels. This knowledge, combined with her enthusiasm for tenant organizing has equipped Natalie with the ability and confidence she needed to take a real leadership role in her community.
Marsha King was a founding member of Ottawa ACORN and, until she passed away in October 2010, a dedicated leader and community activist.
She joined as one of the first dues paying members in the Vanier chapter of Ottawa ACORN, when an organizer knocked on her door wanting to know what kind of community issues she had. It wasn’t long before Marsha was standing up in front of her neighbours at community meeting and leading discussing and planning sessions on how to win improvements for tenants and work to raise Ontario Works and Ontario Disability rates.
Marsha was also an active member of her union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). It was through her introduction into the union that Marsha first developed her commitment to social and economic justice. The first time an ACORN Canada organizer knocked on her door, the fit was obvious and she never looked back.
Since Pascal joined ACORN Canada, he’s been a steadfast leader - taking leadership roles in campaigns that span everything from improving the apartment complex where he lives, to the campaigns for a National affordable Housing Strategy, Bill C-304 and to raise the minimum wage in BC.