On October 27th 2014, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to cast their vote for the next Mayor of Toronto. You’ve probably heard about front runners like Olivia Chow and John Tory but did you know there are about 35 other candidates? Meet Mayoral candidate Richard Underhill.
Name: Richard Underhill
Occupation: Musician (sax player)
How do you hope to change Toronto?
I hope to help Toronto unlock the vast potential of it’s citizens and to harness the creativity of the residents of this great city. I hope to change transit in this city so it resembles the modern cities of Europe and increasingly America. That means complete streets that include space for pedestrians of all abilities, dedicated bike lanes, transit corridors as well as space for cars.
I hope to create a sustainable city where housing is affordable and available in close proximity to jobs and schools, where transit is affordable and efficient and where the waterfront is for recreation, not jets. Most of all, I hope to create a city where decisions are based on consultation with residents and experts, not cronyism and lobbying.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run for mayor because I was fed up with the current mayor of Toronto. I was tired of him making a mockery of the office and most of all I was horrified by his slash and burn policies. He has cost this city money while destroying perfectly good plans like transit city and the Scarborough LRT. I was motivated to deputize during budget meetings at city hall and from there was energized to run for office. I hope I can bring good ideas and positive discussion to this campaign.
From years of observation and participation in the political process at the grassroots level, attending community meetings, deputizing at City Hall, participating in campaigns and discussing issues with candidates, I have learned much about how the city functions and how to effect change.
What should the public know about you?
What makes me unique in this mayoral race is that I have had the opportunity to travel the world as a musician. I have toured over 30 countries and have seen first-hand how other cities are modernizing far more quickly than Toronto and reaping the social and economic benefits from better transit, increased green space, complete streets and human scale development. Have any of the other candidates in the race traveled from New York to New Delhi, Amsterdam to Auckland, Helsinki to Havana, Berlin to Budapest or Goa to Guadalajara?
As a musician I also bring to the job the ability to improvise and to come up with outside-the-box solutions. The goal of a musician is to compromise, to cooperate and reach a common goal. My campaign is non-partisan and not wedded to the doctrine of any political party. I owe no favours for past support. For those tired of politics as usual, I provide a chance to break the mold and start fresh, to begin again with someone who is willing to listen, who is compassionate and believes in fairness, who has an open mind and who will not shoot the messenger and shun a good idea from an opponent.
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
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