The Gomberg for Mayor platform plank on Youth
Investing in our youth.
Young people are the leaders of the future. With 13% of the Toronto population, they play an integral part in the shaping of our city and must be involved in the decisions we make as a community. Democracy thrives only with an engaged and enthusiastic citizenry, of which youth must be central. As Mayor I would involve youth in the political process, and support youth issues in the following ways:
Work to lower the voting age to 16.
Establish Youth Seats on all City of Toronto sub-committees and Commissions.
Establish youth interns for all City Councillors and department heads.
Encouraging youth ridership is long term investment in the future of the TTC.
Decrease the cost of the Student Fare TTC pass, and make more young people eligible. Raise the age limit to 21 and allow students of any age to possess one.
Develop an extensive network of bicycle routes and lanes for safe bicycle passage, complete with secure bicycle parking.
Establish a fund whereby community organizations can hire young people for new initiatives in community development.
Provide safe environments where youth can socialize. This includes allowing the use of city-owned facilities for raves. The Quebec model of the Maison-des-Jeunes (literally Youth Homes) could be followed. These provide youth with safe spaces they can go to play pool, take part in whatever activities they choose or just hang out.
Treat “Squeegee Kids” as human beings. Provide adequate assistance to help homeless youth establish a sustainable life for themselves. This could include City-run temporary shelters where young people are provided with the necessities of life and access to available services such as health care, education, and employment training.
Eliminate all recreation user fees. Ensure that all of Toronto’s Young People are free to access all the City’s tax-payer funded Recreation Centres. The City’s policy of enforcing fees at certain centres threatens to “ghetto-ize” Toronto’s services.