Mid­towner makes bid for mayor’s of­fice

Midtown Post - - News - Jes­sica Wei

Sarah Cli­men­haga, a res­i­dent from the St. Clair West area, has been ad­vo­cat­ing for safer streets across the GTA for the last 20 years. These days, she has set her sights on the mayor’s of­fice.

When peo­ple in­tro­duce her as a mom of three mak­ing her first foray into pol­i­tics by try­ing to side­line John Tory’s re-elec­tion plans, they’re not wrong. But it dis­counts a lot of years of ral­ly­ing for the is­sues the life­long Toron­to­nian be­lieves could im­prove peo­ple’s lives. In the past, Cli­men­haga has worked at var­i­ous non-prof­its, in­clud­ing World Wildlife Fund, Smart Com­mute and Mov­ing the Econ­omy.

“A tra­di­tional path in pol­i­tics is school trustee, coun­cil­lor, maybe MPP, then maybe, even­tu­ally, mayor,” said Cli­men­haga. “That’s the path for a ca­reer in pol­i­tics. I’m most in­ter­ested in the most di­rect path to change.”

She said she was tired of see­ing city-level so­lu­tions to key is­sues, such as home­less­ness and ve­hi­cle fa­tal­i­ties, stopped at Toronto City Coun­cil. She kept track of vot­ing records and was of­ten dis­ap­pointed at how many am­bi­tious strate­gies were voted down.

“I don’t see a con­nec­tion be­tween what we say and what we ac­tu­ally do,” she said.

One key is­sue close to her heart is the idea of safe streets. Cre­at­ing vi­brant streets shouldn’t in­volve pit­ting driv­ers against cy­clists or pedes­tri­ans or tran­sit users, she said.

“It’s re­ally not about di­vid­ing peo­ple. I want to be able to choose what mode of trans­porta­tion to use, and right now, that choice is not avail­able to many peo­ple.”

Cli­men­haga joins eight other can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Mayor John Tory, who have an­nounced their bid for the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion in Oc­to­ber. —

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