Sometimes a loss isn’t an ending but a step towards a new end. I realized that at the nomination meeting for Jennifer Hollett, running as a New Democrat in the newly created federal riding of University Rosedale.
Last summer, desperate to help end our long municipal nightmare, I emailed everyone on the Olivia Chow mayoral campaign. Jenn, the campaign’s digital director, was the first to respond. Soon I was on the digital team and editing the campaign’s Tumblr. Previously, I used Tumblr for animated gifs of drag queens. Now it had a slightly more practical purpose.
Jenn kept me in the loop and made me feel I was a valued member of the campaign. The election may not have ended the way we wanted, but I’ll always be proud of what the digital team created.
Arriving at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre for Jenn’s nomination, it struck me how much I missed the campaign. We had so much work still to do. Judging by the familiar faces I recognized from the Chow campaign, I wasn’t the only one to feel that way.
Accepting the nomination, Jenn described her background as a CBC reporter and producer who asked tough questions on important issues.
“I had to move from asking questions to finding answers,” she explained. “So I left the media and joined the NDP.”
She acknowledged many feel cynical and disconnected from politics, but maintained it didn’t have to be that way. Surveying the crowded room, she declared, “We are politics. Politics is about people.”
Jenn said she didn’t know exactly when the election would be called, “but I do know the work starts tonight.” As a digital veteran, I’m poised and ready to tweet, link and tumble as soon as she needs me.