Friends and neighbours,
I’m Saman Tabasinejad and I’m running to be our City Councillor in Willowdale.
I’m running because I am the new voice and have the new vision to make sure our community is commutable, liveable, and growing responsibly. I am a community newspaper editor, refugee housing advocate, policy chair for the Iranian-Canadian Congress, a former language instructor for new immigrants, and a proud progressive. I spent my formative years in Willowdale, and have many fond memories of growing up here. I studied hard in the evenings at the North York Central Library, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carleton and McGill.
That’s why I embraced the opportunity to serve Willowdale and the community that gave me and my family so much. Together we will invest in the Downtown Relief Line, extend the planned Finch West LRT to Finch Station, and fix the Highway 401 ramp so that we can keep moving for work and play. Together we will build vibrant smart neighbourhoods, fight so that families can send their kids to local schools in the community, and make sure that developers are contributing their fair share to our community and our schools.
I recognize that due to poor planning at all levels of government, development has not listened to the concerns of Willowdalers. As city councillor I will listen to Willowdalers' concerns and reflect them in the decision-making process.
Together let’s build our community to be commutable, liveable, and growing responsibly. Together, we can make Willowdale better.
Join myself & our team to ensure there is a progressive & compassionate voice for Ward 18 in Toronto's City Council!
New Voice & New Vision for Willowdale
Investing in &
As a TTC user, like other residents of Willowdale, I know how difficult it is to get around this city and North York first-hand. That's why I will support infrastructure projects in our neighbourhood while working with businesses to make sure their needs are met.
I will support the creation of the Downtown Relief Line (DRL). This is a project that has been “on the books” for decades but unfortunately there has been no political leadership or will from any councillors thus far. Let’s get it done.
Many of you have heard about the newly approved Finch W. LRT - a line that goes from Humber College to Finch West Station. If elected I will lobby to extend the LRT line so it connects to Finch Station. Let’s #ClosetheLoop.
Responsible Growth for Willowdale
Both Toronto and Willowdale are growing at an unprecedented rate. This growth offers both tremendous opportunities and challenges. That's why we need to make sure that Willowdale is at the forefront of responsible growth and progress in the city. That's why I will work with the community, developers, the City, and the Province to make sure that Willowdale's growth is supported with intelligent and forward-thinking policy. I will:
Facilitate Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) to make sure that developers contribute fairly to our community and make sure that developments makes our neighbourhood a better place to live.
Use schools as community centres and hubs after-hours (4pm onwards). By filling these spaces with public programming we can ensure that Willowdalers of all ages can access good classes.
Ensure adequate investment from developers to ensure our infrastructure is supporting our growing population.
Education for Willowdale Families
Far too many of us, especially those living in condos, have been frustrated trying to send our children to school in our neighbourhood. Many children cannot attend the schools in their neighbourhoods despite being able to see the school from their bedroom windows. This is the result of decades of poor planning. I am dedicate to fix this issue. I will:
Work with the TDSB and City Council to use Section 37 Development Funds to build and expand schools.
Advocate for Educational Development Charges from the province to ensure each unit built by developers will contribute to a school expansion fund.
Look at how to re-purpose spaces in Willowdale and present innovative ideas so we can ensure that all children can attend schools in their neighbourhoods.
Willowdale is defined by the dynamic small businesses that make up our store-lined streets. These businesses are headed up by local entrepreneurs and these individuals take risks to bring new economic opportunities to our neighbourhood. However, we know that small businesses need supports. This is why I am proposing to establish a Business Improvement Area to provide support for businesses in our neighbourhood to ensure their success. There are over 80 BIAs in Toronto and it is about time that Willowdale joined in and had a clear brand to attract new business!
Brand Willowdale to attract new investment and customers
Advocate on behalf of local businesses to solve issues (e.g. marketing, beautification, employment gaps, etc.)
Provide services and resources to ensure businesses can succeed
Create sector strategies to build our local economy
Willowdale has great public spaces however they're underused. If elected, I would maximize the use of our public spaces so we can reap the benefits of our parks and venues! We should be using these spaces all year-round.
Ensure Willowdale's annual participation in Nuit Blanche
Hold events in public spaces like Mel Lastman & Lee Lifeson Art Park all year round
Establish an annual Willowdale Winter Festival to beat the winter blues
Redesign & revitalize the Finch Hydro Corridor by adding a dog park & community garden
The Reimagine Yonge Project has become a controversial topic for Willowdalers. We must recognize that we can only repave and redo Yonge Street once every 30 to 50 years. This being said - we must remember what the trends of not only today will be but of tomorrow. We must also keep in mind that tens of thousands of people live on the Yonge corridor and call Yonge their home - so it very much is a residential street.
This being said - I would change a few parts of the current project:
I would put both north and south bikelanes on the West-side of Yonge to ensure that buses turning right on Finch Ave. into the Finch bus terminal can do so safely.
Take out the concrete median and replace it with a lane of traffic - which would ensure five lanes of traffic.
Use the three lanes of traffic going south in the morning and three lanes going north in the afternoons to ensure we are optimizing with the flow of traffic.
Yonge Street for All
Check out who else believes in Saman!
ToRonto Labour Council
“For her commitment to progressive politics and her work building a progressive base in Willowdale, we are proud to endorse Saman Tabasi Nejad for Toronto City Council Ward 18.”
MPP Marit Stiles
“Saman is a strong and passionate advocate for our schools, and dedicated to her community of Willowdale. I look forward to working together with her to find solutions to address overcrowded Willowdale schools, and to fix our schools in the neighbourhood and across the city. I’m proud to endorse Saman for City Council!”
MPP Faisal Hassan
"With her proven leadership in Willowdale, Saman is uniquely qualified to strengthen the city's diverse community at City Hall. Willowdale needs representation in city government that is truly reflective of the community. Saman Tabasinejad is an experienced, fair minded, and active member of her community. She will be a strong and local voice for Willowdale."
Saman in Media
Check out Saman being featured in the media!
The desire to enact changes at the policy level galvanized Saman to get involved with politics. She is determined to bring progressive politics into a historically more conservative neighborhood.
“Young people are the greatest assets of the city. We propel entrepreneurship and innovation. However, we can’t thrive when we are impeded by barriers such as housing affordability and long commute times. The city needs to help us.”
This young woman’s life in Willowdale has exposed her to lessons about community, the importance of social programming, ensuring access to affordable housing and how critical it is for local leaders to listen to the voices of the people around them, regardless of their background or status.
“I think Willowdale, and all of Toronto actually, is at an impasse. We are struggling to create a shared vision for our community and our city.”
Meet Saman Tabasinejad, the Woman Changing Willowdale.
As a viable candidate for Toronto City Council, Saman Tabasinejad has devoted her career to making her local community a better place to live. She is currently representing Willowdale in hopes of making her home town a better place to live.
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Let's elect a New Face a New Voice for a New Ward 28!
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How Can We Make Ward 28 Work Better?
Willowdale occupies a special place in all of our hearts - this is why we need a representative who will listen and be your strong voice at City Hall!
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