Snapshots of candidates running for city council in 2014.
Candidate: Dyanoosh Youssefi (age 43)
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.
I feel strongly about a lot of the issues we deal with at the municipal level, I’m really committed to help make change that way.”
Priorities for Ward 16: “I think that the ward shares a lot of issues that are shared throughout the city—so obviously transportation and development. I’m looking at responsible development, but also having inclusive communities and respectful policing.
When we talk about responsible development … some of the issues we want to take into consideration is that infrastructure is maintained and improved with increased density. So things like subways, water mains, and schools have to make sure they are increasing at the same pace as the buildings.
As for respect for policing … I think that police officers by and large want to help and serve, and there’s more of a need to train officers to help people with mental health challenges, so that conflicts are de-escalated as opposed to guns being used.
Improving police relations with the community, too. Those are important to Toronto residents and people who care about those issues.”