Poverty Reduction Strategy
Mary Fragedakis is committed to addressing the poverty and hunger that haunt our society. Even in Toronto with all its prosperity, many people’s lives are mired in poverty and they and their children face hunger every day. The poverty in our midst hurts all of us in so many ways – culturally, socially, economically, etc. People struggling with poverty have reached out to Mary for help. She learned from those experiences that a lack of proper coordination of public services can make a bad situation worse. City programs and services for people in need have to work together better. The focus has to be on helping people get out of poverty and the realization that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Mary has been a consistent supporter of helping those most in need in our city. She supported developing a comprehensive, co-ordinated poverty reduction strategy developed in consultation directly with those struggling with poverty and people who work with them. Mary is pleased the resulting Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy includes a detailed work plan and built-in monitoring and review mechanisms. She is looking forward to be a part of that process and working to alleviate poverty in our city.
Mary Fragedakis has seen firsthand the many challenges childcare providers and users have faced over the past eight years - from the shortcomings in the implementation of full day kindergarten to proposed budget cuts at City Hall. Mary has worked consistently with community groups and other elected officials to help parents & childcare providers in her area fixed.
Mary knows that many parents face monthly childcare fees that are higher than their monthly rent or mortgage payments and waiting lists that keep growing. Beyond the numbers the truth is many young couples feel they are being priced out of parenthood. For many women, it means they cannot further their education. Parents with childcare often have to travel far from their home, school or place of work. Sadly, all of this means many are left behind and it puts a great strain on many families.
Mary Fragedakis thinks it is important our society not neglect Senior Citizens and that their unique needs are understood when making decisions impacting them. That is why she has supported the Toronto Seniors Strategy and was appalled at elements of the findings in the Ombudsman's report on how Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) deals with Seniors in arrears.
Mary was an early and strong supporter of having Seniors TCHC buildings be managed separately from the rest of TCHC. She believes it important that a new entity be created to do this and that it would integrate all City programs and services into a one-stop-shop for Seniors. This would not only benefit the elderly living in these TCHC buildings but other Seniors across the city as well.
She advocated during the City's 2018 budget process to get more money for fire prevention and inspection at TCHC buildings. She was very disturbed by the two tragic fatalities from two separate fire occurrences at a TCHC Seniors building in her ward. As there are other issues that can undermine safety and create other problems in these apartment buildings, she is working to get special pilot projects into the buildings with the most vulnerable residents and used those to accelerate the implementation of new safety-enhancing policies in all TCHC Seniors buildings.
She has supported many other programs that will help Seniors like Complete Streets, two-hour (Hop On Hop Off) transfer on the TTC and the Housing Stabilization Fund.
Youth Programs and Recreational Services
Mary Fragedakis, in 2007, co-founded the Broadview Community Youth Group (BCYG). She saw a need in her community to provide youth more recreation programs. BCYG'S services were in such demand, that it expanded to offer evening programs and summer camps.
Mary has personal, hands-on insight s into the need for youth and children's recreational programming. She also knows the role the non-profit community can play in supplementing what schools and the City can provide. Her perspective and experience around the importance of youth programming has guided her commitment to Toronto's youth, children and parents in her role as a City Councillor.
When a change in the City's sports field fee structure threatened youth sports leagues she helped organized a city-wide campaign for a fair fee system with groups like East York Soccer and East York Baseball. She has successfully pushed for more and better programming at the East York Community Centre and Dieppe Park.