Today I registered to run for City Council in Ward 19. I had of course resisted registering for election under the 25 Ward structure, and I remain firm in my conviction that a reduced Council will tend to distance constituents from their elected representatives and render our City less attuned and responsive to those who live in it.
What I hear at the doors and what I believe to be true is that we need to deepen our democracy and the engagement of residents in creating the future of our City. This City, after all, belongs to all of us.
Its shortcomings are our daily frustrations, stresses and, too often, hazards. But it is also intimately tied up with our hopes and dreams - for ourselves and our kids. How we live, how we spend our time and what we do for a living are and will be shaped by the place we live - by our neighbourhoods and by our City.
The future of this place ought to be ours, collectively, to define.
But in spite of the changing Ward structure, I will remain as I have always been: for Toronto, for you, but not for the status quo. We need our City to build into our neighbourhoods the public infrastructure that makes our lives better, safer and sometimes simply easier. From public transit to recreation facilities to affordable housing and simply shelter, there is much to be done.
So, I am running for election here in Ward 19 - a Ward that follows the boundaries of the federal riding (Beaches - East York) that I used to represent. And as your Member of Parliament, I learned that the same fierce pride of place exists in the diverse set of neighbourhoods that stretch from the Beach to East York. It is a pride that inspired me as your MP and in my role of Urban Affairs Critic. It is a pride that will set the standard in all that I hope to accomplish with you as your Councillor.
Candidate, Toronto City Council, Ward 19