I have to call 80 thousand people before I turn 40
No joke...in the race for Ward 11 (University-Rosedale)
The voters list opened yesterday, September 1st, 2022, and I made about 60 phone calls in 3 hours, a slow start without an auto-dialer, one accidentally to Mayor Tory’s wife’s answering machine, which she shares with John, in which I said “Ironically enough, I’m campaigning to represent you” — … the irony being, of course, my negative #EvictJohnTory campaign against her husband representing all of us, since even before my arrest along with dozens of others last summer at “Lamport 2”, after which many Torontonians including myself founded TorCH, holding a press conference outside the same condo I now found myself calling in an offer of service.
I suppressed the urge to sing the song “Evict John Tory” into the answering machine, or to invite either of them to the weekly #EvictJohnTory Fest!" every Saturday at noon at the Christie Pits Piano, because the voter file is the only reason I accidentally rang her, and the voter file is to be used only for the purpose of campaigning to people to represent them. I kept my remarks brief and asked her to examine the platforms at adamgolding.ca, because that’s ultimately what this is about, duking it out so that better policies result for all of us. I said “I hope you have a great day" and hung up the phone.
What was more sobering was what are still the parameters of my campaign for Ward 11:
If I were to use the phone alone, what Tory called Cressy’s “preferred campaign tool”, to reach every voter, beginning when the voter file opened, I would have to make roughly:
80,000 calls in 54 days or about 1500 calls per day
This means a team of 30 people averaging 50 calls each per day until October 24th (which is election day, and also 2 days before my 40th birthday) could reach the entire registered electorate in Ward 11 (University-Rosedale), if only they all had numbers in the phone book. (Of course we can knock on the remaining doors, but in the covid era we need digital-first campaigns with primarily outdoor events.)
If you want to volunteer there’s lots of interesting work available, from awkward phone calls to moving pianos into parks, from media research to performing music (such as Saturdays at #EvictJohnTory Fest!), and I hope that everyone can attend an event on the campaign trail so that we can come together as a community regardless of the election outcome. If enough people donate I will also be able to create some paying jobs in the process.
I also was reminded that my spending limit is roughly:
80,000 dollars or about 1 dollar per voter
My affluent competitors, many of them ‘parachutes’ who unlike Tory don’t even live here in Ward 11, can spend up to 20,000 dollars of their own money if they like, getting them 25% of the way there before they even convince a single voter, to the extent we vote based on things like expensive visible advertising.
I’m starting more or less from scratch financially, but with policies I know people want, from my long hours on the phone on the Jagmeet Singh and Andrea Horwath campaigns during lockdown, from talking to countless Torontonians every day for 20 years about the latest arguments, and Ontarians for 40 years, from attending monthly conventions refining The Socialist Alliance Platform, from my work on the ground in activism, from my constant engagement of the public as a local teacher and performer, and from soliciting feedback constantly on the #EvictJohnTory platform — there is very little controversy on these points — these are policies that people want, and which my 13 (now 11) opponents will not vote for: they are establishment candidates — I am the true change candidate in Ward 11. The primary feedback I get is that someone will try to stop me.
And they have.
Public Pianos have been sabotaged. I’ve had multiple thefts from my porch, including theft of the very keyboard I used along with the Christie Pitts piano for the first #EvictJohnTory Fest, the morning of Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington. The crowd was egged outside of Open Mic Mondays at The Painted Lady, and activist groups always have to wonder who’s causing instability deliberately, which also goes for the violence I sometimes experience seemingly at random in our neighbourhood park.
Of course with 11 active direct electoral opponents alone, it could be anyone, which brings me back to the math—with 14 names on the ballot, 2 have dropped out—if 80 thousand voters voted randomly on the remaining 12 each of us would get:
Without an incumbent like Layton, who got a whopping quarter of the vote last time, that theoretical team of 30 people (please volunteer!) could convince only 1/8th of the people they reach and still have a safe margin of victory, and yet I get close to unanimous agreement with the platform I have, when I actually talk to people about it.
So here we go, we have the platform, we have the basic infrastructure and political conditions, we just need a team of volunteers to make this scale up, so that we can have at least one more vote on council for the policies people really want, and we may be among many other progressive campaigns, such as the other Socialist Alliance campaigns, brought in with the tide. So please reach out today to volunteer, or say hi at one of my usual, or unusual, events on the campaign trail!
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