Blog Series – Part One: Social policy for poverty reduction and the power of your vote

Enough for All belongs to all Calgarians and the hundreds of stakeholders doing their part to reduce poverty and make our city a more engaged, supportive and inclusive community.

Since 2015, with the support of Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC), hundreds of organizations and community members have coordinated their efforts to reduce poverty, tackling a variety of areas within the Enough for All strategy.  These areas include financial empowerment, increasing access to safe and affordable financial products, helping neighborhoods develop community hubs, building awareness of Truth and Reconciliation, and ensuring that our public services are accessible and affordable.

The Enough for All strategy aims to reduce poverty through systemic change, and that includes influencing social policy.  Government decisions can have a direct effect on Calgarians, and the many organizations we work with, so it is in our best interest to influence that decision making as a means to achieve our goals.

The social service sector has formidable strengths and assets that they can bring to the public policy development process.  In effect, several community organizations came together to form the Social Policy Collaborative in 2016, to inform the development and implementation of public policy that improves the economic and social well-being of all Albertans.  Another group with a history of influencing public policy is Poverty Talks, a twelve-member steering committee of advocates with current or recent lived experience of poverty.

These groups, bringing energy and passion can influence the imperative of governments to keep looking out for the public good, and the needs of people who are most impacted by social policy.  You can help shape social policy that can reduce poverty, making Calgary a healthy and prosperous city for all.

At VCC, we often say, “Voting is a poverty reduction strategy.” Let your candidates know that you believe poverty reduction is a high priority for Calgary and ask them what their party will do to help reduce poverty and ensure there is enough for all.

VCC is a nonpartisan organization, and we believe poverty can be reduced through systems and policy change. Albertans head to the polls on April 16th, 2019.  Go to elections.ab.ca to get educated, go to CCVO’s Provincial Election Toolkit to encourage others to vote,

And check out the letsdothisalberta.ca campaign, to make poverty reduction front of mind this election. Check out and use the hashtags #LetsDoThisAlberta and #Nonprofitsvote.

In our next blog series post, we will examine the progress on poverty reduction and policies that help and why they matter.

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