The Star today did a surprisingly fair and (almost) inclusive article on the happenings in our Ward 18 Davenport: " Good bye Giambrone, Hello Anyone But... ":
http://tinyurl.com/282huqk in which they pretty much tell us the core views of 7 of the 12 candidates who are running. Here's who they did cover with my biased perceptions:
Beaulieu, Kevin - Humble, hard-working city hall insider. NDP party affiliation. Sings the 'everything is fine, be happy song'. Last job? assistant to Adam Giambrone. Not sure where he lives now..? If age is important to you, The Star called around to get them. Beaulieu is 39.
Bailao, Ana - Portugese immigrant flogging her roots and early life in the community. Trying for a comeback after she lost the 2003 election to Giambrone. Lived elsewhere until just before she registered to run again in ward18 where her parents live. Liberal party affiliation: Sings the songs as directed. Last job? Banker I believe. Age = 34.
Vyas, Hema - Public servant, proud of being an 'independent ' with no official party allegiance - except to public bureaucracies I guess. Very much a newbie to running for office, frequently reads her resume when responding to any questions. Sings the Diversity Song and hopes ward18 will warm to her even though she lives elsewhere (ward13) and, as Joe Macdonald pointed out, ward18 is her second choice. Last job in non profit sector. Age = 37.
de Jong, Frank -Most experienced political campaigner of the bunch, was recently the President of the GREEN party. Lives in ward18 and is a likeable school teacher. Avid cyclist and environmentalist, proud of being a politician, he has run 13 times for all levels of government - unsuccessfully. Resilient and optimistic. Age = 54
Wood, Ken - The low-income guy on disability trying to give back to his community. Activist type who chained himself to a tree during the Lansdowne Narrowing to fight City Hall. (He won - trees are still there). Completely independent with no party affiliation (partisan parties aren't what they used to be; now they just want power at any cost). Not working now - but not by choice. Age = 61. (so, does that mean I am the senior lobby favourite as well as the low incomers friend? Age is silly - its experience and character that count, at any age)
Russell, Kirk - Despite the liberal-red colours of his campaign, claims to be an independent. Calls his candidacy 'The Kirk Russell Movement' - an arrogant or confident statement? Owns his own construction company and his background claim to fame is working with Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club. Looking for big Dundas West BIA support as he promises the businesses $ for the Giambrone-inspired parking fiasco. Age = 34.
MacDonald, Joe -Decades of political backroom experience helping the NDP party in a variety of roles (like senior advisor to cabinet ministers), also an advanced academic (working on a Ph.D. in political science at York University). Family man living in ward18.Says he is an independent now with no NDP support. Age = 56.
The other 4 NOT MENTIONED were:
Carroll, Doug -Software developer with a great interest in governance issues. Interested in process of city governments. NDP or independent? not sure. Age = 54.
Elmi, Abdirazak -Lives in ward 7 where he was going to run for Mammoliti's empty seat, jumped to ward18 when Mammoliti came back to run. Still not sure why he is running.
Nha, Le -Liberal party member, worked for Tony Ruprecht. Ran several times for city council in ward18 getting about 250 votes each time.
Muhit, Mohammed - no idea who this is. Not campaigning. No response to emails.
Teliatnik, Joanna - Her slogan is Back to Basics and told me although she is not a career politicians, she has trained many of them from working in bureaucracies. Running a quiet door knocking campaign and has not attended any of the debates so far.
For more detail on all the platforms, in their own words, see Inside Toronto community news: http://www.insidetorontovotes.ca/wards/bloor-west-parkdale/ward-18-davenport/
I think The Star could have at least mentioned the names, but I should be happy they've gone beyond the blind choice favourites of the B&B twins ( * ) - Kevin and Ana - who can only seem to spout platitudes and jump on neighbourhood issues after the bandwagon has already pulled out.
( * ) Be like Adam Giambrone, who ignored several sectors of the ward and was too busy fulfilling his own ambitions to pay attention to constituents, or, Be like Mario Silva (former do nothing ward councillor, now do-nothing federal Liberal MP), or Tony Ruprecht (current do-nothing provincial Liberal MPP) who only shows up for photo ops then disappears to Cuba most of the year. In either case, people schooled by buzzword politico-spin speeches with no real action.
Or maybe I should call them:
Kevin the Deflector - for ducking the mistakes made by Giambrone when he was an integral part of his office as Executive Assistant and was his former Campaign Manager, while at the same time trying to take credit for improvements or successes that were pretty much the result of others in the community. Same old, same old - NDP.
Ana the Opportunist - for popping up two elections later when Giambrone self-destructed and left an open incumbent seat and for only now being seen talking aboiutDundas West BIA parking issues and thge Lansdowne Narrowing fiascos. Same old, same old - Liberal.
Please voters, when you vote look behind the easy endorsements, the meaningless words, the party ties and elect someone of substance.... but in any case, please VOTE because
DAVENPORT DESERVES BETTER