Too many Londoners are facing a host of economic issues such as unemployment, affordable housing and even a lack of basic literacy skills, according to the London Community Foundation’s recently published London Vital Signs Report.
See this Metro News article for more on the connection between literacy, employment opportunities and physical well-being.
Even though I’m not surprised by the report, it is still a bit jarring to see the final product of the bi-annual study which also highlighted a lack of transportation and childcare as barriers to people seeking help once laid off from their job, especially in the manufacturing sector.
The initiatives I am proposing, such as encouraging entrepreneurship and development, will help to free so many Londoners from the economic doldrums they are currently in.
With only two weeks to the election, I think it’s so vital that we reach out and let others know about who the candidates are, and how they may be able to help their wards reach their full potential.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m definitely a big fan of the separation of church and state. Whenever I bring up concepts or analogies between Judaism and political life, I do so only because I find the intersection of faith-based and civic phenomena to be another curious aspect of what it means to be fully human…but I digress…
Apart from my recent canvassing, I’ve been spending most of my time in my sukkah, celebrating the festival of Sukkot, which marks the end of the High Holy Day season in Judaism.
The sukkah, or temporary dwelling, is meant to remind the practitioner of the impermanent nature of life, and that the fabulously wealthy can tomorrow find little more than palm branches above his or her head for shelter.
The sukkah is a reminder of the insecurities we face as human beings; it is not, however, a statement as to how people should live in the first place. And while sitting in my sukkah, I can’t help but think of the approximately 2,300 families who desperately need rent-geared-to income housing; the unemployed who face serious financial and psychological stresses, and everyone else who is looking for a better future in the Forest City.
What I always found interesting about Sukkot, is that it is also considered to be one of the happiest holidays in Judaism. With regard to our own situation, what could be more of an appropriate message: That we can simultaneously experience the joy of progress, growth and even transcendence while still being mindful of the transient nature of life, and the financial and social uncertainties that accompany it.
My hope is that this October 27, Londoners will be overwhelmed with optimism when voting for whom they think can help bring this city to a better place.
As Sukkot wraps up, I am meditating on how the coming two weeks can help determine what happens to our city over the next four years.
My goal is to help carry that optimism into the future and into the challenges and sometimes overwhelming feelings of hopelessness so many Londoners experience.