Toronto deserves better leadership. Seeing Rob Ford make a mockery of our government and waste the incredible potential of this great city has left me with no choice but to enter the race for mayor this year. I have been a keen observer of city politics over my 30 years in Toronto and feel that now more than ever it is time to put up or shut up and join the race. Rather than groan from the sidelines, I offer a creative, compassionate, inclusive, non-partisan and idea driven approach to city politics.
Many of you know me as the Juno Award winning sax player who helped start Toronto’s audacious Shuffle Demons of ‘Spadina Bus‘ fame and has played with Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies, Tom Cochrane, Molly Johnson, Dr. John and many more. To you, it must be a surprise to see me initiating a political campaign.
But there are many of you who know me from public meetings, from deputations at city hall, from passionate discussions at farmers’ markets, at anti-war gatherings and post G20 rallies that are not surprised at all by my decision to run for mayor.
Yes, by joining the mayoral discussion, I am leaving my job as arm chair quarterback and jumping into the political arena. This is an exciting and somewhat scary decision, but with your help, together we can build the city we want, need and DESERVE. The future is in our hands!
From years of observation and participation in the political process at the grassroots level – attending community meetings, deputizing at City Hall, participating in campaigns and discussing issues with candidates – I have learned much about how the city functions and how to effect change.
What makes me unique in this mayoral race is that I have had the opportunity to travel the world as a musician. I have toured to over 30 countries and have seen first hand how other cities are modernizing far quicker than we are and reaping the social and economic benefits from better transit, increased green space, complete streets and human scale development. Have any of the other candidates in the race traveled from New York to New Delhi, Amsterdam to Auckland, Helsinki to Havana, Berlin to Budapest or Goa to Guadalajara?
This gives me a unique perspective and a large palette of ideas to draw from in order to help us unlock our vast potential and shape a city of the future. A dynamic, resilient, self-sufficient and confident city.
As a musician I also bring to the job the ability to improvise and to come up with outside-the-box solutions. Moreover, as the public has grown weary of gamesmanship at all levels of government, my lack of political experience can actually be seen as an asset. This campaign is non-partisan and not wedded to the doctrine of any political party. I owe no favours for past support. For those of you tired of politics as usual, I give you a chance to break the mold and start fresh. Begin again with someone who is willing to listen to your concerns, who is compassionate and believes in fairness, who has an open mind and who will not shoot the messenger and shun a good idea from an opponent.
Friends, this is an exciting time for this city. Remember, from great hardship comes great opportunity. The disaster of the last four years has engaged the electorate and we are desperate for positive change. I believe that with your help, I can deliver the positive change that we are seeking. Join me, get involved and help to craft ideas that will make Toronto a better place to live, work and play.
Thank you for your commitment to Toronto.