Tuesday, December 1, 2020, marks 10 years since my first inauguration as an elected representative for the best neighbourhood in our city.
I am very grateful for the continued support of the residents of Lowertown, Sandy Hill, and Vanier for the past three elections.
I began in municipal politics as a 25-year-old, unknown to Ottawa’s political elite. Just a lifeguard, some said.
I broke the typical mold by not waiting for a place to be found for me; I knocked on 22,000 doors twice to win a victory against a long-time serving elected official, shattering all expectations.
Today, 10 years later, I am writing a message to all young people in Ottawa:
You can make a real difference in our community right now. You can surprise and amaze with your energy, your ideas, your openness to the world, and your willingness to challenge conventional approaches.
Transcending the generational gap is difficult, but with good intentions, hard work, listening, and a willingness to help people; Anything is possible.
For me, it was a leap into politics. For you, it may be other opportunities. Feel free to jump into the “adult” arena. Sometimes you will skate, sometimes you will fall, but you will never regret leaving the stands to make it out onto the ice.
To our youth, our city needs you now more than ever. When this pandemic ends, the biggest mistake we could make is to go back to old approaches.
Do not wait for the door to be opened; you will wait a long time.
You can help define our future starting today.