Then sleek, articulate John Tory entered the race, and things no longer looked so clear.
Sure, Olivia had concrete experience, but John -- although he's never served on city council before -- seems to be good at everything he does. And he's also a nice guy, apparently. Even came and spoke at our church on Sunday. Very articulate, and seemed genuine.
For a minute or two, I thought I might vote for him.
Then I remembered why I'm voting for Olivia... unlike the other candidates, who focus largely on taxes and the middle class, Olivia has a concrete plan for affordable housing, and -- in particular -- for those of us who rent. And it makes sense that she does. After all, unlike her white, male counterparts (at least one of whom implied that white privilege does not exist), Olivia has first-hand experience with public housing, having lived in subsidized housing herself.
Olivia's plan is not as sexy as some of the other candidates' (plans), but it is affordable and realistic. Much as I like subways, I like moving fast and now better. And having lived in Buenos Aires for nearly a year, where buses are a critical component in the city's public transit, I have seen the light.
Some of the other candidates talk about transit plans as though they were their own, even though some aspects of the plan have already begun to happen, and will continue whether they are elected or not.
Don't get me wrong, John's a nice guy and all, and definitely an improvement over the current buffoon(s) we've had to endure. But the "successes" of the man's working background and leadership experiences are not entirely just due to his personal merit as a leader. When you belong to the privileged group, these experiences are, quite simply, much easier to come by. Every minority, LGBTQ, disabled, woman or other other disadvantaged person knows that. And Olivia meets at least two of those criteria. Despite her many strengths and talents, her achievements are nevertheless remarkable, given the systemic roadblocks she's had to circumvent.
Toronto is a city of immigrants, of mixed socio-economic backgrounds and interest, and -- at last count in 2011 -- over 50% women!!!
We need someone who represents us, and many of us know that someone is Olivia, but we're afraid to vote for her, pandering instead to our fear, and succumbing to strategic voting.
Olivia's got the experience, the passion, the commitment and the guts. And she truly represents the people of this city. She deserves our honest vote.