What I’ve learned at 5,000+ doors

An election campaign teaches you a lot of things: How to explain your platform in 30 seconds. How to motivate a team on long days of canvassing. How to use a clipboard to blockade an escaping pet.

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But it also provides something deeper. As “Team T” visited more than 5,000 homes this summer and fall — from the leafy streets of Westmount to the towers of the core — the complexity of life was on full display.

One young graduate was excited to be starting their professional career here in Waterloo, but was sick of still living in student housing. Another student living on Ezra Ave said, sure, the parties there were fun, but it was awful to see the utter lack of respect for the rest of the neighbourhood and to the City.

On King Street, I spoke with one young entrepreneur who was sadly shutting her business. The years of construction and reduced foot traffic had whittled away at her margins until it was no longer viable. At the other end of King Street, another entrepreneur was just opening the doors to a new store, full of hope and enthusiasm for what the coming years might bring.

Over in one of the gleaming new towers, a resident was desperate to know what social supports were available in Waterloo Region. Her adult son had hit rough times and needed help getting back on his feet. In the neighbourhoods, a woman told me she usually loves poring over the election options with her husband, discussing candidates and platforms, but he had passed just two weeks earlier. She blinked back tears (and so did I), and then told me she was still going to vote. Her husband would have wanted her to.

The election campaign also reminded us that we shouldn’t take the integrity of our electoral system for granted.

I met people celebrating anniversaries, bringing home babies, launching new ventures, and, yes, trying to grab the cat before it bolted out the door. Every day, every door, added a new plane on the prism. These are our stories. This is our city. And I am listening.

I am ready to represent Ward 7 in all its complexity. Please vote tomorrow. And please vote for me.