Dear neighbours, supporters, volunteers, and donors,

I want to thank you.

Thank you for your support throughout this campaign.

Thank you for trusting me with your vote.

Thank you for opening your doors to me, for contacting me, for reaching out to me at all-candidates’ meetings, and for taking the time to find out about me and the other candidates who had hoped to serve our Ward and our City.

Thank you for sharing your concerns, vision, and hopes with me, and for listening to my vision and hopes for our Ward and our City.

The result was obviously not what we had hoped for on October 27th.

Despite the outcome, the cliché holds true here: we have much to be proud of, and much to hope for for the future.

We ran a grass-roots, community-based campaign. Most of the volunteers were residents of the Ward, people who had never been involved with political elections before this one. Some came from other parts of the city, because they believe in a vision of a City Council made up of independent thinkers who are also collaborators.  Many of our volunteers and supporters were neighbours vested in the neighbourhood and the future of our city.

We reached far with no political affiliations, backing, or endorsements, and with no political machinery to make campaigning and reaching out easier and more convenient. We got where we did by listening and talking to you and to other residents. For that I am proud.

We reached far with your help. We did it with our smorgasbord of people of all ages and volunteers who already had many other responsibilities: families, dependents, and jobs.  Yet these dedicated volunteers made themselves available for a couple of hours or more at a time, many of them over several months. For that I am grateful and proud.

We got here despite some attempts to spread misinformation, despite some obstacles (some bordering on racism) and despite our limited resources. For that I am proud.

Two days before the election, the Star released a forum poll which had been conducted two weeks before the election. The poll showed the following results for Ward 16:

Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence: Among 227 voters polled in this open race, support is split among Dyanoosh Youseffi (17 per cent); Adam Tanel (13 per cent), Terry Mills (8 per cent) and a tie at 7 per cent between J.P. Boutros and Sean Conacher.

The other 10 candidates did not get sufficient support to be reported in the poll.

These were the election results for the top 8 (out of 16 candidates):

Christin Carmichael Greb 17%
Adam Tanel 16%
Dyanoosh Youssefi 14%
Jean-Pierre Boutros 11%
Terry Mills 8%
Steven Levitan 8%
Michael Coll 7%
Sean Conacher 6%

Here, I will spare you my analysis of the results, and how we finished third. We can always have a coffee and discuss it another time.

But I do want to share this with you: Since May, I knocked on over 10 000 doors: houses and apartments in our Ward. I spoke to whoever was home and whoever was willing or eager to give time to share ideas and concerns. I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it here: meeting you, the residents, has truly been the one of the most enjoyable parts of this campaign.

You opened your doors, sometimes hesitantly at first, but then willingly and optimistically. I love that many of you questioned me and quizzed me on the issues. Many of you supported me, even if we disagreed on one issue, because we both believe in the importance of respectful, rational discussion and decision-making in government. We believe in the importance of sincerity and honesty.

It has been especially rewarding to meet so many residents who shared my desire to have a City Council that is comprised of members who believe in collaboration, respectful discussions and respect for divergent opinions. I feel especially encouraged that so many residents, like me, believe that we must have more responsible, comprehensive development, that we must share the roads better, that we must care for the environment, and that we must improve our policing to make it more respectful. It is heartening to know that so many of us want inclusive communities where seniors, young persons entering the work force, and middle income and lower income families and individuals can also find a decent home in which to live.

Meeting neighbours and sharing this vision of vibrant, inclusive communities gives me hope.

If you are one of those people with whom I’ve spoken at the door, if you’ve attended a town hall, if you’ve done your own research and found your way to this list, then I take the liberty of asking you for two more things:

First, please forward this letter to friends or supporters whom you know, but who have not received it because they are not on my email list. I want them to know how much I appreciate their support.

Second, if we run into each other, please feel free to stop me and say hello (but take pity and tell me your name or how we met). I am always happy to meet or see you again.

And again, I thank you.

Thank you for your letters of support, congratulations, and encouragement; your letters that express the wish to see me run again, your letters of hope for a more inclusive city and a more responsible, integrated approach to development. Thank you for your kindness.

Finally, I thank you now for making it all the way to the end of this long letter.

See you in around, literally!



Dyanoosh Youssefi

One comment

  • Very nice letter, my Friend. I’m so sorry for the outcome but there’ll surely be a “next time”. Your Ward and your city is lucky to have you.


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