1. What difference would you like to make by entering politics?
I reside in one of the most politically disengaged communities; Jane-Finch. By entering into politics, I would like to inspire others to participate in the political process, and most importantly have more of us on the ballot for various positions that can create substantial changes in our community.
2. How do you feel this impact would affect the Black community specifically?
It's no secret that very few members of the black community vote. It might just be because we don't see many of us in the political process. Inspiring others is key, but most importantly having individuals like myself stress the importance of casting votes and getting involved can make us more inclusive in decision making. Decisions are always being made, which directly affects the black community. Therefore, we need to be able to have people advocate on our behalf, so that positive decisions are being made.
3. Have you worked with members of the Black community prior to running for office and in what capacity?
Absolutely. Working with community leaders and black business owners is what I do for a living as an entrepreneur and communications and marketing strategist. I've worked with a number of black festivals, awards shows and non-profits.
(a) How do you think your background will help you in your job as an elected representative?
If, elected, my background as a person who is consistently building relations and liaising with the community is a strong asset as school trustee. I expect to get a lot done with the network t I already have in place.
4. What issues are you most passionate about, and why?
I'm passionate about a number of issues such as the following: Special needs education support, fiscal responsibility at the board level, and the policing of our youth in the schools. Many parents have little control and support in regards to special needs children, especially newcomer immigrant parents that are often told what is best for their child without being consulted.
Fiscal responsibility is a major issue, if the board had proper oversight initially, we would have never been in such deep debt.
Policing our children in schools is an issue especially for black youth. I've heard it many times from parents in my community. The principal should be calling us about our children first, instead of getting phone calls from the police.
5. As a Black candidate, do you feel any responsibility to focus your efforts on issues affecting the Black community? If yes, what do you feel the most pressing issues are?
Naturally yes, but it's because of lived experiences as well. There is a lack of after-school programs in our schools, and also a lack of opportunities for our community members to have access to our schools. There needs to be a holistic approach to caring for our marginalized black youth and we cannot do that if our schools are not part of the process.
6. What is the one thing you plan to achieve if you get elected?
The communication between the community, trustee and TDSB.
7. What do you think is the deterrent to economic success in the Black community, and how do you to propose to address this in your riding?
That is a deep question. As a TDSB school trustee, it would be to provide various opportunities of career learning and trade in our riding. Most importantly, having mentorship programs and getting our students to travel more outside of our community to see our world through different perspectives.
8. Why, or should members of the Black community get involved with politics?
The Black community must get involved in politics because it greatly shapes our lives.
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