Jarred Friedman Wants More Community Involvement

Published: August 15th 2010
in News » Local

Ward 10 candidate Jarred Friedman

Making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely at city hall is perhaps the perfect starting point for Jarred Friedman.


“We need accountability at city hall in terms of how our money being spent, especially with regards to where it’s being allocated,” Friedman tells Shalom Life. “When you have someone who is going to hold town hall meetings in your area, you will have a bigger voice, and I don’t think that was happening here.”


Case in point, Toronto’s recent Pride Parade. Friedman was active in trying to get this money withdrawn from Pride for allowing the use of the term “Israeli Apartheid”). “This year it wasn’t possible,” he says. “But next year it could be.”


Some other issues of importance to Friedman include the glaringly obvious example of garbage collection, which he intends to make an essential service. But this is just a small part of Friedman’s green thinking.


He also wishes to put an end to municipal land transfer tax, and fully supports the sustainable redevelopment of Downsview Park. “We need to revitalize our community through better city planning,” emphasizes Friedman, “making sure our streets and avenues are more pedestrian and bike friendly and therefore greener.”


Speaking of greener, Friedman views our public transit woes a bit differently from some of the other candidates. “It’s definitely something that needs to be approved upon, but I think right now the focus should be on improving existing [public transit] services,” says Friedman, as opposed to expanding the subway. “Bus and subway routes and services can be improved upon, especially regarding customer service, and the frequency of service. I’m not really for spending more on expanding the subway system right now, because the Sheppard line was a failed expansion. I think there can be ways to improve the system without expanding the subway, like ensuring customer satisfaction is 100% which it isn’t right now.”


He makes a valid point. 


“In terms of safer streets,” he continues, “there have been a number of shootings and stabbings in our area. I don’t see a lot of police presence in our neighbourhood. There should be more foot patrol and bicycle patrol. And it’s important to get more people involved in neighbourhood watch. As a councilor for a ward, you should be responsible for motivating the community to take ownership for what happens here.  As such, community watch and neighbourhood planning are important to organize.”


Regarding the ward’s Jewish community, “one of the main recent issues is the funding for the Pride Parade, and that’s touched a nerve within the Jewish community, that the city didn’t withdraw the funding,” he says. “They want a strong voice for the Jewish community at city hall, somebody to make sure this wouldn’t happen again. As a member of the Jewish community, I would take on that issue.”


“Also,” he continues, “safer streets around synagogues, and more security. I would think the Jewish community wants a revitalized community, and for that I would specifically be looking at Bathurst Street. I think it is underdeveloped an unattractive right now, and there could be more economic activity along Bathurst. There is so much potential there. So it’s all about having somebody who can organize the community and make these concerns known.”


In terms of what else sets Friedman apart from the rest of the ward 10 candidates, he has a firm background in urban planning. “I haven’t really seen anybody speaking to the planning platform that I’m putting forward, regarding having communities more involved in the local revitalization of streets and avenues in our area,” he says. “Planning is a critical element of what the city does and I don’t think enough people are involved in that. People feel powerless about what’s happening with new buildings and urban expansion, for example. I want to be a part of making that change. I want to give more power to the community.”

Related articles: (Jarred Friedman, ward 10, election, vote)

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