Ward 20: Anshul Kapoor, Beyond the Waterfront

Anshul Kapoor, Ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina) candidate

Anshul Kapoor, Ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina) candidate

Previously held by the one and only Adam Vaughan, now the Trinity-Spadina federal Liberal MP, Ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina) could be called the “mayoral race of city council.” With 22 candidates to choose from — and yes, not without its comedy and satire candidates that have relegated the mayoral race (i.e. Sarah Thomson withdrew her mayoral run to bring her sideshow to Trinity-Spadina) — just a handful of votes could swing Ward 20 one way or another. It will surely be a closely-monitored ward on October 27.

In just one year, the grassroots community NoJetsTO went from an underground operation to leading a 15,000+ signature petition effort that has helped raised awareness local and environmental concerns around Porter Airlines‘ proposed expansion of Billy Bishop Airport (discussed previously on this website in parts 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5). At the helm of NoJetsTO was Anshul Kapoor, who I was grateful to meet and consult on efforts to protect Toronto Island a number of times during this campaign. I am pleased to see he has taken his stellar community organizing efforts to the next level in running for council in Ward 20.

But rest assured, Mr. Kapoor is much more than the “No Jets guy”:

I want to continue the framework for development built by Adam Vaughan through community engagement. I will champion sustainable development, public and green spaces, affordability mix and stipulated % of family units in all new builds. Livability in our ward as well as in the city as a whole needs to be of primary concern.

Further discussions on arts and culture and other issues of the community, coming from one of its own, can be read on Anshul Kapoor’s website.

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Posted in Arts and Culture, Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Communities, Democracy, Diversity, Environment, Film Industry, Leadership, No Jets TO, Olivia Chow, Participation, Toronto Island, Waterfront, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 29 and 30: Mary Fragedakis and Paula Fletcher, My Locals

Toronto-Danforth Councillors Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29) and Paula Fletcher (Ward 30). Photo by Richard Lautens / Toronto Star

Toronto-Danforth Councillors Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29) and Paula Fletcher (Ward 30). Photo by Richard Lautens / Toronto Star

I’ve been asked a few times during the Robb Not Ford mayoral efforts why I didn’t run for council instead and take a stab at an office that may be more attainable. My response is a progressive two-fold: I wouldn’t run in a ward in which I don’t live or work; and as noted in an interview with Skedline: “(Johannes) says the reason he isn’t running for council instead is because he believes his councilor, Paula Fletcher, is doing a great job.”

I’m lucky living in Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth), which, in conjunction with Ward 29 (Toronto-Danforth) has been a civically-engaged and well-represented community as long as I’ve been a resident, at the civic (Paula Fletcher: Ward 30 incumbent and Mary Fragedakis, Ward 29 incumbent), provincial (Peter Tabuns), and federal (Craig Scott — heir to our former MP Jack Layton) levels. One could infer that my own community and political involvement (formerly a resident of Vancouver East — a highly engaged community facilitated by MP Libby Davies and MLA Jenny Kwan) has found a kindred home where I am today.

A short anecdote that illustrates Paula Fletcher’s presence in my community:

At a community event hosted by Jack Layton, I asked Ms. Fletcher, after introducing her to my dog, Hannah (discussed in a previous entry), if the park at Tennis and Broadview was going to become a designated off-leash area, as we live a superbly dog-friendly community. Paula was acutely aware of the issue and its progress, and knew — by name and address — several neighbours on my street with whom she had already consulted on the matter. She said “expect something real soon.” Within a month we had the designation.

A small example, but a microcosm of Paula Fletcher‘s commitment to results-driven efforts for my community over the past ten years and — hopefully, come October 27 — counting.

To the north side of the Danforth, Mary Fragedakis has been a welcome addition to City Council since 2010 who has helped keep the Ford agenda in check.

I’m proud to support two existing councilors who continue to make me love where I live.

And — if conservative Tory-supporter and television personality Liz West happens to take Ward 30, I guess I know what I’ll be doing in 2018 (but you didn’t hear it from me). Be warned, Ms. West!

Visit Paula Fletcher’s website.

Visit Mary Fragedakis’ website.

Posted in Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Communities, Dog Parks, Feminism, Olivia Chow, Ontario Election, Participation, Social Services, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 18: Jolene Hunt, Just Like You (But Actually)

Jolene Hunt, Ward 18 (Davenport) candidate.

Jolene Hunt, Ward 18 (Davenport) candidate.

Jolene Hunt, running for city council in Ward 18 (Davenport), takes former mayoral candidate Karen Stintz‘s notorious “I’m just like you” line and gives it a realistic application, addressing the long-standing divide between candidates and communities that has been at the bedrock of my own mayoral campaign.

