While I met Tanya many years ago, I really got to know her during the 2014 municipal election, when she was running to be my ward councillor. I knew we needed a special kind of councillor to manage the varied and, at times, conflicting wants and needs of a diverse downtown electorate.
On the campaign trail, Tanya was genuine in her curiosity to hear what people were thinking and I was immediately shocked by her ability to distil those front porch conversations into actionable, measured steps to resolve those issues or bring to life someone’s vision for a better London core.
I was happy when she won, but I was a bit worried as well because politics can change people. As we close in on the end of Tanya’s time on city council, I think it is safe to say that she hasn't changed and she wasn’t just the best candidate running for Ward 13 at the time…she may very well be one of the best embodiments of what a councillor should be we’ve ever seen.
Tanya has spent the last three years on council not voicing her own concerns or pushing forward her own agenda, but giving voice to her constituents both honestly and passionately. Around the horseshoe, she has fought for people of colour, with her work on stopping the discriminatory practice of carding in our city. She has fought for those living in poverty, advocating for sustainable and affordable housing in the core. She has fought for better transit, championing people-based solutions focused on getting Londoners around town in sustainable and equitable ways. She has fought for people with disabilities, bringing accessibility needs to the forefront of programming and development decisions. And, perhaps most importantly, she has fought for disenfranchised and vulnerable immigrants and refugees who call our city home, pushing for London to become a sanctuary city and vocally and publicly pushing back against groups motivated by racist hatred who are trying to narrow the definition of “Canadian” in our fair forest city.
Time and time again, Tanya Park has shown not only a willingness to listen to everyone she represents, but she brings a relentless analytic eye that sees problems for what they are and discerns solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Why do I support Tanya Park? Because she has dedicated her life to supporting anyone who comes to her seeking help.
I support Tanya so that she can continue to support everyone else.
Jeff Preston, PhD
Assistant Professor, Disability Studies
King’s University College at Western University
I first met Tanya a year ago while working on migrant justice advocacy in London. Up through to that point, I had only heard of her from the stances she took at City Hall. I knew I agreed with her vision for the city and was impressed with her consistency and persistence.
During our first meeting, Tanya did not take up space in the conversation. Meaning she was most interested in listening to my story, who she could connect me to, and how she could best be of assistance. As we sat, my phone would ping with new emails from Tanya connecting me to the contacts I needed instantaneously.
We find ourselves at an important time in the progression of our city. We have the opportunity to shape future directions through the development of new infrastructure and the welcoming of new Canadians. We need to elect advocates who believe in what we can become, will build networks across the community, and are willing to put in the collective work to get there. I am moved to work for Tanya because she is one such advocate. She believes in London, and in our collective power to raise one another.
I have no doubt that London will have a strong voice in Queens Park with Tanya elected as our representative.
When I first met Tanya Park, I was impressed by her drive and commitment to her community. She cares deeply about London, and advocates for any and all opportunities that can be achieved for her city. She’s strong, passionate, and a tireless champion of important causes such as First-Nations relations, healthcare reform and education improvements. She brings people together, from all political colours, and works together to create a movement – a movement that gets results.
I found out recently that Tanya has decided to take the next step in advocating for change, by seeking the nomination for the Ontario NDP in London North-Centre, and I cannot be more supportive.
By electing Tanya as the candidate, citizens will send a strong message that the time of excuses and division are behind us and that together, as one voice, the needs of residents will be heard. That caring for our less-fortunate and every-day working families will come before securing bonuses for CEOs and Hydro Executives. A message that people matter more than politics, and that change is coming. A message of love, hope and optimism.
Please join me on January 14th 2018 in supporting Tanya Park as your next Ontario NDP Candidate. Join the movement, and help tell Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government that enough is enough, it’s time for people before politics.
City Councillor Ward 19
City of Toronto