One of the things we know about London is you can sneeze in Argyle, and they’re saying “bless you” in Westmount — the rumour mill works that quickly.
So I’m setting the record straight by confirming one particular rumour, I have entered the race to be the next mayor of the City of London.
Over the last few months, I’ve been watching some of the current, mayoral campaigns.
Those campaigns — which have begun, shall we say, prematurely — are missing a lot of in terms of dialogue and perspective. I don’t see a vision; I don’t see a vision for the future of London.
Londoners deserve a clear vision. What I know is Londoners want to see leadership done differently — leadership that is people-focused and outcome-driven. Londoners want leadership that creates spaces for all under-represented people because these voices will bring forth the ideas and perspectives city hall’s leadership has never seen or heard.
Having these voices here can only help to create positive change for this stellar city.
Looking at our local economy, there is a big gap when it comes to jobs. London is home to some amazing talent. The talent in London includes people who work with their hands — blue collar families like the one I grew up in — and folks who hold degrees. And yet, neither can find meaningful work.
The job sector as we’ve known it has changed drastically. The factories opening today aren’t hiring the same numbers of people as they did in the old days. If we as a community do not find a way to adapt to the changing economy, then I fear we will never close that gap.
Standing in the London Food Incubator, for example, I see proof things can be done differently and be successful. I see how we can collaborate and innovate to do things better. I see new ways bringing benefits to so many people in so many different ways, whether its job security, education, or options around food security. And that vision is just for starters.
One of the other things I’m not seeing addressed in other platforms is a clear understanding of the transportation needs in our neighbourhoods.
We are at a point — plain and simple — where the needs of our population outweigh the capabilities of our system. The local business of public transportation needs to expand, and this expansion needs to be well thought out.
It might take 14-15 years to plan this out and so it’s a good thing the City of London began planning for this back in 2004. Some of the decisions made by former councils about growth and development are things I may never agree with. That said, I do stand behind the unanimous decision the last council made to move forward with a rapid transit plan.
In February I wrote a blog post that included a list I’d created before the 2014 municipal election. That blog included a list of what I wanted to accomplish if I was elected to represent Ward 13.
I shared that message because I wanted to acknowledge having accomplished what I had set out to do. I’m proud of my record on city council, but I know I can do more. That’s why I’ve made the decision to run for mayor of London.
Do we want London to remain the city it is today, or do we want it to be the city it can be tomorrow? Over the next few months you have the opportunity to answer that question and make a difference in both London’s today and its future.
Thank you so much.