I am not an established politician. I am an active citizen with education, life and work experience, drive, and a strong connection to the community – Jolene Hunt

Ms. Hunt’s platform takes aim at transit, affordable housing, fair tax shift, child care, and community-led development from the place where it most essentially needs to come from in order to advance the community: the community itself.

Jolene has been a great support through my own campaign, and I’m proud to have taken the plunge into the 2014 civic election alongside a city council candidate who is genuinely of the people.

And, she has perhaps the best hashtag of the election (after #robbnotford of course!): #JO4TO

Visit Jolene Hunt’s website.

Posted in Accessibility, Buses, Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Communities, Democracy, Diversity, Karen Stintz, Participation, Transit, TTC, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 17: Saeed Selvam, Community-builder

Saeed Selvam, Ward 17 (Davenport) candidate.

Saeed Selvam, Ward 17 (Davenport) candidate.

Over the past weekend, Mayor Rob Ford was asked to leave a Ward 17 (Davenport) advanced polling station — perhaps to try and protect incumbent councilor Cesar Palacio from the grassroots efforts of community leader Saeed Selvam.

Just a small window into Mr. Selvam’s background:

In August 2013, Saeed led the charge for Ward 17 Davenport’s first completely non-partisan Town Hall and urged local politicians to act on the community’s concerns. Saeed also started a local initiative called TICTOC, which addressed high drop-out rates at Oakwood Collegiate by promoting job opportunities to youth.

He’s won the Lincoln Alexander Award for Leadership in the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Mandela Equity Award, and provided policy advice to the Obama administration. Need I go on?

I’ve had the great fortune of spending with Saeed during the course of the 2014 Toronto civic election. His voice and experience would truly be an asset to a progressive and representative city council intimately connected to the needs of everyday citizens.

Visit Saeed Sevlam’s website.

 

Posted in Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Communities, Democracy, Diversity, Participation, Police, Public Forums, Social Services, Volunteering, We Can Do Better Toronto, Youth, Youth Employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 7: Keegan Henry-Mathieu, A True Community Hero

 

Keegan Henry-Mathieu, Ward 7 (York West) candidate

Keegan Henry-Mathieu, Ward 7 (York West) candidate

Ward 7 (York West) has been plagued by incumbent councilor Giorgio Mammoliti, who has been a truly toxic stain on Toronto city council. “His multiple instances of alleged corruption, his general incompetence, his homophobia, and his venal, near-psychotic demeanour at council render him unfit for public office of any kind.”

Enter 27-year-old Keegan Henry-Mathieu, a true community advocate who

…genuinely understands the pressures on the ward’s population better, particularly with respect to community housing, has a better grasp of women’s issues and minority issues, and is one of the few candidates who (is) willing to talk openly about government actually raising more money in order to provide services to people who lack them. – The Torontoist

Sounds like a dream. Much much respect and well-wishes to Keegan in the week ahead.

Visit Keegan Henry-Mathieu’s website.

Posted in Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Communities, Democracy, Diversity, Olivia Chow, Participation, Taxes, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 3: Peter Fenech, Policy Over Politics

Peter Fenech, Ward 3 (Etobicoke Centre) candidate

Peter Fenech, Ward 3 (Etobicoke Centre) candidate

His tag line says it all: “Policy over Politics.”

I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Ward 3 (Etobicoke Centre) candidate Peter Fenech, who astutely points out that the only proposed expanded transit line through his ward is a Mississauga transit route. Bridging the often-cited divide between Etobicoke and downtown, Peter’s support of the Eglinton LRT and time-based transfers are only the beginning of an intelligently-crafted and progressive vision for a united Toronto.

Visit Peter Fenech’s website.

Posted in Candidates, Citizens, City Council, Civic Participation, Cycling, Democracy, LRT, Transit, TTC, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ward 22: Josh Matlow, He Should Just Be Mayor

Ward 22 (St. Paul's) Councillor Josh Matlow.

Ward 22 (St. Paul’s) Councillor Josh Matlow.

Josh Matlow is an exceptional activist on city council pushing for change on issues as varied as rail safety and reform of the Ontario Municipal Board. Never shy to express his opinion or challenge the status quo, he’s been an energetic asset at city hall – The Toronto Star

The incumbent Ward 22 (St. Paul’s) City Councillor is equal parts passion and ration. Toronto deserves more like him at City Hall. Maybe he’ll be mayor one day — or at least TTC Chair.

Expect a sleeper re-election.

Visit Josh Matlow’s website.

Posted in Candidates, City Council, Civic Participation, Democracy, Leadership, Participation, Transit, We Can Do Better Toronto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments