Rob Ford and former city budget chief David Soknacki participated in the first debate of the mayoral election in early February — but the winner might have been a guy named Robb Johannes, who impressed the University of Toronto Scarborough student crowd with articulate, unscripted policy remarks and a dash of humour.
– Daniel Dale, The Toronto Star, March 21, 2014 (READ MORE)
Robb vs. Rob: Who won this week?
Robb Johannes. Johannes was articulate, not only in comparison to Ford, but also next to his fellow long-shot candidates on the forum. So-called fringe candidates have the freedom to deviate from talking points—look for Johannes to make the most of it.
– Stephen Spencer Davis, The Grid, February 10, 2014 (READ MORE)
Move over Rob Ford
With a diverse background working in social services, Johannes has experience “taking disparate interests and finding ways to bridge them.”
– Cynthia McQueen, NOW Magazine, April 28, 2014 (READ MORE)
He’s not exactly being named a front-runner, but Johannes has experience in community organizing and a catchy slogan — Robb Not Ford. During the debate, the audience responded well to the Surrey native’s work against police violence in Vancouver’s downtown east side and a program that hooked up young graffiti artists with local businesses.
– Lauren Strapagiel, o.canada.com, February 6, 2014 (READ MORE)
“The mayor is only one vote on council… they do have additional responsibilities to do with your ability to listen and facilitate everybody, to not divide communities… I don’t think there’s anything really all that radical in my campaign. It’s nothing that’s not already being done in terms of Canadian federal law and other parts of the world.”
– Q&A with Robb Johannes and coordinator Katherine Cummings, Skedline, March 31, 2014 (READ MORE)
“…running a campaign seemed a natural extension of that desire to make a difference. At bare minimum, inspiring a greater voter turnout through my example has been driving the decision.”
– Q&A with Robb Johannes by Lindsay Lauckner, April 7, 2014 (READ MORE)
“There is too much lip-service being paid to wanting to listen to citizens when, in fact, they are not actually being heard. And too many of Toronto’s representatives are becoming characters before they are acting as people.”
Robb Johannes offered polished responses to policy questions. He drew applause after he discussed a graffiti art program he said he developed in Vancouver, and for his story about growing up brown and being stopped by police.
– Daniel Dale, The Toronto Star, February 5, 2014 (READ MORE)
“It’s great to see that young people are running, because this can be a threatening and intimidating process, like swimming in the shark tank. There’s this patronizing that happens, where youth are left out of the process and talked down to. But I think there is great learning to be gained from young people.”
– Q&A with Robb Johannes, The Ryersonian, March 11, 2014 (READ MORE)
Johannes said it would be unthinkable not to attend the annual event. “How could I not? That’s just irresponsible to not go to Pride.”
– CTV News, February 6, 2014 (READ MORE)
– Siobhan Morris, NewsTalk 1010, February 6, 2014 (READ MORE)