Guidelines for Creating a New Basic Income Affiliate
The following notes are designed to help you create a new group in your area to educate and advocate for a Basic Income program. We welcome feedback based on your experiences that would improve this guide. Please contact OBIN via the link found at the end of the document.
If you believe that your community would be better and stronger if everyone has a minimum income that would meet their basic needs, then you have joined an increasing number of Ontarians and Canadians.
However, Governments can be reluctant to introduce new programs, especially if these are ongoing and require continued expenditures. Therefore, as citizens, we need to provide evidence that this new program is efficient and effective in accomplishing its stated objectives. We also need to show that it has wide voter support. Nevertheless, convincing governments to be courageous takes time and energy. Whether a Basic Income program would help you directly or your neighbours, please read on!
It is important to first ensure that you have a good understanding of what a Basic Income is and why it is important in today’s social and economic environment. It is also useful to know where to get information in order to be able to guide newcomers in finding the information they need. We, along with the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN), are here to help you do this. Our website will provide you with all of the information and facts you will require to convince others that a Basic Income is urgently needed now and that it is good for individuals, communities, and the economy.
Let’s review what we want in a Basic Income. As we wish you to become familiar with the OBIN website, rather than providing the details here, we will direct you to the appropriate pages and documents. The Resources link has most of the key information you will need.
Here we go…
First things first! To begin, sign up to the OBIN website. Go to www.obin.ca and click on the Ontario Basic Income Network. At a minimum, you need to enter your email address. Ideally, if you are ready, you should complete the Follow Us and Volunteer forms that will help us to keep you up to date with OBIN activities and, possibly, provide you with contacts in your area.
Next... Click on the Resources link. If you have exited the website, you can also do a Google search for www.obin.ca/Resources
Look for the link, BASIC INCOME 101.
After reading this, click here for the Basic Income Canada Network’s (BICN) “Basic Income Primer Series”. This series of short papers gives an essential overview of the most important information about Basic Income here in Canada. We recommend you read this before progressing too far.
Finally, to make sure we are all singing the same tune, please read carefully the Basic Income Statement of Principles.
Just in case you haven’t already made contact with our Internal Relations Coordinator, please do so now. Caterina can be contacted through her generic email address email@example.com.
She will connect you with our OBIN Affiliates group. This is a great way to share ideas and experiences.
Now it is time for the fun part! By now you must be convinced that a Basic Income is long overdue. In fact, the Croll Senate Report 50 years ago said exactly this.
So, first write down all of the possible contacts you have in your area. Focusing on your Riding may be better but is not essential. Friends are a good place to practice your skills in advocating. Acquaintances are next in line. Faith groups generally have a large and sympathetic following. Is there a Social Planning organization in your community? Even if they are already too busy, they will most likely have recent data on poverty in your area which you may wish to use later in your documents. Are there other organizations present that you can collaborate with, like Public Health, United Way, community food programs? Your friends will also have ideas. If you can plan an activity with a few people, this is a good way to get your group started and active.
Working together to write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper is well worth the effort – even if it doesn’t get published the first time. If you can establish a relationship with the editor, that’s even better. You can then get brave and write a longer Opinion piece. You’re in luck! An excellent webinar is available to assist you here:
By the way, even if the article doesn’t get published, the process does help you to clarify your thinking and will help you as you advocate in other ways.
Engaging with Politicians
Citizens can advocate and propose policies, but it is our political leaders who make decisions. For this reason, you may wish to hone your skills on some of the preceding activities before you approach them. However, once again we have some very useful documentation to help you succeed in talking with your political representatives. To dialogue effectively, listen to their views first.
MPP AND MP ENGAGEMENT GUIDE
This simple, one-page resource shows how to effectively engage with your MPP or MP. Building relationships, finding common ground, and working together is vital to making Basic Income in Ontario a reality. If you want to make a direct impact in your community, a healthy relationship with your MPP is a great way to start.
Good luck, and let’s make a Basic Income a reality in Canada!
Summary of Links
OBIN Website: www.obin.ca
General OBIN Enquiries: [email protected]
Basic Income 101: https://www.obin.ca/basic_income_101
BICN Primer Series: https://www.basicincomecanada.org/basic_income_primers
Basic Income Statement of Principles: https://www.obin.ca/obin_bi_statement_of_principles
Internal Relations Coordinator: [email protected]
Writing Letters to the Editor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tALjziHBEN0
MPP and MP Engagement Guide: https://89fab459-6c2c-4043-b667-ad60b876de26.filesusr.com/ugd/728fdf_bf5c8a6aeee649dabacaefc6a9583636.pdf