By Kris Scheuer
(Published in the Town Crier Aug. 16)
If elected, Ward 31 council candidate Donna Braniff would focus on safety and opportunities for youth.
She helps run an eight-week Toastmasters’ youth leadership program where young people can come in weekly for individual help on speech writing and chairmanship skills.
But her big focus is on making each community safer based on its specific needs.
“We need to focus on community safety. This is a concern of every individual in this area,” she said. “Every individual has the right to walk the streets without fear.”
Braniff wants to see more community cops, with police walking the beat and getting to know residents and business people.
“In some areas they have increased crime,” she said. “We have to look at why they have increased (problems) and deal with it on a community by community basis.”
While problems vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, she pointed to a few examples.
“On the Danforth near subways, it’s been hit and run, grab a wallet and run,” she said. “Historically, you could walk through a (neighbourhood) park and someone hits you over the head. How can we resolve that? Is it better lighting? Community parties, community policing?”
She’s also focused on improving services so roads are fixed, there’s better street cleaning and snow plowing.
Braniff helped form the Danforth East Association of Ratepayers, Danforth Business and Professional Association (now the Danforth Village BIA) and a community-police liaison committee.
She ran for election in Ward 32 against Sandra Bussin in 2003 and 2006. Braniff said the issues she ran on then such as community safety, are still the same but have shifted north into Ward 31 where’s she running in the 2010 race.
“I joined Toastmaster in 2003 specifically to become a better speaker and impromptu thinker,” said Braniff, who’s in the property management business.
She is running against incumbent councillor Janet Davis and plans to increase her own name recognition by knocking on doors.
“Change is good,” Braniff said. “It makes things better. You get new ideas, new blood.”
Sadly, I have to agree with Sandra. I too live in Ward 31, the Topham Park area, and the only literature we have received was a rain soaked pc. of paper (this morning!) from Brenda MacDonald. On principal, I explored Brenda’s platform first as I was willing to do my part for her effort. Sadly a music career and a platform based on fences doesn’t seem to be enough for my vote.
Please explain to me why there has not been a single telephone call or person at our door. How am I to trust any of the candidates to represent me and my family for the next four years when no one could be bothered to find out what was important to us?
I am always the first to say shame on people for not voting. In my opinion, you negate your right to a voice when you opt not to cast your vote. This is the first time I have ever been so disgruntled that I’m considering not voting (we were previously in Ward 32 where we were visited by almost all of the candidates or an agent on their behalf).
Please tell me what you stand for and why I should vote for you. Time is ticking.
Thanks for your comment to all ward 31 candidates on election day. I hope they hear your message. As you know, from my response to ward resident Sandra I tried to provide her with contact info and websites so she, if she’s not too fed up, could find out more about the candidates since they did not drop campaign material or knock on her door either.
I hope you do decide to vote, but understand how hard it is when none of the candidates made an effort (except for one piece of rain-soaked literature dropped by Brenda MacDonald’s campaign) to reach out to you. Let me know any other thoughts you have on the campaign.
As Sandra will inform you, I visited her myself and heard her voice her opinions and concerns about ward 31, in person. I appreciate that Sandra was willing to come forward and ask for someone to show up and listen. Thank you Sandra!
Tracy, sorry that I was unable to visit every household in ward 31. Myself and a handful of volunteers walked the entire ward delivering those (pieces of paper) by hand. Sorry it rained. My platform was clear and concise on more than music or fence issues (these were merely the reasons why I ran). Musicians/Entertainers in Politics has proven to be a great combination ie; Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, just to name a few.
In addition, when Councillor Candidates run they also have to work, teach, (sing), parent, walk their pets and pay taxes, too. I hope that you will consider these challenges to runners in the coming election. I certainly do and will continue to.
I was frustrated that there wasn’t more information available regarding Councillor Candidates in the media but please note that I was in attendance at every public debate, as well as, the televised debate on Rogers TV.
Thanks Towriter for posting all the Councillor Candidates contact information. I appreciate your assistance and consideration.
It is only 4 days until the election and I have not heard a single word from any of the candidates, including you Ms. Braniff. I haven’t even had a brochure from any of you! Apparently my vote is not important. I am a lifelong resident of East York and have lived on Dawes Road for 35 years. Dawes Road is a major arterial roadway in East York, so why my building is being ignored is beyond my imagination! I am a disabled woman, so getting out to vote is a very difficult thing for me to do, however, I am willing to risk my health in order to vote because of the importance I put on the voting system in Canada! Yet, not one single candidate thinks I am important enough to bestow on me either information or a visit. I think this is totally shameful.
In the past, I have always made a point of giving the candidate who visits my residence more importance than those who don’t but I am truly in a quandry because I have been totally ignored. I have not missed any visits from candidates because I am a shut-in at the moment after undergoing major emergency spine surgery that went terribly wrong. I know for a fact that I didn’t miss any visits!
I have many questions I would like to have answered but I am so frustrated that I am just about to give up on this election and what a terrible way that makes me feel – to simply be one of the forgotten!
My friend, Mark Dewdney, passed on my contact information which included my address, so this makes it doubly shameful that nobody has bothered to contact me. Mark felt so ashamed of all of you that he offered to come to my home and visit me, even though he is busy beyond belief at the moment in the last few days of his own election campaign! You have had nearly 2 months to visit my home, either yourself or your supporters, but for whatever reason, you have chosen not to!
Being elected isn’t about getting a free ride!
Sandra L. Espinosa
Hi Sandra, hope you are recovering well from your surgery. Sorry to hear no Ward 31 candidates have come by your building to canvass or drop material. It sounds like you want to vote and make an informed choice, but are being turned off and discouraged. Here is the contact info (I could find) on the local ward 31 candidates including any websites, emails and phone numbers if you are so inclined to contact them since they have not come to you to seek your vote.
Ward 31 candidates:
Robert Walker: Business no: 647-588-2629, Campaign No: 416-694-3772, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and Web: http://www.rwalker.ca
Leonard Subotich: (no contact info I could find).
Rasal Rahman: Business No: 647-886-6427, Campaign No: 647-351-1450 E-mail Address: email@example.com
Brenda MacDonald: Campaign No: (647) 926-0512, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.brendacarolmacdonald.com
Councillor Janet Davis: Campaign No: (416) 690-9888, E-mail: email@example.com Web: http://www.janetdaviscampaign.ca
Donna Braniff: Campaign No: 416-705-2940, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.donnabraniff.com
Peter Agaliotis (could find no contact info.)