Dear neighbours and friends,
I want to start by expressing my deep gratitude to all of you: the incredible team of volunteers, as well as the thousands of voters who put their faith in me and who support the vision of a vibrant, inclusive Toronto.
We are all disappointed in the results. In the end, the amalgamation of the Wards meant that we were campaigning against an incumbent (from the east side of our ward) who branded herself as “Mayor Tory’s choice,” and a former MPP with 30 years of political experience. We competed valiantly with their machinery, but we could not beat them.
But we also know that had the wards not been joined, or had many voters not voted strategically to replace an incumbent, we may have had very different results.
More importantly, we also know this: that thousands of our neighbours and residents believe in a vision of an inclusive Toronto, where we build the city for all, and where make decisions based on facts and evidence and on long-term planning, and not on ideology or slogans. This is fantastic news.
And so, let’s make sure that we continue to push for those ideals. Let’s make sure that we hold our representatives accountable, so that they:
- commit to building the relief line and providing residents with reliable alternatives in the meantime;
- do everything in their power to change our development plans and strategy to focus on people, on complete neighbourhoods, and on building responsibly;
- add parks and community hubs as part of the master plan for building our city;
- take steps, every day, to make Toronto more sustainable;
- fund our Poverty Reduction Strategy, so that more Toronto residents can lead healthy, fulfilling lives;
- reduce violence and crime through prevention, programs, and support, not ineffective (meant only to get votes) calls for tougher punishment;
- fight for more affordable and safe childcare;
- provide better housing, programs, and assistance to seniors;
- advocate for mixed-income neighbourhoods, so that we do not ghettoize poverty and we build and improve connections between residents;
- and, perhaps most importantly for the future of our city and our democracy, let’s ensure that our representatives vote in favour of ranked ballots.
Let’s keep championing these ideals, for the sake of our children, our city, and our future.
Now, I want to take another few sentences to thank all of you, and to thank my tireless volunteers. Thank you to the residents, voters, and supporters who placed their faith in me. I promise that, one way or another, I will continue to fight for a better society. And I welcome your input, our conversations, and how we can keep working toward building a better city (and country.)
Thank you to my incredible team of volunteers. I have no doubt that you are the most committed group of volunteers there is! Every new volunteer who joined our team in the last week expressed to me what a fantastic team you are. You gave it all that you could because we shared a vision, a set of values, and a belief that we can, we must, do better in this city. Don’t give up!
I am grateful to all of you.
(Please scroll down for more pictures!)