NEWS

1000 Dinners Toronto aims to spark municipal politics conversations

09/18/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:59 EDT
A group of Torontonians is trying to get the city's citizens more engaged in municipal politics by appealing to their stomachs.

They've created 1000 Dinners Toronto to get people together to discuss city improvements over a bite to eat.

"It is food for thoughts," reads a draft version of the group's FAQ.

Any Toronto resident can sign up online to host a dinner on Oct. 7. The dinner can be a home-cooked meal at the person's residence, a catered affair at a chosen location, a community centre potluck or a meet-up at a restaurant with guests splitting the bill.

The organizers — a high-profile public relations company called Navigator — hope each dinner will have 10 or fewer guests per table to ensure that every participant's voice is heard.

“While Torontonians think about who they want to represent us at City Hall, let’s not just ask who. Let’s ask what," says Jaime Watt, the chair of the event and the executive chairman of Navigator Ltd.

"What can we do to make Toronto an even better city? Host a dinner on October 7 to talk about it with others, tell us your ideas, and we’ll share them with all of Toronto to see.”

Guests will be encouraged to chat about ways to improve Toronto on a community, neighbourhood or city scale. The organizers will provide hosts with some sample discussion questions ahead of the dinner.

One guest will be responsible for taking notes and submitting feedback online.

The organizers will then compile and analyze the responses, which will be publicly shared. Some of the feedback will be presented to the mayoral candidates on Oct. 16 at a mayoral debate hosted by CBC Toronto.

The organizers are not affiliated with any of the individual campaigns in the election.

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