Are you between 18 and 30? Please read this.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I have talked to a number of young voters between the ages of 18 and 30 and I am continually impressed by your commitment, awareness, passion and drive. It is not surprising that so many great innovations, developments and contributions to society come from your age group.

During an election, the younger demographic often gets lip service from career politicians, but little more, and it is easy to see why so many voters get turned off from the whole process.

The single most common question I get from young voters is, “what’s the point of voting? Nothing ever changes.”

And it can often seem that way. Long-term career politicians tend to continue on with an old process in which back-room deals happen regardless of what is being said to the public. It has always been that way.

But change can happen. The biggest example of that is President Obama, who came from a non-political background to become the first African-American president of the United States. You already know that of course, but what is more important is that after that achievement, he went on, in the face of vigorous opposition, to enact a fairer health-care system and to initiate the raise of the minimum wage for workers across the U.S. He is an example of someone who was able to penetrate a long-established, old school system, and really make a major change for millions of people.

So it can happen. And if it can happen on a presidential level, it surely can happen on a municipal level. So that’s why I feel I am worth a look.

I am not a career politician. I have a day-job as a lawyer – a job that I had to work hard to obtain, paying my way through law school by working jobs that included selling souvenirs at the Rogers Centre and snacks at the pre-Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens. I still have to work hard every day, handling difficult cases, and making a lot of tough decisions.

I chose to run for mayor because I felt exasperated by the slow attitude of career politicians. It seems that it doesn’t matter to them how long something takes. Whether it is building a transit solution, or getting WiFi in the subways or addressing youth-related issues such as employment or tuition costs or even harnessing technology which is readily available or creatable. They seem to think if they get around to it in a year or two or four, that’s ok.

Well I don’t.

I am working on getting things done right now. No BS, no pandering to the best poll results. Do it and do it now. Make a case and push it through.

I am not looking to talk down to you as a youth voter. Instead I want to prove to you that I have the right combination of ability, attitude, experience and intelligence to get things done, and I am just asking for you to read-up on me and to make a choice.

Young people make change happen. You have the vision without the fear. And Toronto needs that.

So here’s what I want you to do (choose any or all of these).

  • Check out my plan on my website and tell me what you think. Tell me what’s missing that’s important to you.
  • Talk to me directly, by Twitter, on FaceBook, Instagram, Tumblr or by email to ari@ariformayor.com. Tell me what’s on your mind.
  • Help me call BS on the lies and false promises that always happen in elections. Watch for the hashtag #aricallsBS and respond.

Also, come out and see me. I am always out meeting people at events that I believe in. I always announce these on social media and I am very approachable. You’ll see me or you’ll see volunteers in Ari Goldkind T shirts. Just come up and say “Hi, Ari,” and if you have a suggestion of an event that I should go to or that you’d like to invite me to, please let me know.

But bottom line, the most important thing that I would ask you to do is to make up your own mind and vote. Whether it’s for me or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that change can happen, but it has to start with you. I’m always disappointed when I hear about Toronto’s abysmally low voter turnout rate. It’s what gets us into this mess in the first place. By voting, you make that process happen. So regardless, make sure you are around and available on October 27 to have your say. It’s your town. It’s your life.

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