From Lekan’s Desk: Fighting for a better community, together.

Over the month of January, I had the privilege of hearing community members' perspective on the state of our neighbourhood.

It was such a humbling experience to talk to neighbours and leaders about the things that matter to them most. In my conversations, I heard about various issues: safety, building maintenance and built up frustration due to a lack of strong local representation at city hall. I spoke to a man in his mid 30's who had lived in this community since he was 4 years old, and was recently stabbed a few days earlier in an attempted robbery for his Canada Goose winter jacket. He showed me his fresh bandage and spoke passionately about the safety concerns he's had. It was remarkable to see his resilience because he also spoke to me about the potential of our community, the hard work he sees and the commitment to excellence he's observed. He simply lamented that there wasn't a vision put forward for the community that we could all get excited about and push for collectively.

This conversation was also echoed by a group of mothers I spoke to who were really frustrated with their building standards and unresponsive building leadership. They spoke about a need for heat in the winter, showers not working well, lobbies and staircases being unattended to. But what moved me about this conversation was their drive and passion in rejecting the status quo - they would not be denied "better". They are organized, mobilized and commitment to getting a better deal for themselves.

Our community is full of these stories, of people standing up when everything around them is pushing them to lay down. I want to be beside those who push for better, to fight for better and to leave a legacy that the next generation can enjoy. This is our community; this is Ward 12. The conversations I had in January really moved me, and I am committed to continuing to do more.

Wishing you the best in the new year,

Lekan Olawoye