I feel very proud about the campaigns that several smart and strong women ran in the Ward 12 by-election. First of all, they put their names forward and ran for public office.That takes courage and the willingness to put themselves out there. I remember the first time I saw my name on campaign signs and it felt funny. I got over it and I am sure these women did too. They raised money for their campaigns and research will tell you that is harder for women to do. Good for them! It seems to be easier for many women to ask for money for other people or causes and not themselves. Then there are the countless people you interact with to try to make them understand what you stand for by door knocking, meetings and forums. And add in the various social media platforms that you try to engage others in to get your message out. You also need a great support system from campaign volunteers and family and friends that help you with the little things (and not so little), like grocery shopping and childcare.
I remember well the first time I ran for School Trustee and lost. A good friend of mine gave me a care package… chocolate, bubble bath and a magazine. I’ll never forget that as I enjoyed it thoroughly after my defeat. I, like many others, didn’t win the first – or even the second time – I ran for public office but that doesn’t mean you give up. I like to remind folks if you don’t successfully pass your driver’s test the first time, that you don’t give up and tell yourself that it wasn’t mean to be. Rather you try again and again, if necessary, until you are successful.
So welcome to the ranks of those who aspire to public service as an elected official and know that it is a noble thing. You probably met some great people, learned a lot about yourself and how to run and hopefully, next time you will be successful.
We can’t ensure more woman are elected but we can, and must, encourage more women to run for office. Thank you to all who put their name forward and ran in the by-election.
Although I am not joined by another woman on council, I respect the democratic process. I sincerely wish to congratulate Moe Banga on his win and I look forward to working with him on council.