ever since

IMG_8617 IMG_8636 mantle spring fb

It has started snowing again.  I’m pretty sure this is not allowed.  Next weekend is a long one with Good Friday and Easter Monday, and we have lots of family time planned.  The good news is that I’ve been promoted to dessert.  This excites me to no end.  I’ve decided to go rich and simple with this chocolate cake.  How beautiful is that cake?  I will be the hero of Easter dinner – a contrast to my meltdown over the pickle tray last year.  No one wants to be in charge of the pickle tray.  Amirite?

Let’s get serious though, because if having to bring the pickle tray to Easter dinner is the worst thing that happened to me last year, I’m doing okay.  I recently helped pull off a poverty simulation for our community’s policy makers including members of provincial and federal parliament, city councillors, school board trustees, public health officials and the heads of our post-secondary institutions.  I was asked to tweet during the event, and all of my tweets along with any others that were hashtagged with #povertysim were captured in this storify.  It makes my heart sing to see my name mixed in with all of those leaders!  The people attending the poverty simulation got it.  They left feeling frustrated and failed by our current system, because the reality is that we keep people in poverty through systemic barriers.  Yet the majority of our community feels that people choose to live in poverty, that people in poverty are lazy, that they have made poor choices, that they are taking advantage of the system . . .  These perceptions are just not true.  No one wants to be homeless, hungry and hurting.  No one is living it up on the system – unless you know some secret to meeting all of your basic needs on $656 – that’s the rate for a single individual in Ontario.  I’ve made poor choices, and yet I still have a job and a house and the works.  Living in poverty keeps a person busy every day – they’re constantly putting out fires and trying to navigate a system that is supposed to be a safety net but is really more of a web – trapping people all the while falling deeper and deeper into poverty.  Poverty makes it impossible to succeed.  It’s akin to starting a race with your eyes covered and bricks tied to your feet.

A colleague of mine just started a Basic Income Guarantee chapter here in London, and I signed up without thinking twice.  We need to do something different because what we’re doing now is not working.  People are being left behind.  Another colleague wrote this post this week for the London Poverty Research Centre, and she says it perfectly.

If you want to learn more about basic income, and you live in London (ON), there are a couple of free community events next month that I encourage you to attend:

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