I often write about people’s love for their homes, and sometimes about love of country. Today I’m writing about a young woman who is running a fierce election campaign to represent the part of Toronto that’s been her home for her entire life.
To do so, she has to defeat candidates who are older and more established.
My friend Isabel has a talent in bringing different kinds of people together.
I was at a lunch at her home a couple years ago when she asked: “Have you met Tiffany?”
I hadn’t, so off I went to say hello. And the more we talked, the more impressed I became.
At 36 years old, Tiffany Ford has a calm and confident presence often associated with a much older person. Already a successful trustee for schools in her area, she helped to increase both funding for her area’s schools and the power of the parents’ voices.
But Tiffany puts more emphasis on the needs and strengths of her community than on blowing her own horn.
“A lot of people are not listening to our community,” she says. “They are acting on presumptions, often negative stereotypes.”
Ward 7 — in the northwest part of the city — is striking in its diversity, from extreme wealth to extreme poverty, from the well-established to newcomers.
“It’s not all gun violence and bad schools,” Tiffany says. “That’s part of it, but there’s a lot more to our community. For example, we have a university here. We’re a diverse community.”
You can hear the pride, passion and protectiveness in her voice when she says “our community”. For her, this is home.
“It’s the only home I know,” she points out. “I was born here, raised here, and never left.”
And now, she is running to represent her home area — Ward 7 — on city council. Her rivals include powerful, well-known and well-funded candidates. But Tiffany believes she can do a better job representing her community than any of them.
“Living, growing up and working here — seeing the community from the inside — I am able to critically analyze issues through a lens that others can’t.
“I also have a deep passion, a deep love for my community. It makes me want to inspire the people around me to have a strong sense of belonging here, to help them bring about change.”
Tiffany wants more affordable housing and childcare in the area, but also puts a big emphasis on economic development and accessible transportation.
Since we first met, the more I’ve seen of Tiffany Ford, the more convinced I am that she’s destined to be a great leader. I’m not the only one.
Recently, Isabel Bassett and Velma Morgan hosted a reception for Tiffany. An impressive diversity of women and girls of various ages, ethnicities and professions, along with student volunteers, came out to support her.
When Tiffany addressed us, when she talked about why she is running to represent the community, you could have heard a pin drop. Hers is a refreshing combination: expert knowledge of her community, confidence in its future, and the certainty that she must — and will — be the one to represent it.
To say we were impressed and uplifted would be an understatement.
To find out more about Tiffany and her campaign, please visit: