Priorities and Values, In Her Own Words 1999-2016

Trudy Beaulne’s Values and Priorities in Community Building, in her own words.
"Our work is guided by values, generally social justice, participatory democracy, community knowledge, diversity and building relationships—social capital—because that is the foundation of society and solid communities.”

1999 ED Report

“It has become apparent that social planning councils and community information centres play an important role in the community.”

“Our community must continue to address the needs of community members. Changing population demographics bring new needs to our community. Our social and political structures are undergoing major transformations. Many changes are brining a disproportionate advantage to some people, leaving many others in precarious and vulnerable situations.

“Our challenge, as an independent community-based human services planning and information organization, is to harness resources as best we can and to stay as responsive as possible to the changing needs of the community.”

“We are interested in gathering and maintaining ongoing databases of information for a variety of community needs - referral to meet human needs and understanding community changes.”

“We are also interested in social capital and how we, in our community information and social planning functions, we can better understand and enable a stronger more cohesive community environment.”


2000 ED Report

“Our community must continue to address the needs of community members, changing population demographics bring new needs to our community and our social and political structures are undergoing major transformations. Many changes are bringing a disproportionate advantage to people, leaving many in precarious and vulnerable situations.” 

“The need for what the Council has to offer is greater than ever before. There is growing interest in having information that helps understand our community better and in tracking the quality of life across a range of indicators relevant to a healthy community. There is also an increased call for us to play a leadership role to link people and groups to work toward a common purpose.”


2001 ED Report

“Is there a need for a social planning council in our community? Do we serve a useful purpose? We asked these questions in a community consultation done in 1997. The community told us loudly and clearly they wanted community information that served a social planning funcion. People wanted help to understand the big picture and to respond to gaps in services.”


“There is tremendous capacity in our local community but changes in recent years have made more people vulnerable and also have taken a toll on our support systems which, in turn, puts further pressure on those in need. As the Social Planning Council, as we learn more about the community context, we are also working on projects to help us understand how to build capacity further or to find new models for using scarce resources.”


2002 ED Report

“My own vision for the [Social Planning] Council is for us to be a strong community based organization that facilitates problem solving by individuals, organizations and civic leaders to build and maintain a healthy community that is accessible, equitable and inclusive. 

My ideal is for us to play a role in creating a community that:

Provides an infrastructure to support people in their day to day lives for the full diversity of life stages, living needs and lifestyles;

Enables community based initiative to improve the conditions of the community;

Thrives on citizen participation in decisions that influence themselves and their communities (geographic and other); and 

Creates jurisdictional boundaries and bodies (official and unofficial) that contribute to a balanced community (social, economic and environmental) and quality of life for the benefit of all and not only some.”


2003 ED Report

“Our work is based on values, which keep us focused on the community and on objective, reliable knowledge. These are the foundation of core competencies that make us unique.”

“Citizen participation is a priority for us…. We respect the pace of those we work with. Being inclusive, maintaining an accessible pace and cultivating relationships are principles of practice that are a challenge to … meet project funding [timelines and structures]. The rhetoric of new funding programs may match our goals, but unfortunately the delivery of those programs does not always support us to do what we know works best in the community.”

“... the widening gap between highest and lowest income earners is magnified when we add in the digital and information gap for vulnerable populations. Technology is not accessible to all, which leaves many further behind. But access to technology does not put a roof over people’s heads or food on their table. We have a long way go as a community to understand these serious community issues and the interconnections of these broader societal trends.” 


2005 ED Report

“Being community based and independent are key to our work. Sometimes, however, we can be unpopular if we are critical of policies and processes that aren't responsible to community needs.”

“To address policy and system issues, we continue to work with local partners and with peers on the provincial and national level. This helps us to put local social issues in the broader context of economic and political changes that are putting further pressure on families and communities.”

“Collaboration and creativity have enabled us to work well with limited resources.”



2006 ED Report

“In 2006, we affirmed community knowledge as the foundation for all of our work. Board and Staff alike have been energized by our renewed mission to cultivate community knowledge to advance social justice in Waterloo Region. How exciting it is to know that our work, from our very earliest days onward, helps to form a record of the social history of the community!” 

“Technological expertise and value based processes are a powerful combination, one that we believe provides both reliability and credibility in the information we compile. Together, these form the cornerstone for the work we do to achieve our vision to provide people with opportunities to participate in the life of the community and to have a say over decisions that influence them.”


2007 ED Report

“We help people voice what is important to them.  A series of community events on disabilities and human rights has been welcomed by those living with a disability and their supporters. These early steps have launched a vibrant community group that continues to meet to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.”

“We support community leadership for strengthening connections in neighbourhoods.”

“We help the community solve its own problems. Community based social planning and community information organizations play an important, often unrecognized, role in our community support infrastructure. We provide services to people and groups who could not afford to purchase these services.  We provide a level of service that would not be feasible in a for-profit market. Our work is based on our values which does not produce predictable or controllable outcomes. Independent community based organizations are effective mechanisms for dealing with the messiness of community life and the realities of human social needs. We are working on developing more efficient tools to track the outcomes of our activities and to help us assess community impact.”


2008 ED Report

“Our focus in 2008 on system change and cultivating local voices underses the important role of advocacy. The social infrastructure of our community is not working to support people throughout the life cycle. The gaps are widening and more people are finding themselves in difficulty, without a clear path to follow. We need only listen to those who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis and who wish to contribute to community in constructive, meaningful ways. Why are we not using all of our community assets?”


2009 ED Report

“We know advocacy is needed in these rapidly changing times and we know we can do more in this area. Those who are vulnerable in our community and the community sector overall needs an independent voice. We are strengthening our capacity so we can proactively speak out on issues of concern for the community and the community sector points of view.”

“We support problem solving, facilitate community process and communicate what we learn about community resources and issues. This is an excellent foundation for well informed advocacy. Needs in our community are increasing and more complex. Our communities must be able to use collective assets to respond effectively to these issues and needs.”


2010 ED Report

“We engaged newcomer women, those living in poverty, those affected by the digital divide, adults with disabilities and seniors aging in to disabilities to find out about their issues and needs. There is much in common across all of these groups insofar as most people want to live in dignity and respect, to be involved in the community and to be able to take action to make positive social change. We will continue to support these groups so their voices are heard by decision makers.”


2012 ED Report

“We ... continued to engage participation in working and action groups who have helped us implement projects and to give input on a number of significant issues. These groups help us to be anchored in the reality of people’s day to day lives and to better understand how policies influence a wide range of community members particularly those who are more vulnerable. Our service is better because of these volunteers and partners.”


2013 ED Report

“Our contacts, forums and working groups helps us stay anchored in the reality of people’s day to day lives and to better understand how policies influence our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This knowledge helps us to stay alert to what is needed so we can be better prepared as a community to respond to changing and emerging needs.”

2016 Presentation to Provincial Standing Committee on General Government Bill 201, Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016

“Our focus is people and our mission is to advance community through active participation and objective knowledge.”

“We make community information resources available to the community and provide help to people when they need it. We support reference and action groups that focus on important issues including disabilities and poverty. We undertake social research and coordinate community events such as forums on social issues, all-candidate sessions during elections, and workshops on community development or on how to use social data in planning for your organization.”

“… our goal is to develop the social infrastructure of the community—its people, organizations, services, policies and systems.

Our work is guided by values, generally social justice, participatory democracy, community knowledge, diversity and building relationships—social capital—because that is the foundation of society and solid communities.”