SEVEN CONCRETE WAYS TO SAVE THE COMMUNITY START-UP AND MAINTENANCE BENEFIT

Poverty Makes Us Sick has been busy working to stop the cancellation of the Community  Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB).  Our work is broad, with diverse elements.  Our well-received series of actions disrupting Minister of Community and Social Services John Milloy’s office is only one of the important strategies we are using to stop the cuts.

We’d like to take a moment to update the community on some of the other work that we’re doing.

We want everyone to understand that we can all act to stop these cuts.  There are many important ways to achieve success.  Which ways work for you?

Here’s just a few ways to fight to save the CSUMB:

1-    Email the Ministers right now!

2-    Sign-up clinics for the CSUMB.  Invite us to host one in your community!

3-    Organize an info night.

4-    Outreach to agencies, unions, front-line social service workers, faith groups, etc

5-    Address Regional Council at budget hearings.  Get others to do the same.

6-    Attend the Free Market.  Donate to the Free Market. Tell others.

7-    Participate in the call-in day to demand to your MPP to save the CSUMB.  __________________________________________________________________

1- EMAIL THE MINISTERS RIGHT NOW!

send an email – automatically! – to the Ministers urging them to restore the CSUMB. Your email will also be sent to Opposition critics. Then FORWARD THE LINK to your friends, colleagues, clients, and get them to send an email too.

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2- SIGN-UP CLINICS.  INVITE US TO HOST ONE! SPREAD THE WORD!

Folks have to get signed up for this benefit before its scheduled cancellation, January 1st, 2013! We are hosting weekly CSUMB sign-up clinics at:

Queen Street Commons Café (43 Queen South, Kitchener)
Tuesdays, 6-7pm.
Clinics run now through December 18th

We are also open to hosting sign-up clinics in other neighbourhoods if invited to do so. PMUS and other trained volunteers are available to assist in navigating the application process.  We will also offer advocacy if people desire it.  Additionally, we encourage people to include their applications in an upcoming ‘mass drop-off’.  Using duplicates of everyone’s application forms, we will publicly deliver the forms both to John Milloy and the Waterloo Region’s Social Services.  With media present we will demonstrate how needed this benefit is.

Invite us to host a sign up clinic in a community that you’re connected to! Spread the word about the free sign-up clinics!

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3- ORGANIZE AN INFO NIGHT

PMUS has hosted a number of information nights, including two presentations by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty – one of those at a town hall meeting with representatives from CUPE Ontario. We have continued building relationships with representatives from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and other communities, creating a widespread mobilization in our region. Our most recent community mobilization forum was Tuesday November 13th.  Help us to build new networks to strengthen this movement. Host an info night. We’ll help you put it together and you can even invite us to come present!

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4- OUTREACH TO AGENCIES, FRONT LINE WORKERS, UNIONS, GROUPS

PMUS has created resource packages for use in outreach to mainstream agencies, faith groups, frontline workers, unions, and the like. The packages are also a good way for individuals to get up to speed and active. We are doing some of our own outreach and we are facilitating outreach that might have less likelihood of success with our name attached to it (given our reputation for direct action).  Please get in touch with us to get these resources and find out more about building alliances with professionals to oppose these cuts.

Email us at forspecialdiet@gmail.com.

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5- SIGN UP TO SPEAK AT REGIONAL BUDGET HEARINGS

The Region is holding public budget hearings and we all need to have our voices heard!

The Provincial Government is downloading the responsibility of housing people onto the Regions.  The Regions, however, do not have the ability to fund this responsibility.

David Dirks, director of social services, employment and income support with the Region of Waterloo, said the cuts mean a massive shortfall.

Our friends and allies in the Alliance Against Poverty are presenting at the first of two hearings, on November 21st.  PMUS is presenting at the second hearing on December 5.

You should present at these hearings!  We can help you prepare.  Please join with us in encouraging people to present and speak against the cuts.  Tell the Region to take steps to resist the Province and to fully fund a replacement program, if need be.  Email us to learn more about what other Regions have done and what our Region is planning.

You can register to speak on December 5th, at the second meeting.  You must register by noon of November 28th. To register to address the hearing, please call the Council & Administrative Services Office, 519-575-4420

or visit: http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/budget.asp

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6- FREE MARKET.  ATTEND.  DONATE.  SPREAD THE WORD.

We host Free Markets at least once a month.  We redistribute clothes, winter gear, books, toys, housewares, baby needs, etc.  The Free Market is an ideal meeting place for community. We try to build an atmosphere that encourages connection and conversation.  The Free Market builds community – and healthy community is resistance!  The next Free Market is:

Saturday November 24th
Kitchener City Hall Courtyard (or nearby depending on available space).
1-3pm, in conjunction with a hot meal served by Food Not Bombs.

CSUMB sign-up assistance is available at Free Markets.  This month’s Free Market will transition into a rally and march with speakers and musicians demanding that the Province not cancel the CSUMB. Hope to see you there!

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7- CALL-IN DAYS.  PARTICIPATE NOVEMBER 23rd.  ORGANIZE YOUR OWN. CALL YOUR MPP.  SAY ‘DON’T CUT THE CSUMB.’

PMUS is organizing a call-in day to John Milloy’s office on November 23rd. Call in and tell them not to cut the CSUMB. There have been many such days across the province and we hosted one October 24th.  We will circulate phone numbers, talking points, FAQs and a step-by-step guide for the call in. Participate in the call-in on November 23rd and/or organize your own call-in day! Ask your networks to take part.

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We look forward to hearing from you.  We are here to support your work to save the CSUMB!  Please let us know if there are other local steps that folks are taking to stop the cuts.

See Income Security Advocacy Centre for additional analysis, info and other ways to stop the cancellation of the CSUMB. Also check out the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

PMUS has rallies planned for November 23rd, 24th and December 7th.
Sign up for our mailing list to receive call-outs!
Email forspecialdiet@gmail.com with subject line “add me to list”

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