Kirk Russell for Toronto Councillor - Ward 18 Davenport

New Beginning, New Direction

The Kirk Russell Movement is about change; not just in the way politics is managed, but also in the way campaigns are run. I believe in grassroots politics; motivating others so that we may be empowered in return. Rather than pre-fabricated and pre-packaged policies and ideas, I have built my platform with my team by engaging with and listening to the residents and stakeholders of Ward 18. Myself a resident of the ward for many years, I am passionate about cultivating the community ties that have made Davenport such a remarkable neighbourhood. The mismanagement and strangling of our community in recent years has propelled me to run for Councillor in the hope of giving back to Davenport.

Join our movement for change, and lend your voices to ours so that our campaign slogan can be heard to the far reaches of Toronto, and to the board rooms of our city council, R-E-I !!

Ward 18 - The Plan

Traffic, Transit and BeyondNarrow interests have for far too long occupied the halls and board rooms of the Toronto City Council. The Kirk Russell Team, has and will continue to knock on doors and engage with the residents of our community in an effort to develop policies that benefit our neighbourhoods. My team and I will be on the streets of Davenport with little notebooks and cameras, listening to peoples’ concerns and getting a new and fresh perspective on our community; making sure to leave no stone unturned.

For the past months Team Russell has been involved in intensive consultation with city planners, transit experts, and traffic engineers (the identities of these consultants will remain anonymous for privacy reasons). The transit and road maps of Davenport have been studied and analyzed to great detail. One priority for transit in ward 18 will be an immediate implementation of the extension of the Lansdowne tunnel according to the (Davenport) secondary plan, which had been filed but shelved. I am calling for adding a new access from the west end of Lansdowne station to connect to the Barrie Go Tracks. This plan, in conjunction with the proposed DRL, will alleviate an immense amount of pressure off of Union Station. By making small alterations the proposed budget of 3.9 billion (in 2008 dollars) could be then reduced to 3 billion. This is only one of the many plans that has been circulated and drafted by Team Russell. We will continue to consult with transportation experts in the coming months, especially with regard to finding a solution for Dundas West Street.

Dundas West BIA (DWBIA)

City Council must compensate DWBIA for loss of business: As councillor for Ward 18, I plan to lobby endlessly for the rights of business owners in the Dundas West Street and with in ward 18 itself. These will be the main pillars of our campaign to fight for the rights of the Dundas West and all BIA in ward 18. A main pillar of this campaign will be to demand compensation for the loss of profits of our businesses due to the 42% reduction in parking spaces, and the current water construction that has obstructed access to businesses along Dundas West Street. Team Russell has studied the annual budgets of the Dundas West BIA, and plans to incorporate this into the demands for compensation. In addition to this, I plan to implement innovative ideas for streetscaping and the beautification of the Dundas West BIA Rescind 2009 motion for extension of “no parking hours”: As Davenport Councillor I will do my best to reverse the 2009 City council decision to extend the “no parking hours” in the DWBIA. Reinstate “off-side rush hour parking”:

When we’re out on the streets don’t hesitate to approach us with any questions or comments you may have.The issues and policies below will continue to evolve and mature as we amass more and more feedback from our community.

Traffic, Transit, and Beyond

In my upcoming term, one of my goals will be to have all groups working together to create a better Davenport. For too long the concern of business owners with respect to the availability of parking, the request of vehicle-drivers for more road space, the demand of transit users for the expansion of the public transportation system, and the right of cyclists to have their own bike lanes have been portrayed as being irreconcilable with one another. Team Russell will strive for a solution that safeguards the interests of businesses, vehicle drivers, transit users, and cyclists. This will surely be a process of give and take, which will require great time and resources. Team Russell has indeed become infected with the catchphrase, ‘complete streets’. However, we are also aware of the mistakes of the past with regards to urban planning.

There has been an absence of citywide public planning with respect to the transit and road systems in the city of Toronto. Rather every ward has implemented its own changes and reforms, leading to a confused and inconsistent patchwork of streets and transit systems. As councilor of Ward 18, I plan to lobby for the adoption of legislation that tackles this urban planning dilemma.

This was rescinded by Adam Giambrone in 2008 only one year after its creation. I will lobby the city council to reinstate this policy. Garbage service: Former BIA board member, Cherie Lunau-Jokish had lobbied the city and coucillor’s office for improvement in garbage service for the BIA area. Team Russell is searching for ways to improve this service in the BIA. Sidewalk sale permits: increasing this permit to cover more days during the spring and summer. This might boost the sale of local businesses especially in light of decrease in public transport. This might increase pedestrian traffic to area. Beautification of DWBIA: Whether it has been Jose Ortega’s murals or Teresa’s Place on 1525 Dundas West, Team Russell is aware of the importance of streetscaping and beautification to the DWBIA. Team Russell will be reviewing ways to beautify the DWBIA by engaging with local artists from the ward and community activists. It is important that the changes made to the DWBIA are the personal touches of the community, and reflect the artistic impulses of the residents of Davenport.