community conversation

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I would like to live in a city where no one is left behind – a city in which everyone prospers.  Poverty is unkind, and it hurts all of us.  And ultimately poverty affects our city’s ability to grow.

It’s important to ask ourselves how we contribute to poverty.

I think about the times I added to the false narrative of poverty as a result of my ignorance or a “harmless” joke, the times I voted for what was best for my family and not necessarily for the health and wealth of everyone, the times I shopped at the dollar store because I didn’t want to pay the true cost of my stuff, or the times I had more than I needed, but didn’t share because I wanted to hold on to my advantage.  Then there were the times that I dug out old cans of beans and donated them to the food bank, patted myself on the back, and called it a day.  I have definitely played a part in this.

The recommendations that will come from the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty will only bring about positive change if we as Londoners share the workload.

We are in this together. Londoners are caring, but we are increasingly uninformed.  We feel sorry about poverty – the experience doesn’t always resonate.  But sympathy is dangerous.  It marginalizes.  We need empathy, not sympathy.  Empathy is what prompts action and change.

And it’s going to take action and ideas from all of us to build a community where everyone thrives.

Now is our opportunity to inform how we shape that city.  We must continue to show up, be heard, and stay involved.  We are a part of the solution.

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