Democracy from the Bottom up: Unlocking the Potential of Community Councils

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Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 20174:00PM - 5:30PM108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
Room 108N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7
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In a number of cities around the world, community councils give local residents the power to get directly involved in local matters facing municipal government. In Toronto, City Council will soon consider the boundaries, mandates, and powers of its four community councils, which were created in 1998 to address the perceived lack of direct access to City Hall as a result of amalgamation.

This panel will discuss the benefits and challenges of using bodies such as community councils to govern local decisions. In learning from the experiences in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York, this panel will explore whether community council-like bodies have the potential to create more accessible and participatory local governments.


Selena Zhang
(416) 978-5117


John Elvidge
Deputy City Clerk, City of Toronto

Jessica Silver
Assistant Comptroller for Public Affairs & Chief of Strategic Operations, New York City Comptroller’s Office

Edana Beauvais
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, McGill University

Zachary Spicer
Visiting Researcher, Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance

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