By BRAD BRADFORD
What a journey the past few months has been. Thank you to all of the residents who listened, shared their thoughts and made tough decisions in the ballot box.
I know it was a tight race, and I look forward to working on behalf of all residents of Beaches—East York for the next four years.
To my team, and to all of the candidates who put their name forward, thank you for contributing your time, effort and ideas to our community.
I ran for office because I believe everyone should have a say in building our shared future. We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares about each other and the challenges we face. But, we need a local government willing to partner with us and take action. Election night taught us what can happen when motivated people come together, work hard, and share their vision for a better tomorrow. Community-led change is possible.
Much of the work ahead will be about balancing what I call the big moves and community initiatives – the major, city-wide issues, and the local, day-to-day issues of residents. My commitment is to make a contribution to both.
As the Downtown Relief Line (DRL) champion on council, I will be pushing for progress on that project as part of an improved transit system that provides all-day, all-direction service. We have the political will and we need to work with our Federal and Provincial partners to secure funding and get Toronto moving.
The DRL is only one part of the local transit picture and I will be a true partner in fighting for more reliable, convenient, and accessible service across the ward.
I’ll be equally active in pushing for progress on safe streets, support for main street businesses, and affordability, including housing and child care. We also need to ensure new development is done responsibly, enhances our community, and provides a variety of housing opportunities for those hoping to call the Beaches—East York home. Yes, there is a lot of work to do. But I know together we can meet this moment.
My team and I knocked on over 50,000 doors this campaign and that desire to hear from you directly didn’t end on election night. To be responsive and accountable, I’ll continue to be out in the community and my office will be a resource for residents where concerns can be heard and solutions can be developed. Come in and tell me about what you want out of local government, what hasn’t worked before, and how I can help address the issues you and your family are facing.
As your councillor, I will work directly with residents and community leaders, on delivering real, practical solutions for Beaches—East York. Too often, councillors are beholden to a political party or ideology and not the community; I can assure you my commitment is to you, Ward 19, and our shared progress.
With the shrinking of council and the doubling of our ward, the role of local government has never been more important. During the campaign, I talked about enhancing the role of community councils, and I think we should explore opportunities to include citizen-members to better reflect the perspectives of local residents. I think it could also help to deliver more gender balance and diversity across our government.
I will be replacing two hard-working local champions in Mary-Margaret McMahon and Janet Davis and I do not take that responsibility lightly. I’d like to thank them for their service and I’m sure they will remain strong voices for Beaches—East York.
I’m humbled and honoured to be representing our community at City Hall and I’m determined to make my time in the Council Chamber count.
Together, we can achieve a safer, more affordable, and more equitable city.