I first joined the GPC in 2015, but really got involved late in 2018. During the 2019 election, I served as Official Agent and Campaign Manager for Chris Williams, candidate in Markham-Thornhill. There are three ridings in the City of Markham (Markham-Thornhill, Markham-Unionville, and Markham-Stouffville) which work together as a regional group. I have been active as an organizer across those three ridings. I have also made a point of attending “GTA” events as ridings across the Greater Toronto Area work to better coordinate and promote the Green Party across the region. I also attended the Green Party of Ontario Convention in November 2019. All the Greens with whom I have interacted have genuinely impressed me. The Climate Crisis and general democratic deficits we face are daunting, but I am constantly buoyed by the intelligence, commitment, and good-heartedness of the people involved in the Green Party and the environmental movement generally.
I have been an “enviro” since high-school. I have a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Ryerson, and a background in software technology. I worked as a professional fundraiser for a number of years, including a stint at WWF Canada, and held a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation for several years. Since then, I have worked as a web software developer and business software consultant. I have helped many charities implement fundraising management systems and currently work for BDO implementing Microsoft business management and accounting systems for both non-profits and a range of “regular” companies. I have also been a member of our local synagogue for twenty years, and co-chaired a Syrian Refugee project there with our neighbouring Shia mosque in 2017.
I am putting myself “out there” for this role, not out of any interest in “political power” per se. I am not in this because I enjoy the “game” of politics. There are those who do, and we need those folks and the unique energy they bring to the process, but that’s not me. I am in this for my kids and (hopefully) grandkids. No matter what else the Green Party takes a position on, it is critical to the future of human civilization that we start the transition to a zero-carbon economy ASAP. Everything else depends on that, and I believe that having more Greens in federal parliament is our best way to get that happening.
Role of Federal Council
The GPC Federal Council is the governing “Board of Directors” of the Party. As such, it is responsible for the guidance and oversight of the national staff organization, finances, and the Party Leader. However, as a Party that purports to “do politics differently”, the Federal Council is ALSO responsible for the practice of democracy within the party. Each Council member represents a specific subsection of the Party membership and is responsible for the connectivity between the general membership and the national executive and staff.
Just as a Green MP must strive to represent the views and interests of their specific riding within the Party and within Parliament, a Federal Council member must strive to represent the views and interests of the members as well as the Party overall. If I am elected as the Ontario representative on the Federal Council, I will make the following commitments: Communication – I will use Zoom, Slack, Facebook and Email for two-way communication with Ontario EDA executives and the general membership to bridge the gap that currently exists between members and the national office. Support for EDAs – the Party IS the membership, largely as represented by EDAs doing the “ground work”. While national campaigns must be extremely well implemented, votes happen “on the ground” in local ridings, and the health and success of the Party ultimately depends on the strength of local EDAs.
As such, I will support the development of tools, templates, training and funding to enhance the ability of local EDAs to wage winning campaigns. I will also support initiatives such as EDA 2.0 which seek to strengthen and reinvigorate the Party from the ground up.National level volunteer opportunities – it is important to provide more opportunities for volunteer involvement at a national level both to improve connectivity between national and local members and to provide learning opportunities for those who may wish to run for the Federal Council in the future.
Therefore, I will champion the creation/expansion of committees and task forces, overseen by the Federal Council, which will:
- Work directly with national staff to strengthen and deploy the tools, templates, training and funding necessary to enhance local EDAs.
- Work directly with Shadow Cabinet members to research, refine and promote policy positions and responses relevant to each Shadow Cabinet position.
- Review and refine policy positions suggested from the grass roots as well as from Shadow Cabinet and Leadership, to be debated and ratified by the membership at General Meetings.