Voting for Toronto District School Board trustee is a much overlooked but huge responsibility. Our future really does depend on public schools more than most other social services.
Most importantly, in my mind, public schools represent the most social levelling and integrative institution we have. Anyone who has looked at the TDSB can only wince at the dysfunctional cabal that it is (yes, worse than City Hall). I say cabal because if you read articles both in today’s Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail you can smell the whiff of corruption.
Even those so-called ‘progressives’ we elected are acting in the most undemocratic fashion. They treat the TDSB as if it belongs to them instead of to all of us.
We desperately need new progressive faces.
Two days ago I had the opportunity to meet with one of the candidates running for Trustee in Trinity-Spadina, Ybia Anderson.
Here is why I like her. She is young (at 32) but not, like the leading candidate, a 20-something with no life experience beyond politics. She is a single mom with a young child. She actually holds down a real job at a major company where she has to look after financial issues. She can juggle numbers and believes accountability is important. I mean she truly believes this. I know all candidates are saying this but I know at least one of them who has a track record of just the opposite.
She also believes that economic disparities are important. Where Michael Sims, a progressive candidate for Trustee, says that the dome proposal to privatize the field at Central Tech is THE issue of the district, Ybia would feel that children in lower income areas showing up hungry to school is more important (I should note that she also opposes the dome).
She has creative ideas about new approaches to not just fiscal responsibility but to management at the TDSB. Would a green roof on top of Central Tech provide an interesting project for students and perhaps food for a breakfast program at Ryerson Public School?
I think Ybia is bright, thoughtful and creative. And I think she is the true deal.
I worry that the front runner comes from the old school of knee jerk politicians that promise change but bring more of the same.