Election Statement – NDP Federal Convention 2011

[I wrote this when running in absentia to be picked as a Toronto-Centre delegate to NDP’s 2011 federal convention in Vancouver. I believe I was elected but can’t remember exactly.]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My Name is Arash Azizi and I am running to be a Toronto-Centre Delegate to the upcoming Federal Convention in Vancouver.

Toronto-Centre has been my home for most of the 3 years that I have lived in Canada. I have had the pleasure of living in few different points in the riding and everywhere I experienced the hardships facing the working people in this riding.

When I lived in 100 Wellesley Street I experienced the nightmare of bed bug infection which everyday ruins the lives of working-class families in this city. Infection is bad enough on its own but the lack of any public response and total irresponsibility of landlords made it worse. While the City refuses to recognize bed bugs as a public health hazard, private slumlords forego any responsibility and use this to crush the tenants even more. This is of course only one of the many problems facing working-class tenants, some of the most rightless people in this city.

When I lived in 603 Parliament, I had the experience of living near St. James Town, a community that is a window to everything that is wrong with this city. Designed to be a model urban community it has become the most dense neighbourhood in North America with combination of every urban ill you can imagine.

I don’t need to get into more examples as we all know the hardships facing our city and the point is to change them.

Working with Toronto Young New Democrats since it was founded a year ago and with Toronto-Centre since the merry relation between two began, we have been able to mobilize dozens of working people under the banner of our party to fight for Socialist policies that will better the life of our people.

In the last election, I worked as an activist with Susan Wallace’s campaign and had the great opportunity to knock on thousands of doors and talk to every-day working people all over the Esplanade, Sherbourne, St. James Town and Regent Park. This being a grassroots campaign, we didn’t only ask for people’s vote but brought them on board to join the fight for Socialism.

On the Election Day, I led a team of youth, the oldest activist on the team was myself (23), to pull the vote out in Regent Park and we achieved NDP victory in every single poll we worked, a historical first.

With the great results of the last election, our Party is set for great days.

In Vancouver, I will join with my brothers and sisters from Toronto-Centre and from around the country to put forward Socialist policies and an activist, grass-roots vision that would mobilize millions of youth, women, immigrants and workers all around Canada and would let NDP caucus to emerge as the parliamentary voice of a mass movement that is sure to emerge against Harper’s austerity agenda.

NDP to power on a socialist program! All power to the people!

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