Posted by DemocracyKit on 03/09/2017

Ange Valentini, Campaign Manager | How I Got Started

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaExplore-Campaign Team,
GroupsWomen in politics,

Ange Valentini, Campaign Manager, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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0:00 Tell us about your story. How did you get involved in municipal election campaigns?

Hi there, I'm Ange Valentini from Toronto and I have probably been working on campaigns since I was about 16. And the  interesting thing is in my grade 11 law class there was a kid who sat a row over from me, his name's Trevor Timm Chuck and he decided he was going to run for school board in North York. And he, I had never really chatted to him before in school and one day he said "hey you seem like you really care about democracy and electoral process. I'm running for school board, would you help me out?" And that's probably the, that is the first campaign that I really got involved in and basically my involvement was E-Day, so showing up and being a scrutineer and having a chat with Trevor and his buddies and his family about we are we thought our votes were coming from, and we didn't have enough volunteers to be in every poll so which ones were going to go to. And then it involved a lot of sitting around in a polling station all day. But it was cool because it was... I've said his name now. We're gonna say he's not particularly popular and didn't... like he wasn't you probably wasn't the kind of person you usually think would take a big risk or run for office, but he had some really good ideas about what the education system should be doing in terms of responding to the needs of special needs students and he was willing to take a risk and get out there and run to raise that conversation.

1:40 What keeps you coming back?

As long as I I've had this really strong feeling that if things aren't quite right in the world, that nothing's going to change unless regular people step forward and use our voices to speak out or actively work towards change. It's really the Margaret Meade quote about "never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world the only thing that ever has." It truly is the only thing that ever has. I tend to pick up campaigns that are perceived to be - or joining campaigns or starting campaigns - that are perceived to be underdog campaigns. Like there's no way you could stop the casino industry or there's no way you could stop an incinerator that's burning garbage with that stack but when enough people get together and get creative and get honest and are willing to have conversations about that and put, put themselves out to create the world that we want to live in, they want to live in, that's how you make progress. So I guess that's really what  keeps me coming back.

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