Thank You and What’s Next…

Thank You.

A little over a week ago, London elected its new Council for the next four years.  While disappointed with the outcome personally, I am quite pleased for our community, and congratulate all of the winning candidates on their electoral success.  I believe that this next Council nicely blends experience with enthusiasm, and will work very hard to deliver on the promise of our city.

I would also like to extend to our new Mayor my best wishes on his new role, and express my appreciation to all of the Mayoral candidates who stepped forward with the goal of serving our city.  After collectively participating in a whopping eighteen All-Candidate meetings over the intense seven-week period that preceded Election Day, we have certainly come to know each other well, and I am most grateful for the opportunity to meet these wonderful Londoners and bear witness to their deep passion for our city.

Finally, I want to thank all of the Londoners who made a mark next to my name, be it their first, second or third choice.  I am still deeply touched by the number of people who researched my campaign, asked tough questions, advocated on our behalf, personally contributed to our outreach efforts, and ultimately trusted me enough to vote for me on election day.  I am humbled by such support, and will never forget the thoughtfulness, engagement and generosity of Londoners who were so willing to entrust me with our city’s governance.   It was an honour to receive such consideration.

What’s Next.

So, after six months of campaigning, and twelve months of preparation before that, what’s next for me and more notably The Paolatto Report.

First, on a personal level, I have already begun to re-direct my efforts on continuing to build Western Research Parks and the ADEISS Centre.  Both enterprises are doing quite well, and I am very grateful to both teams for their continued engagement throughout my infrequent absence.  I was especially proud of the ADEISS Centre, whose state-of-the-art work was recently featured on CBC and CTV nationally, as well as CNN, The New York Times, CBS News, Fox News, Time Magazine, and leading Daily newspapers around the globe.

Second, and perhaps of greater note is that beginning in the New Year, I plan to re-purpose, re-energize and re-invest in The Paolatto Report.

The primary reason for re-investing in this social media asset is that during the election, I have come to know, appreciate and respect many Londoners throughout our city who are really struggling to find their way:  be it build their business, find a job, pay the bills, put a roof over their heads, or just survive the day.

Their stories and life burdens have touched me in such a profound way, I simply cannot ignore them.

Whether it was Cathy working two jobs to cover her escalating day care costs; or Mario trying to return to work from an injury to help his wife cover their mounting household expenses; or Chris, who’s desperately trying to get an inspection scheduled so he can finally put his renovated home on the market; or Mary, who no longer feels safe leaving her home at night; or John, who’s only rooming option is a bug-infested rental housing unit; all of these stories need to remain in public view, especially as the glare of an election fades.

So, in an effort to continue to shed some light on these individuals and their daily challenges, and perhaps give them a much-needed voice between campaign periods, I plan to use my blog to share their stories, reveal their struggles, and suggest solutions that might make their lives and the lives of those around them a little better.

I also want to use this blog as a vehicle to draw badly-needed attention to public issues that I have come to really care about – issues such as badly-needed re-investment in social housing, much greater respect for small business in our city, improved job creation and investment attraction, and enhanced public safety.  My background and bias toward in-depth research affords me with an ability to conduct thorough reviews of specific issues that may not garner the same press coverage due to their frustrating lack of resources.   And my electoral near-miss provides me with a unique platform from which to contribute to the debate and table prospective solutions.

Therefore, beginning on January 8th, I plan to write the first in a series of monthly blogs about the people, places and issues that touched me during the campaign.  While I do not expect every blog post to be of interest to everyone, I do hope that each blog will be sufficiently informative, opinionated and provocative to stimulate civic reaction and response.

More importantly, it is my hope that such commentary will help further enlighten those who may not be aware of our many civic challenges, lend substance to any debate on these same issues, and give those who feel ignored, diminished and disenfranchised in our community with a voice with which to share their problem and seek a potential remedy.

I look forward to this re-engagement and wish to thank you again for all your support throughout this rewarding experience.  I am richer for it, and now wish to use my blog to provide a return to those that made an investment in me.

Hopefully, it will make a difference.