Municipal politics boot camp draws Toronto women
Former and current councillors took part in a training course for women considering running in the next Toronto municipal election today at city hall.
The event hosted by Equal Voice, a national, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of government.
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, of Toronto Centre-Rosedale, was one of today's speakers and also took part in the first event in 2010.
"[In 2010] it was great to come out and meet other women interested in electoral politics," she said.
"We got to share ideas we got a sense of what the campaign were doing and certainly we got a lot of helpful hints and we broke through the social barriers of being a candidate — a first time candidate in particular. So it was really, really helpful."
She went on to win a council seat in the 2010 general election.
"It's always important to give back to the community, especially for young women and women of colour, who are thinking about running for politics for the very first time. There aren't a lot of resources, it's really important for us to be mentors…"
Panelists included Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon, Hema Vyas and Karen Sun as well as other women in politics for afternoon seminars.
The keynote speaker was former mayor Barbara Hall.
Also in attendance was Olivia Chow, founding member of Equal Voice, who would not confirm yet if she would be running for mayor.
However, Coun. Karen Stintz, David Soknacki and John Tory — all confirmed candidates vying to be elected mayor — were also in attendance.
Sessions included media training, how to recruit and engage volunteers and education on successful campaign and fundraising strategies.