Mayor candidate Ari Goldkind recently announced his support for the Green Ribbon proposal. We sat down with him to find out why he’s running for mayor, what his plans are for Toronto, and why he believes the Green Ribbon is important.
Why did you decide to run for mayor?
Ari: I was fed up with what I saw in the administration of this city. Far too much infighting and a shocking degree of self-interest and non-leadership. It became clear to me that the existing collection of career politicians are not able to manage the needs of a growing, modern city, so I stepped up to offer an actual plan that is doable, believable, and honest.
Why did you choose to embrace the Green Ribbon Proposal?
Ari: I have always been a proponent of concepts that put living creatures first. We no-longer need a 1950’s mindset that is all about cars and concrete. There are cities all around the world that are successfully blending business and transit with life and health, and I strongly believe that Toronto deserves to be a leader and a role model in this area.
The Green Ribbon Proposal is a powerful visual and functional representation of the transition from industrial landscape to vibrant community. So not only does it have massive economic and practical benefits, it will give Toronto’s citizens and visitors, as well as observers around the world, a moment of “wow”, if not a lifetime of “wow”.
What do you like most about the Green Ribbon?
Ari: What I like most about the Green Ribbon is that it is green. There is an enormous catharsis that happens for people when they get close to nature. We are already fortunate to be living in a very green, very treed city and the Green Ribbon will help tip the scales even further to the comfort that nature can provide. And of course, even in the winter, when there is no green around, the quiet open spaces offered by parks and the waterfront boardwalk have immeasurable value. I see this, too, in the year-round Green Ribbon. And what I like, particularly in a city that says “no” to so many things, is that a “yes” to the Green Ribbon does not involve saying “no” to cars/drivers, etc. It’s a yes that is truly a win win for all of Toronto.
Anything else you’d like voters to know?
Ari: When comparing candidates in this election I do not see things so much in traditional party colours of liberal and conservative. I basically see our choices as voting for the future or for the past. The mainstream candidates are all basing their positions largely on long-held attitudes regarding where people live, where they work and how they go to school. I look at cities like Barcelona and Seoul – cities much older than ours, and I see how they have embraced intelligent technology, flexible work and school lives, and transit systems that work more in harmony with people and nature, and I say, “that’s where I want to point this city.”
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