After a brief moment to catch my breath, I have taken a few days and countless attempts to write an articulated thank you. The drive for a poignant and meaningful explanation of my experience led to pages full of analysis that is too exhausting to read. I had decided to keep my thank you letter like my campaign, simple and to the point.
It was a long journey with highs and lows; a great experience that did not end as I had hoped. To the 1025 residents who took the time to get informed and believe in putting policy over politics, thank you. Thank you to my greatest volunteers Douglas, Sabina & Veron for your countless hours.
The biggest thank you goes to two people who helped make our campaign successful.
First I’d like to thank Shaun Cameron who began as a friend volunteering his time and advice. Shaun eventually morphed into a co-campaign manager that helped bring direction to my energy and a wealth of knowledge of the many truths of politics. His dedication to the end with the GOTV allowed us to crack 1,000 votes and be relevant in the debates of our community.
The biggest thank you is well deserved and is for my wife Stephanie. Without her support I would be nothing. From the serious discussions before entering the race to the long days where she wore many hats for the campaign, she was my strength. She lifted me when I fell and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. Stephanie began to understand that despite the hardship, this challenge had reached many residents where even she felt its positive effect. During canvassing, helping prepare for debates or her ability to keep me on topic, she always knew the right thing to say.
I started this election for the purpose of engaging my community and bring a positive message. With no political experience and definitely no understanding of running a political campaign, there were many struggles. The first third of the campaign I did it alone; everything rested solely on my shoulders without the help I had expected. Stumbling through the process I took every opportunity to learn about my community, to stay informed about the issues and spoke to those who would listen.
At the sixth month I was fortunate to begin to gain some traction with a small dedicated group of volunteers that made our campaign a formidable opponent. I’d like to say thank you to the friends, family and volunteers that took time out of their schedule to help deliver over 35,000 pieces of literature over the campaign.
Through a tragic personal loss; being emotionally and physically drained (losing 23 pounds in the process) I kept on marching forward. I avoided the opportunities to attack my opponents; keeping my focus on good policy, not divisive politics. I remained the quiet voice with good ideas that eventually made their way into opponent campaigns. Good policy is not propriety! I hope issues like time-based transfers, community involvement and the need to break down the divide between the various groups within our community this term will be brought forward by council.
As the campaign went on I understood the realization that I wouldn't have the funding, the team or the experience to push the campaign to the level it needed to be at. The media paid no attention to our race because it lacked a narrative that was easy to market. Only after September 3rd did our ward get into the news but the content did not highlight all the good candidates within our race. I did not have the backing of a political party or organizations; no union or main-stream media endorsements. None of this mattered though; my message remained steadfast and it started a narrative.
The future is unclear at this moment; it is too early to begin talking about running in four years. I want to reflect on the campaign, the experience and the opportunities presented before I make any decision. I am pensive about the future of our community but will be attentive to council’s direction. We can make a difference; we will make a difference in bringing policy over politics.