Jack's letter to Canadians inspires 'Turning Point' movement

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For immediate release - Thursday, September 1, 2011

(Ottawa) Inspired by Jack Layton's final message, almost 1,000 Canadians have already signed up to participate in a week of gatherings and a day of action designed to help them organize themselves, across generations and party lines, to work together for change. Leadnow.ca, the organization that made vote mobs a national phenomena in the last election, is coordinating the campaign, called Turning Point.

* The Turning Point gatherings will take place between Tuesday, September 27 and Sunday, October 2nd.

* The Turning Point day of action will take place on Monday, October 3rd.

The week of gatherings will bring Canadians together to discuss how they can collaborate to build a shared extra-Parliamentary voice for change on a range of issues, from democratic reforms to rising inequality and climate change. The event will culminate with a "Post-It" action at constituency offices across the country. Participants will post messages about the reason why they want to organize for change on the walls and windows of their MP's offices.

"Jack Layton's death and final message tapped into many people's deep desire for both a more positive and collaborative kind of of politics, and their concern about the direction that our country is being taken by this government," said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. "It is amazing how empowering it was. We saw people, many of whom have never been involved in politics before, saying that they wanted to step up and get involved."

Turning Point was planned over two days and then quietly launched with an invitation letter on Thursday, August 25. Word of the event has spread rapidly online. In just one week, almost 1,000 people have signed up to host or participate in Turning Point gatherings.

"Many Canadians know in our bones that our country is heading in the wrong direction. Our government is becoming less democratic, less caring and less responsible," said Biggar. "And, last week we saw that millions of Canadians want to step up to change both this government's policies, and ultimately, the very nature of our politics. Moreover, they want to feel a sense of community and purpose in this work."

At the end of the gatherings, participants will be invited to sign up to be engaged and active in a way that works for them, from joining an online communications network to joining a community organizing team to writing letters to the editor on shared campaigns.

"This moment goes beyond any one party," said Biggar. "This is about taking responsibility. The time is calling for us all to be ambitious in our goals, and humble in our recognition that we can only get there by working together."

You can find more information about Turning Point, including an interactive map that shows all of the gatherings and participants who have signed up to date by clicking here.

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