AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Beaches-East York MPP, Mary-Margaret McMahon, is reimagining the way in which the community views her constituency office.
On Monday, Oct. 3, she is inviting residents to a family friendly Community Hub Open House where they can share new ideas on how to improve their daily lives.
“Some people don’t know what a constituency office is or don’t really understand it,” said McMahon. “I just think it has a better feel when we call it a Community Hub versus an office.”
The event takes place at 1821 Danforth Ave. and is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The idea behind the new approach is to create a more welcoming, warm and less formal environment that eliminates the invisible barrier between elected representatives and their constituents. McMahon told Beach Metro Community News that she doesn’t know of any other MPPs adopting the same strategy.
“I have a very different style,” she said. “I’m a people person, a community person. That’s my root.”
Open house attendees will be able to take a tour of the hub, meet staff and hear their thoughts on plans for the future.
McMahon stressed that the primary goal is to hear from her community members in order to better understand their hopes and dreams for the future.
Beaches-East York residents can expect various events and workshops to take place in the reinvented Community Hub.
According to McMahon, her office is also the volunteer hub for Toronto’s annual art festival, Nuit Blanche, which is set to take place on the night of Saturday, Oct. 1, through to the morning of Sunday, Oct. 2.
On the night of festivities, the space will be transformed into an art installation site and place of gathering in which volunteers can rest, eat, and rejuvenate.
Her team also hosted a Green East Community meeting that revolved around discussing environmental matters with residents and brainstorming strategies to help address climate change in the next four years.
“It’s all people. All collaboration. All the time,” said McMahon. “That’s how you build a better world.”
Although she admits that it’s impossible to host events all the time due to obligations at Queen’s Park as well as time needed to address other concerns that people present to her office, McMahon hopes to make community get-togethers at the hub a regular occurrence.
“I just want people to know that we’re here for them for the next four years. Maybe beyond,” said McMahon. “I have a fantastic team. They’re competent, collegial, and available.”
To visit the Community Hub, residents can book an appointment although they are welcome to “swing by and say hello” whenever in the area. Monday’s Open House, however, does not require an appointment.
Anyone who would like to keep up to date about future gatherings can sign up to receive McMahon’s newsletter.
Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.
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