Morgan Baskin isn’t a household name — yet — but with her sharp and fresh eyes on the mayor’s chair she is certainly a young woman to watch. We had the pleasure of chatting with her to talk about her start, her ideas, and her advice for her peers who might also want to get involved in their civic communities.
How did you get your start in politics?
In traditional politics I started when I filed my papers to run for Mayor. In more grassroots community politics? When I was born. I have always been active in my community, I was fortunate to have been born into an incredibly active family. I was involved in Scouting at a young age as well as in my church community and made my way through various leadership roles in those communities, many of which I continue to fulfil.
What needs to change at City Hall?
I could write a very long list of things but I’ll stick to the basics.
We need to figure out how to be a team and work as one. Divisive politics have plagued our city for too long and it needs to change. Anyone who says it can’t be done needs to find some optimism. We have to try to find a team spirit, otherwise we will be having the same conversations we have been having for thirty years for the next thirty years.
We need to trust our professionals. We need to work closely with and listen to them. They were hired for a reason and they deserve to be listened to and trusted to do their jobs. The final decisions are often made by politicians, and we need to ask good questions and query the results, but we need to respect the information we pay for.
What is the issue most important to Torontonians in this election?
I can’t speak for the several million of us, but in my opinion transit is shaping up to be a big one. Public transit, bike lanes, roads the whole shebang. It’s causing stress and safety problems and is strangling our economy.
What advantage does your age give you over other candidates twice or three times your age?
It gives me a fresh perspective free of previous political baggage. I am still at a period in my life where I am used to listening, to asking for help when I need it and admitting when I am wrong. These are all skills that I think City Hall could use. I think we need truly fresh voices in politics. I think I can be that voice.
What advice do you have for your peers on how to get more involved in civics and their communities?
Jump in with both feet. There are many opportunities to get involved. Pick one and do it. Whether it’s being an activist on an issue you feel strongly about or quietly working to improve your community through the various community organizations or even party politics. Do something that feels productive and interesting and makes you feel hopeful about your community.