City Hall: Anyone can enter, few can get offices

St Dan goes to Queen Street


Voting day isn't until November 13th, but already there are nearly a dozen candidates for mayor - David Miller and Jane Pitfield just two amongst them. While there has been much interest in taking over the big chair - sadly Ben Kerr won't be amongst the candidates this time - other council and trustee positions arn't generating - yet - as much rancor; many trusteeships are still vacant, and few candidates seem willing to run against any council incumbants.

It was with this in mind, and a series of urgings by associates behind me, that I found myself at City Hall on Wednesday, February 1st, to become the first candidate for the Councillorship of Trinity-Spadina's Ward 20 - Olivia Chow's old seat.

Why would I be willing to give up the power of the journalist - able to be heard and influence opinions - for the relative obscurity - ignored and insulted, if I'm lucky - of a city politician? I'm glad you asked.

With Olivia Chow leaving city politics, the council is in dire need of a new progressive councillor to take her place. As well, council required more diversity - not just in terms of gender and race, but in terms of overall life experience. Currently, out of 45 voting seats on council, only one of them (2.2%) is held by somebody under the age of 35; by way of reference, over 40% of Torontonians are under that age.

Toronto needs a progressive, young councillor to take over for Olivia Chow. Somebody who believes in public transit, parks, social services, and putting people first. When my friends came to me with this suggestion, it was one that I couldn't say no to.

I may not win - it will doubtlessly be a hard-fought election - but there comes a time when everybody needs to step up. I'm stepping up now. Hopefully, win or lose, I'll be able to give everybody an inside look at how elections work at City Hall. Doubtlessly, it will be an exciting 10 months.


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