Editorial in the Toronto Star
I succeeded in building a multi-million dollar company from the ground up putting convenience stores into gas stations. In 2010 I decided to give the next decade of my life to making Toronto a stronger city. I ran for Mayor and reached 3rd place before our funds ran out. In 2011, I ran for the Provincial Liberals in a riding with a 20-year NDP incumbent and I came within 1200 votes of toppling him. As chair of the Toronto Transit Alliance, we succeeded in getting the downtown relief line on the plans for both TTC and Metrolinx and we created an award-winning campaign around the need for dedicated transit funding. We hosted numerous discussions, town halls and summits designed to build awareness around the need for dedicated transit funding.
This year when I signed my nomination papers I had a very organized campaign ready to go. The media usually distinguishes a credible candidate from a fringe candidate based on the level of their commitment and organization. A professional website, a full-time candidate, full-time staff and a campaign office usually signify a credible candidate. Add to that, credible poll numbers that put me in the top 5 as well as past campaign experience, and there was no reason the media should have labeled my candidacy as fringe. But they did. Ignoring the Forum Research poll (http://womenspost.ca/new-poll-places-sarah-thomson-above-soknacki-and-stintz-tory/) done in March, that put me in 5th place and David Soknacki in 6th, the media refused to accept me as part of the top 5. Another poll, done by Nanos research (http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/07/07/john_tory_has_the_lead_in_new_toronto_mayoral_poll.html) at the beginning of July, again showed I was ahead of David Soknacki . This demonstrated that despite the negative press and lack of coverage, the hard work my team and I did kept me in 5th position. Our internal polling saw me climb higher when residents learned of my platform, yet the media refused to include me. We approached their polling companies but learned from Nanos research that they were under exclusive agreements with the media and could not poll me.
I have called for ideas that would make Toronto a strong city and I have worked very hard to bring the level of discussion above simple platitudes. My team and I have worked hard canvassing the city for over 5 months, trying to gain media on my platform positions resorting to unconventional strategies that helped get our message out. But it wasn’t enough.
We have learned that I will not be included in most of the debates or the polling for the remainder of the race. With less than 8 weeks until the election, and Rob Ford’s support climbing, I am calling on the public to help me make a tough decision. Should I stay in the race for Mayor, or should I change direction and run for a council seat?Here is the poll If voters would like to support me they can sign up to volunteer, get a lawn sign, or donate to my campaign.