Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rob Ford Won But It's Okay | Positive Points in Song Form

We at The About Face Collective would like to extend our thanks (and a stiff drink) to all of you who helped spread the word and who got out to the polls yesterday. We would also like to thank everyone who came out to our After (Vote!) Party last night and the amazing crew at Insomnia for so graciously hosting it.

One member of this crew, our lovely bartender, was kind enough to remind me this morning of a text message I sent in advance of arriving when the results appeared to be pretty well decided: I'll be there in 20. Can you please have a stiff gin martini ready for me? And can you please throw it in my face? A pretty good representation of my sentiments at the time, and of course these were largely echoed by the artists and cyclists and... well, pretty much everyone in the bar last night as we watched the numbers come through.

If you were there, you got your stiff drink, but more importantly, we hope you got a little inspired. The general tone, though admittedly disappointed, was motivated and positive. I heard a lot of "We've got a lot of work to do!" and "Let's keep this momentum up!" And seriously, not referring to the pace of ingesting beer.

There really is a lot to be proud of and excited about; one thing is certainly that voter turnout increased from 39% in last election to 53.2% this year (also that this number includes a first ballot from my little sis, who beat me to the polls), cheers to that! And there really is a lot of work to do, and a lot you can do to help keep Toronto moving in a positive direction. Start by checking out (and supporting) Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for other ways to support things like art funding and bike lanes and food security in this city.

If, like us, you were maybe sipping a martini with a sigh rather than a victory cheers last night, we have a little cheersing up for you here. Our very own magical and incredibly talented Natalie Boustead (you may have read about her before here) tells us why Rob For Won, But It's Okay... in a song. This ought to make you happy.

If you're still sighing (you probably hate unicorns, but) Insomnia's open. And Damara makes a mean dirty with extra olives.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Today You Save Toronto | To the Polls!

This is it TO. Today is the day. We are about to round up our crew of neighbours and head down to the Cecil St Community Centre to cast our ballots, and we hope that you will do the same - not just vote, but get three, four, or five friends out too. Easy enough for us to say, when we live in the Toronto incarnation of Melrose Place, right? But seriously, just a few quick phone calls from each of us can make a massive impact. We like this quote from Manifesto & Beautiful City's Advisory sent out this morning:

"Please call 5 friends, pass on this message and urge them to vote. Email is good but it's not as effective as phoning your peoples. If we all inspire five friends to call five friends and so on, we can run an Obama-style campaign  that will empower Toronto's young people and safeguard the future of this incredible city. Please take ten minutes to make some calls and - your efforts will actually help save this city!"

See their Master Mayoral report card above and read the advisory here.

Steal our Vote posters below, make them your Facebook profile, change your status and get out to vote. Our City needs you to. 

And sign up for the Ranked Ballot Initiative newsletter to help make our future elections more fair, diverse and friendly and help eliminate strategic voting.

To the Polls!

And then to the bar. Join us at our After (Vote!) Party at Insomnia tonight. You vote, we buy you a drink!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

YOU! VOTE! How and Why It's Easy + A Bit of Magic and Sweat.

It was a month ago when I saw these witty little puppets made by Ottawa artist Gabe Thirlwall (Fish on Fridays) at the Queen West Art Crawl. Way back then, the weather was fairer, the leaves hadn’t yet changed colour, Rossi and, heck, even Sarah Thomson were still contenders in this crazy race, and the Toronto Mayoral Debate did seem a lot like the “Political Circus” Gabe had created in her show tent.

Now, with less than a week ‘til election day, it seems a little closer to a stampede. Or a spook house. Or something else that would warrant me waking up in cold sweats every morning this week.

True story.

I realize that admitting this solidifies my complete nerd status (beyond my gluten allergy and unicorn obsession combined) but I have actually woken up panic-stricken over this election on more than one recent occasion.

I’ve obviously taken this municipal election to heart (hovering over newspapers, stalking candidates websites… cursing in front of my Grandmother in one particular rant). So I’m surprised when I hear that friends of mine — many of them educated, socially-aware, environmentally-concerned, creative and generally “progressive” young folk—­ don’t plan to vote.

But only surprised for a minute. Because then I think about the whirlwind of information out there, a lot of which is difficult to digest. Or believe. And trying to can leave us feeling frustrated. Or… nauseous. And therefore uninformed.

And the number one reason these decided non-voters give for non-voting is “I just don’t know enough about it.”

Well, this is when it comes in handy to have a nerd friend like me around (this and in the circumstance that you need a unicorn fact verified – yes, they are magical).

I am going to give you two (magical) links that will provide you with simple, straightforward information on:

Issues that matter to you:

OneToronto has put together a short list of links to Mayoral Report Cards from groups like Artsvote, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and the Public Transit Coalition, grading top candidates on their plans for (you guessed it) arts, the environment, and transit.

Check out the grades and simple summary of their views here.

How and where to vote:

Find out what ward you live (and vote) in here.

If you have yet to register, fear not, you can still vote. Show up (to the place the last link told you to) on Monday with a piece of ID with your name, signature and Toronto address on it. If you don’t have one of those, you can make it happen with two pieces: bring one piece of ID with your name and signature on it, as well as something that shows you live in Toronto – a utility bill or bank statement with your name on it will do just fine. For a complete list of valid ID check here.

Monday October 25th. Do it.

We are at risk of abandoning plans for funding for art and lanes for bikes and food security for our neighbours and accessible, affordable transit.

It isn’t okay for us to sit back while the crew that will vote based on things like cuts to their property taxes… votes. And determines the direction of this city for the next four years for us.

And it definitely isn’t okay for a twenty-something female to be waking up sweaty because of anything to do with Rob Ford.

So I am begging you, Vote.

And once you do, come celebrate at our election party at Insomnia. I will personally buy you a drink. Actually.

A few more photos from the Queen West Art Crawl
Marvelous artist/ illustrator Jay Dart with a piece we really enjoyed called

 Our pal and art crush, Danielle Hession

 Loving this new, darker work from Danielle

 More of Gabe in the Fish on Fridays Political Circus

 Her fuzzy wolves. Love! 
Wish I'd bought one. I have a strong feeling they ward off election-mares