Many people with disabilities are directly affected by local municipal politics, yet cannot physically or directly engage their candidates with important questions in traditional formats for a variety of health or access related reasons.
To fill this gap, the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) will run an online #CripTheVote campaign from October 15th to October 20th. Taken from the #CripTheVote model in San Francisco, which engages thousands of residents with disabilities each election, people with disabilities and their allies will engage in 3 online town halls with their local mayoral candidates on issues relating to: access to housing, plans for accessibility in Hamilton, accessibility and transit, and plans to mitigate the impacts of poverty and gentrification on the disability community. Each mayoral candidate has received questions in advance, and answers will be posted on twitter, to start each town hall off.
This online campaign will be moderated by renowned disability justice advocate Alex Haagaard, an artist, designer and activist living in rural southern Ontario. They are especially interested in advocating for health justice, and their work is informed by their academic background in the medical sciences and humanities, as well as their own experiences as a chronic patient. Alex was a co-founder of the #CripTheVoteUK campaign that sought to centre disability justice issues during the 2017 UK general election, and they currently host #MedTraumaChat on Twitter, a biweekly discussion of topics related to medical trauma and violence.