(Note: this is the final blog on why Matt Brown is our best choice for mayor on Oct 27)
Over a year ago I sat down for coffee with, then Councillor, Joni Baechler. I was one of many people that was encouraging her to run for the mayor’s seat. Joni politely refused saying that she couldn’t make this council whole so she wouldn’t run. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer and continued to push her to run (as did many others).
In January of this year Matt Brown filed to run and it became clear that no other progressive voice would step forward and risk splitting the vote. Matt wasn’t in my top 10 list of people that I wanted to run for mayor, in his bridge building he had struck a couple of deals that I really didn’t like and I wanted someone with more strength in the role.
Fast forward 9 months and I’m all in on Matt. I’m not a cheerleader for him but a pragmatic supporter. How did I get here? Matt really impressed me on the Fanshawe downtown campus deal, he showed that he could work an issue, build bridges and make something good happen. On the flip side I saw the “stronger” mayoral candidates being divisive early on and started to question what strength really means in a mayor, maybe it’s the patience and resilience needed to bring people & communities together?
Maybe what Joni was trying to tell me a year ago, and what I didn’t want to hear at the time, was that some members of council would never work with her. All of the stuff that made her such an exceptional councillor couldn’t bridge the gulf between her and some of her colleagues. What she was saying was, council needs to heal, it needs a bridge builder. She knew that London needs a new kind of Mayor. And now I know that Matt is that person.
Joni is an amazing mayor; thoughtful, sensitive, personable and knowledgable. But, after four years of divisiveness on council, she’s not the mayor we need right now.
Joni is the mayor that London deserves, she’s just not the mayor we need right now.
Matt is the only mayoral candidate that can bring this to an end, to bring everyone back to the table and to start moving us forward, together again. I’m proud to support Matt Brown and I hope you will consider doing likewise.