TL/DR: friends in Ontario, make a donation/contribution if you can to a strong woman you admire (me!) who is running for office in 2022.
Well, friends, colleagues and family — it’s been an intense year. Many of us thought we were finally coming into a new chapter towards the pandemic’s recovery as the kid vaccines were coming online. But, here we are with omicron making its way through our communities and more uncertainty about how the next months will unfold.
This time last year, I was in the early throes of trying to secure the nomination in Spadina- Fort York. We made it through some tough weeks of online schooling with Ellis, I started on a new work team, and then in early June, the awesome news that I was being acclaimed as the provincial candidate for the Ontario Liberals. So, since June, I have started to make phone calls, to make new friends and meet neighbours, to knock on doors and to build an incredible team of volunteers - including a lot of impressive women - to help me win this election.
I’m incredibly proud of what we’re accomplishing. I love the team of people who are rolling up their sleeves to help on this campaign. I’m proud that I’m part of rebuilding a political party where I’m actively talking about culture change, feminist leadership, and real collaboration. I LOVE that I’m running with a new team of very impressive candidates, including people who I admire. I love how many of us are running because we have young families and we want to fight for the childcare, education and health systems we know that Ontario deserves.
My own history of involvement in women’s leadership has always been about the many ways that women find their own ways to contribute to building the communities that we want. And, I know that this means that extraordinary women step up in the political homes where they feel most at ease.
We’re five months (155 days!) from our next provincial election. We’ve had an incredible civics lesson over the last 21 months - to see what governments can do to support all of us through challenging times. Our federal and provincial supports have been lifelines for millions of us - but they have not been perfect. And, here in Ontario, we’ve seen that choices around how we have responded and planned for our social infrastructure: we’re the only province that has not signed an agreement for affordable childcare; we’ve seen such an inequitable distribution and access for covid-testing, for vaccine rollouts and now the rapid antigen tests. We’re continuing to rely on the old ways for far too much rather than really putting people at the centre of how our governments and community supports should work. And, fundamentally, this stems from our political leadership being disconnected from the communities most impacted by these decisions.
So, my year end ask to my fellow Ontarians: please help a strong woman you know get elected in this province. Please help me get to Queen’s Park by making a donation and/or signing up to contribute time in the coming five months. There’s still time for you to receive a 2021 tax receipt for contributions to our campaign. (With the tax credits, a $200 donation only costs you $50). I’m hoping that you can help build our momentum by becoming a donor – we can’t do any of this vital work without your support!
I want Doug Ford to know: “Mothers brought you into this world. We can vote you out” - Allison Venditti, Moms at Work.
Here's to a new year, everyone.