“When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

Audre Lorde, a Black, queer professor, writer and civil rights activist.

Vote in elections

Municipal elections are your opportunity to say who you want in leadership positions in city government. You can vote for someone who you believe has your best interests at heart and whose ideas you support.

You can find upcoming elections and information for voters, including who can vote and how, on the City of Ottawa’s website.

Want to learn from other diverse women? Register for our free voter education training. We explain how to vote and why voting is important. We’ll also help you explore the election issues that are important to you.

Engage decision makers

You can create positive change by telling City decision makers about concerns in your community.

Start by identifying a specific issue and considering possible solutions. For example, maybe you’ve noticed that poor lighting on your street makes people feel unsafe at night. A solution could be to put in new street lights.

Next, you can visit the City of Ottawa’s website to identify who’s responsible for fixing this type of issue. There are lots of ways to engage them. For example, you could write letters, participate in public consultations, or organize a rally at City Hall.

Learn more from our short guide Our Views Matter or our comprehensive toolkit Making Voices Count.

Register for free training with CAWI on civic participation and creating change.

Join one of our programs to engage decision makers and make a difference in the community. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to do this from other residents and diverse women.

Did you know? We successfully campaigned for $15 million to be dedicated to affordable housing in city budgets from 2018–2021.

Advocate with CAWI

Do you share our values of equality, inclusion and justice? Are you ready to make a difference? We welcome you to advocate alongside us. Even the smallest contributions make an impact!

Our past campaigns have tackled issues such as affordable housing and social assistance. We often ask people to support our campaigns in the following ways:

  • Sign an online petition
  • Encourage friends to take action
  • Spread the word on social media
  • Write a letter to City decision makers
  • Speak up at City council meetings
  • Attend a rally at City Hall

We do a lot of our advocacy work through our programs , Making Voices Count and Maamawe: Women Reducing Poverty Together. We decide which issues to advocate on and how with the help of our Women’s Action Circle.

Attend a Women’s Action Forum

Our Women’s Action Forums happen twice a year at City Hall. These are large, inclusive gatherings where we welcome you to:

  • Share concerns from your community
  • Learn about issues that may affect you
  • Suggest and discuss solutions
  • Contribute to our plans for action

Our past forums have included action on anti-Black racism, housing for diverse women, Islamophobia, and electing women as leaders. They’ve helped reverse planned cuts to provincial social assistance and supported the creation of a Women and Gender Equity Strategy at City Hall.

We welcome you to attend our next forum. Come and have your say!

NEXT FORUM: Our next forum hasn’t been scheduled yet.