Candidates for the DECA Board 2024 and Revised Constitution

We hope you’ve marked your calendars for our AGM on Monday March 25! Take a minute to rsvp here if you haven’t already. Our 2024 Board will be voted in at the meeting — you can read about our candidates below.

constitution revisions

We are proposing a number of changes to our constitution, including expanding our boundaries to Greenwood and Cosburn. You can read the proposed changes here in advance of our AGM on March 24:

DECA Revised Constitution

Candidates for the DECA Board 2024 – in their own words!
Alexander Marsolais

My family and I have lived in the Danforth East neighbourhood since 2015. I have been volunteering for DECA for the past couple of years, and have really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in various DECA events and initiatives. It has been a great way to be reminded of everything that makes our neighbourhood great, and the ways that an organization like DECA can contribute to a community. I am a big believer in being involved with your community, and also believe the work DECA does has a positive impact on our neighbourhood. I am keen to help continue and support DECA’s work in the Danforth East neighbourhood, and I would be really excited to join the board.

Alisa Metcalfe

Having had the privilege of living in this neighbourhood for almost thirty years, I have always been drawn to the sense of community that connects us – as neighbours, as friends, as fellow east enders. I grew up in small town Windsor, Ontario, and remember feeling very lost when I first moved to the “big city” of Toronto for grad school. While I came to love the sights and sounds of Toronto, it was not until I moved into this neighbourhood that I felt as though I had finally found home. There has always been something very unique about this little east end hub of ours that makes it a special place to live. Based on my experiences, DECA has played such an instrumental role in creating, building and fostering this sense of community – that sense of belonging. The efforts of this committed group of volunteers have, over the years, done so much to create a vibrant, connected and beautifully diverse community where people want to put down roots and where you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself. For so many years, I have benefitted from what DECA has contributed to this neighbourhood. Volunteering for the Board will hopefully allow me to play a more active role in continuing to build this community of ours and an opportunity to give back in whatever way I can to this place that I have made my home.

Andrea Oratzi

I love our Danforth community and I want to help contribute to the wonderful job DECA does at increasing community vibrancy. I am also passionate about food, food access and farmers’ markets, and I would be very keen to share this passion with the DECA Farmers’ Market – we’ve been coming to this market as a family since 2015 and it’s one of the highlights of the summer. I enjoyed the work I did with DECA this summer on the Story Trail and I would love the opportunity to carry on supporting such a great organization in our community.

Andrea Nichols Egan (returning)

I have lived in the neighbourhood since 2001 and have also owned a business on the Danforth for 4 years now. I started volunteering with DECA about 7 years ago doing some of the social media for the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market and have been an active volunteer since then – including being on the Board and the Treasurer for the past 4 years. I love working with such an enthusiastic, community minded group of people. I would be happy to continue my work on the board for the next year.

Jennifer Scott (returning)

My family and I moved to the Danforth East neighbourhood nearly 10 years ago, just before I had my son. During my parental leave I spent time learning about the Danforth East area and was introduced to DECA, a group of fabulous volunteers and community members who had been working since 2007 to build a vibrant community.
In 2015, DECA’s “Pop-Up Shop” program supported myself and a group of local volunteers to run a Hub on the Danforth that provided household necessities to newly arrived Syrian refugees; a truly life-changing experience. Once the Hub wrapped up operations, I joined the DECA Board, eventually serving as Co-Chair. After taking a break from volunteering for a few years, I returned to serve as Chair of the Board last year.
I deeply believe that community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness, can foster and support inclusion, and creates space for empathy and accountability. This belief, and the joy I’ve received from being involved with DECA, is why I hope to continue to serve on the Board. In the coming year — DECA’s 17th (!) — I hope to work with the incoming Board and community to help build awareness around DECA’s activities, and refine its mandate to meet the needs of our neighbourhood.

Raktim Mitra (returning)

I have proudly contributed to DECA as a board member since 2022. In addition to contributing to the farmer’s market, arts fair, and city council candidates’ debate, I have co-led the DECA Yard Sale event for the past two years. As first-generation immigrants from Bangladesh, my wife and I started our family in Toronto’s East-end, and have always called this part of the City our home away from home. Our two children are growing up in this neighbourhood, and we are excited with what this community has to offer. With an intention to more actively contribute to the community, I joined the DECA Board two years ago, and it has been a privilege to work with great colleagues and volunteers who are selflessly working toward making this community more vibrant and welcoming to all.
In my professional life, I am an Urban Planning professor. I study and promote neighbourhood livability and active lifestyles. Through my research and teaching, I continue to engage with the Danforth East residents, the City, advocacy organizations such as Cycle Toronto and TCAT, and TDSB elementary schools. My personal and professional values, which focus on creating vibrant, livable communities that are walkable, bikable, safe and happy, align really well with the visions of this association, and because of this, I am hoping to continue my work as a DECA Board member toward these shared goals.

Rebecca Green (returning)

I’ve been a part of DECA in a variety of roles since the beginning. My particular joy is the farmers’ market, where I have painted faces, co-ordinated volunteers, planned kids’ activities, and made a general nuisance of myself. This past year, I worked on the Danforth East Yard Sale and co-ordinated the clothing and home goods donations to New Circles and Kennedy House Youth Shelter. This project combined a lot of my favourite things – textile reuse, mutual aid, thrifting and chatting!
I also have been writing the blog and updating website and social media with Jenn and Andrea N-E this year. If I’m elected to the board again this year, I look forward to whatever we come up with next!