My Experience Running for Council
This is my 8th election with the first one happening in 1999. The first time I ran for City Council I placed 13th out of 23 candidates. I was disappointed in the loss but soon realized that running for a seat on City Council was a life changing experience. You get thrust into the spotlight unprepared and on your own. For the first time on my life I realized that people started to believe in you and in turn you had more faith in yourself. I felt that some candidates were incredibly competitive and offered no support to fellow candidates like myself and that you had to sink or swim. Not having a campaign team or any real support, I did the best I could. I also found out that during a campaign you form some friendships and start to bond with others as you go through this short intense period of time.
It was fun and rewarding but depressing at times.
I was most often well received but on one occasion I was standing out in front of London Drugs handing out flyers when this guy comes out of the store and says, “if you need more flyers, the garbage can inside the door is full of yours!“ I was like, “what?”. I went inside and saw the garbage can was full and was saddened by the complete waste of time. I went home and was on the considering giving up. I then thought back to my conversation with Dick Harris and what he had said about getting out and meeting people.
I came to the conclusion that even if some of my flyers ended up in garbage cans, I had actually met people face to face, shook their hands and said who I was and what my campaign was about. That was empowering and a time of personal growth for me.
As the next couple elections unfolded I started to realize that these races were very competitive and candidates held their cards close to their chests and did not seem to help the new candidates. I made it my mission to do what I could to make sure some of the new people running felt included and what they had to offer was real and worthy of the voters support.
I am a firm believer in the saying, “you can’t keep what you have unless you give it away”.