Mayoral candidates will have the opportunity to meet and chat with Londoners who have first-hand experience dealing with poverty on Wednesday evening.
The unique event has been organized by Sanctuary London, a community group that welcomes those dealing with poverty and oppression and offers meals, an art program, LGBTQ+ safe space, a worship service, and other programs.
“A lot of our folks, the people who are experiencing poverty, the people who are part of our community, don’t feel like their voice is very important,” executive director Gil Clelland explains.
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“To have people come down to sit with them, to talk with them, to hang out with them who are running for mayor, says to our community, says to the people experiencing poverty, that their voice actually does matter and their vote actually does matter.”
Clelland says 11 of the 14 mayoral candidates, including the four front-runners — Ed Holder, Paul Cheng, Paul Paolatto, and Tanya Park — have confirmed their attendance.
“They can come down and they will actually have a meal with people who are experiencing poverty, enjoy conversation, and then they get to share their platform with a response to poverty.”
Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Talbot Street Church downtown, followed by a presentation by the London Homeless Coalition on the importance of voting, candidates’ presentations, and then an informal meet and greet over coffee and desserts.