Ottawa 2022 Municipal Election Statement
Posted October 25, 2022
Pour le version en français, cliquez ici.
The Agenda for Change
For Ottawa ACORN, work on the municipal election actually began well before any candidates had announced. Starting early was essential to build on the success of our Agenda for Change campaign in 2018, as we fought to tilt the balance of power at City Hall through grassroots, deep community organizing methods.
The Agenda for Change identified strategic wards where there were real opportunities to elect progressive City Councillors – after several meetings between ACORN leaders we determined that Knoxdale, College and Rideau-Vanier would be where we’d focus our resources.
We ran an issue based campaign founded on community & labour concerns and through persistent outreach on the doors and phones, leadership development and community events organized by low and moderate income people, we built a base of voters who pledged to support social change in Ottawa.
Some highlights include:
- A 70+ in person launch of our Platform of Issues.
- Finishing an Organizing Drive to start a new Nepean ACORN Chapter.
- Making almost 28,000 phone calls to encourage low income tenants to vote for candidates supporting the Agenda for Change
- Knocking on nearly 8,000 doors to build our supporters list.
- Organizing 6 Outreach Parties where we trained ACORN members to canvas and speak to their neighbours about election issues.
- 50+ ACORN members volunteering to join the ACORN Political Action Committee to evaluate candidate surveys and make endorsements.
- Releasing our Housing Voting Records report to identify housing & developer champions on council running for re-election
While the results of this municipal election may not be what our members had hoped for, we are extremely proud of the work of our membership and what it has done to build support for issues like affordable & livable housing, internet for all, transit, childcare, good jobs and more.
The ACORN Political Action Committee (APAC) would like to congratulate Catherine McKenney on a well fought mayoral campaign and for standing up for ACORN issues over their 8 years as a city councillor. They would also like to thank Laura Shantz in Rideau-Vanier for championing the Agenda for Change Platform and a very tight race in their ward. We are also thankful to the other APAC endorsed candidates who unfortunately did not win their seats but pledged their support for the Agenda for Change.
The APAC is excited to see their two endorsed candidates in Nepean (Laine Johnson in College Ward and Sean Devine in Knoxdale) get elected. Laine and Sean are two tenant and affordable housing advocates who are newly elected in outer urban parts of the city, demonstrating that issues highlighted in the Agenda for Change Platform DO resonate with residents outside of the core. While Nepean ACORN members already knew this to be true after knocking on thousands of doors in their neighbourhood, this is huge for Ottawa politics and for the advancement of ACORN issues.
This election we saw other candidates who signed on to our Agenda for Change platform get elected by their constituents and we are happy to see more progressives on council. These include:
- Shawn Menard
- Rawlson King
- Theresa Kavanagh
- Jeff Leiper
- Ariel Troster
However, the balance of power is still not in favour of low to moderate income families and working people. While there is still lots of work to be done, we know victory is possible if we work together and get organized early.
This council will finalize the City’s Inclusionary Zoning Policy and vote on how to tackle renovictions and demovictions, so it’s important to keep organizing and building power in our communities.
JOIN US on Sat, Nov 19th from 12-2PM at the Unitarian Hall (400 McArthur Ave) for our Election Debrief as we discuss the election results, look back at our organizing and forward to what’s to come. We also hope to be joined by some newly elected City Councillors who supported our platform. Snacks will be provided.
Thank you to all the ACORN members who volunteered on the campaign and to our allies from PSAC-NCR, CUPE503, OCETFO and SEIU local 2 who helped make this possible.
Let’s keep organizing for change.
Ottawa ACORN Board