Today, August 15, 2018 we officially launch our campaign for city council Ward 4 Parkdale – High Park for the October 22nd Toronto election. I have been very fortunate to live in this city for 35 years, 20 of which have been in the Parkdale – High Park community. Toronto is my chosen and beloved hometown, where I went to high school, studied engineering, and got my first job. So, it’s in a spirit of thankfulness that we begin our campaign with a land acknowledgement:
“Toronto is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Iroquois that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.”
Why run for Toronto city council? Two years ago, my wife encouraged me to run for the board at our newly built condo near High Park, noting my experience as a professional engineer could be an asset to the community. I ended up running for a two-year term, since the first two years in the life of a new condo are the most critical, and I enjoy a good challenge. Fortunately, I was elected and became part of a team that addressed the issues all new condo communities face: selecting professional services, ensuring the builder completes outstanding warranty work, and setting policies regarding smoking, short-term rentals and other community concerns.
My two-year term at the condo board taught me that while public service is always challenging, it can often be rewarding. In many ways a condo community is like a municipality: one is constrained by a budget, there are infrastructure issues, and public safety is a priority. In fact, the concerns of a condo community: health, accessibility, and safety are the same ones we hear throughout our city. This experience left me with a strong belief that public service is an effective way to help the community. After completing my term with the board helping with municipal issues was the logical next step.
I am running for councillor for Ward 4 Parkdale – High Park because I believe in the public service and its capacity to support people from all walks of life. From personal experience, I know that public service works best when we are all part of the process. Likewise, democracy is at its best when everyone participates. Far from perfect, nonetheless, democracy is always the best alternative, because as a great writer once said, “democracy is perfectible”.
While announcing my candidacy, at the same time I am also asking you: Be a voter. Participate. Tell us about your challenges, the municipal issues that interest you, and share your ideas with us. We are here to listen to everyone in the community. You matter. Your ideas matter. Contact us.