Written by: Yiming, Age 16, from Centre for Immigrant and Community Services Walking down the streets of downtown Toronto and watching people from every social class hurrying by each other to their fulfilled and busy life can be seen as unique and astonishing. The clear blue sky, the fresh green belt, all kinds of fancy cars […]
If I Were Mayor
If you thought that millennials and Gen Z care more about taking constant selfies, celebrity gossip, and the latest emoji trend, these youth are about to open your eyes.
For years, the tale of apathetic youth has plagued the public narrative, persuading us that young people don’t care about how our city is run, who is running it, or what’s happening with our core issues. This depiction of youth couldn't be further from the truth. Young people not only understand the top issues facing our cities, but also have some real and creative solutions based on their lived experiences.
To get their unique take, amplify their voices in our communities, and bring their innovative ideas into our municipal elections, we asked young leaders, “If you were given a chance to sit in the mayor’s chair for a day, what would you do?”
See the series below with contributions from young leaders within organizations in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Region including, our Emerging Leaders Network, Citizenship Empowerment Project, Young Woman’s Leadership Network, For Youth Initiative, Toronto Youth Cabinet, and Centre for Immigration and Community Services.
Let us know why voting matters to you by tweeting us at @ELNonline with the hashtags #LiveHereVoteHere & #IfIWereMayorGTHA!
To all the young people who participated, thank you for sharing your bold vision for our region.
Written by: Dave D’Oyen, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network Toronto has again been labelled the child poverty capital of Canada. Housing has become unaffordable, even for dual income families. Individuals with lower incomes are being forced out of the downtown, some even out of the city. The challenges are many. My vision of Toronto is a […]
Written by: Dave Heidebrecht, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network Most mornings of my life follow the same routine. Early alarm. Quick shower. Hot coffee. Clean clothes. Off and running. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Recently, however, my morning routine changed. In September 2017, my wife and I welcomed our son into the world—he is hands down the […]
Written by: Renaldo Brown, from Citizen Empowerment Project In the city that we live in today, the system is sets us up for failure and every year this cycle repeats. For both parents and children who grow up in the urban areas of Toronto, life has always been difficult. A parent’s duty is to go […]
Written by: Rayne Fisher-Quann, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network There’s a common belief that young people don’t care about politics – that we’re uneducated, or apathetic, or lethargic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. My generation is one of the most passionate, active, revolutionary generations in history: whether you look at the Parkland activists, […]
Written by: Owais Lightwala, 2018 DiverseCity Fellow, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network If I were Mayor, I would aim to make Toronto the city where the world meets. My campaign might be called something like “One World, One Toronto”, or “We’re For One Six” (get it? It’s a pun. Okay, maybe I’ll get someone else […]
Written by: Oliver, Age 16, from Centre for Immigrant and Community Services Since I am already the mayor of Toronto, let me just cut right to the case. I think the main problem for Toronto right now is its security. As the largest city in Canada, it is not safe enough. Toronto ranked 17th out of […]
Written by: Nana Agyemang, from Citizen Empowerment Project My name is Nana Agyemang and I am 25 years old, born and raised in the lovely city of Toronto. Living in Toronto is great, and one of the reasons why all love Toronto is because we have all kinds of different characters in Toronto, and Toronto acknowledges […]
Written by: Imanzi Kayitare, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network If I were mayor of a municipality, one issue that I would seek to champion is affordable housing, with a focus on supporting residents in precarious situations. I believe that a city mayor can have a big impact on creating a caring and nurturing city that builds […]
Written by: HuSainatu Barrie, from Citizen Empowerment Project Toronto is an extremely diverse and multicultural city. If I were mayor, I would acknowledge this and emphasize it in all the decisions and choices I make. The first thing I’d do is work to create many opportunities for citizens by increasing employment and producing more jobs. I […]
Written by: Erika Dupuis, Toronto Youth Cabinet Urban Health Lead on behalf of the Urban Health Working Group, including members Sophia DiNocolo & Mariana Villada Rivera Food insecurity is not a new issue to Toronto. Food insecurity is a continually growing problem for numerous communities across wards; it is time we start paying closer attention to its […]
Written by: Anonymous, age 15, from the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services If I were a Mayor, I would make a few adjustments to the Board of Education. To start, I would disregard the reinforcement of the curriculum. These days, every course is becoming simpler and simpler; students receive an extra hour when writing […]
Written by: Abigail Moriah and Saquib Ahsan, from CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network Our vision of the good City is one where everyone has a place to live and a place to call a home. As co-mayors of Toronto, we bring our experiences of working with communities in public housing, shelter and non-profit housing. And we have […]
Written by: Michael Manu, Toronto Youth Cabinet Budget Lead Toronto’s former City Manager left our elected officials with an important consideration. He noted that the city, with all of its success, has severe, threatening pressures that must be addressed before they lead to severe consequences. He tasked the city with multiple recommendations, one of which […]
Written by: Stephen Mensah, from For Youth Initiative My vision for the city of Toronto is one of love and not hate; it is one of life and not death, one of prosperity and not poverty. I believe there is no such thing as a perfect city, but I do believe in a growing city […]
Written by: Sharifa Makhseem, from For Youth Initiative There are so many challenges that non-profit organizations face and go through, such as the increasing need for unique, free and easily accessible services in the community. If I were mayor I would make sure that the non-profit organizations are getting proper funding to run programs, to […]
Written by: Daniel Bonilla, from For Youth Initiative Toronto is one of the most important cities in Canada, which means it requires a lot of work. For years there have been problems that instead of finding a way to fix them, we have avoided them. If I were mayor, I would indeed start with the youth community, […]
Written by: Anjum Sultana, from Young Women’s Leadership Network Youth Civic Engagement – Before, During and After Elections 2018 has been a big year for politicos and voters alike! With a municipal election around the corner and a provincial election behind us, the importance of participating in our democracy has never been more salient. For […]