What a journey! A huge thank you to the 8,765 people who waited in line and cast one of their votes for me. As a first-time candidate, running independently, I feel incredible proud of how close we came, and I am honoured by the interest in, passion, and support for this campaign.

 

We ran on making space for families in Victoria, and on making sure that the city does it’s part to address the lack of childcare spaces in our neighbourhoods. I am proud to say that collectively, we moved the conversation on these issues and I feel optimistic that Mayor Helps and this new Council will keep these critical issues on the agenda.

 

Thank you to everyone who shared your stories with me over the past 6 months. This campaign was truly about you. Your vulnerability and openness helped changed the conversation during this election, and I am confident that the passion for solutions that emerged during debates will outlast the campaign period. I am hopeful that families like Kiki, James, and Alex will be able will be able to find housing and safe reliable care when they move to our city, and that families like Aleida, John and their babe Cohen can stay here and find the home they need.  I feel optimistic that parents like Bronwyn and John won’t have to leave paid work because they can’t access safe, reliable care. I look forward to decisions and bold moves from this new Council that mean our neighbours like T can access recovery housing when they need it. We can’t wait.

 

I am optimistic that this city will move on more three-bedroom affordable housing, a city-wide childcare action plan, and increased opportunities for townhomes and two-three-bedroom homes in our neighbourhoods.

 

These issues mattered to me before this campaign and they will continue to motivate me. The Council-elect can expect to see me and our petition for a plan in the coming weeks!

 

Now… for all the things I am not even sure I have the words to say. So much love and gratitude for my little family for being in the thick of this with me. Rob was everything: a full-time parent and a door-knocker extraordinaire and carried with him the patience and optimism of a super-human. My 4-year-old daughter Eve literally bunny hopped me while we were door knocking – “my mom’s running for city council.”  2-year-old Asher even started to say “mom sign, mom sign!”. I was supported at the doorstep, with childcare, sign delivery, and more by my amazing in-laws.  Our chosen family and ‘roommates’ watched and love our kiddos and saved me from a lot of heartbreak and tears with play dates, pizza nights, and nail polish for an Eve who missed her mom. Truly, thank you.

 

Thank you to my volunteers – WOW! Knocking doors, delivering flyers, building a website, making phone calls, and talking to me about policy and opportunities. You lent me your brains, your hearts, and your experience. I learned so much from you and feel more inspired than ever that change is possible. To my campaign manager and friend extraordinaire Alison – you were everything to me and this campaign – thank you.

 

Throughout this campaign I met so many of my neighbours and so many people who are experts in their fields (Housing! Childcare! Sustainability! Mental health addiction and recovery!). I’m left not only with a better understanding of the issues and this city, but with a whole group of new friends. Because of you, because of this city, I have more optimism, more passion, and more love than I did six months ago… And that’s saying something!

 

Thank you. And congratulations to all the candidates who put their names forward and campaigned for a city you want to live in.

 

A huge congratulations to Mayor Helps on her second term. Congratulations also to the team at Together Victoria, to the bold candidates of Laurel, Shamarke, and Sarah, to incumbents Jeremy and Ben who topped the polls.  Congratulations to Geoff who has offered his public service to this city for a long time. A thank you and congrats to Marianne Alto and Charlayne Thorton-Joe. Thank you to all for your willingness to serve this city!! And to all the other candidates – what a pleasure it’s been! Thank you for your energy and dedication to the issues you care about!