It's not really losing, if you make your point during election campaign

October 29, 2014

Cole-Arnal may have come in last, but he did change the tone of the election. At every opportunity, he hammered on the issue of poverty. It was impossible to ignore.

Cole-Arnal decided to run for chair after Grand River Transit ended a bus route that low-income people used if they were in a tight spot and needed to pick up an emergency food hamper. "That triggered it," he said. ...

In his campaign, Cole-Arnal pledged to give away his entire chair's salary, if he won, to help alleviate poverty. He expressed concern that low-rent apartments downtown would disappear when light rail transit drives up property values. He advocated for free public transit for the poor.

He urged a "living wage" of $17 an hour for full-time workers, massive construction of more public affordable housing, and vibrant neighbourhoods with collective community gardens.

"Is all this musing realistic?" he wrote in a statement that's available on the Alliance Against Poverty website. "It better be, or we will bequeath to our children a scorched earth, more obscene wealth grabbing, war and war industries, loss of democratic rights and lives ruled by ignorance, fear and despair. ...

A poor showing in a local election is not going to keep someone like him down. Not for long.

People run in elections for all kinds of reasons. Some do it for ego gratification. Some do it to get their name out in the public's mind. Some run because they want the job, and others run because they want a job. Cole-Arnal did it for a different reason altogether. He ran because he had something to say.

Here's to him.

Louisa D'Amato
 Read the full article at: http://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/4949330-d-amato-it-s-not-really-losing-if-you-make-your-point-during-election-campaign/

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