Ward: 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence), an open seat currently occupied by Karen Stintz.
Background: Youssefi was a criminal lawyer before having kids, and now maintains her own law practice. For the past three years, she’s been a teacher at Seneca College, where she has taught courses on criminal law, ethics, advocacy, and other subjects. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in 1994 and her law degree from McGill in 1998. She has two children under the age of 10.
Why are you running for council? “Contributing to the community and trying to improve things has always been in me. It’s part of why I’ve done volunteer work ever since I came to Canada 30 years ago or so. I feel very passionate about working with people and for people, and particularly helping to improve conditions when it comes to development, for people who are marginalized.
If there’s one thing we love about TIFF, it’s TIFF Survival Guides. Ostensibly, TIFF is daunting. Though most people in Toronto may—may—go see a movie or two, maybe three—maybe—it’s important to believe that the earth is literally shifting beneath our feet during all of this, that it’s not all some sort of cultural echo chamber. So, as with any natural occurrence that lasts nearly a fortnight and involves movie stars riding around in limousines, it’s important to prepare. Because do you know what the opposite of survival is? That’s right: un-survival.
Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) remains competitive in his riding despite a fundraising scandal and his own erratic-at-best behaviour over the years, but Keegan Henry-Mathieu isn’t very interested in discussing Mammo’s foibles. More important to him is Mammo’s record. “[Ward 7 residents] can point to a stop sign, but anybody in that position—the bare minimum is coming up with those small wins for residents. Anybody who’s been elected can do that—and I’m hearing from lots of people that Giorgio Mammoliti isn’t getting back to them any more. I think residents should be looking for more than that. You can call 311 and get a stop sign. It’s not brain surgery just because Mammoliti wants to make it seem that way.”
Henry-Mathieu is new to politics, and yet he isn’t: he’s new in that this is his first council race, but he’s been regularly involved with City Hall since he became a member of the Toronto Youth Cabinet in his teens. “I had the opportunity to work with City staff, city council members, members of the community, especially here … I decided to run because I know that, as an activist, you can only get so much done.”