Meet Adam, nomination candidate
Adam is a communications designer, who has worked in media, civil society and arts organizations in Canada and abroad, including The Globe and Mail, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Design Exchange and the Convservatoire de Paris. A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University, Adam wants to put arts and culture at the heart of a creative campaign, making politics more fun, interesting and accessible.
Adam believes that politics is first and foremost about democratic engagement—not about adhering to a party brand or personality contests. Politicians need to be good facilitators and excellent listeners. It’s about listening to constituents, as well as experts and researchers, in order to tackle the urgent issues confronting Canada and the world. The Climate Crisis, increasing inequality, pollution and declining biodiversity, and so many other pressing matters can only be addressed effectively by an accountable government.
A fluent French-speaker and active participant in the local Francophone community, he is currently spokesperson for Francophone affairs for the Green Party of Ontario (GPO). He also speaks German and Italian.
Adam is president of the Toronto Centre GPO riding association and was the Green candidate in the 2018 provincial elections. Since running he has been working to bulid the local association recruiting new volunteers, attending many local events, social media outreach and launching Democracy365: A Green podcast.
What is your connection to Toronto Centre?
I've lived in the Gay Village with my partner for the past three years. I'm a renter, cyclist, pedestrian and public transit user. I enjoy local parks, shop at local businesses, attend community events and am constantly inspired by local residents. As one of the smallest ridings in the country —we can walk from one of the riding to other in just about half an hour—, Toronto Centre is home to people from all walks of life and intersectional experiences. Over the past three years, I’ve seen our community demonstrate resilience and solidarity in a period of unprecedented growth and change in the urban fabric. Toronto Centre needs a representative who'll work to reinforce that resilience and reach out to the most vulnerable residents whose voices and experiences are not always taken into account. I see Green values reflected in a lot of the community engagement and activism that is alive and well — and that makes this place such an inspiring place to live. #SocialJustice #RespectforDiversity #ParticipatoryDemocracy #NonViolence #Sustainability #EcologicalWisdom
Could you talk about your previous political experiences?
Adam has been involved with the Green Party since before he was eligible to vote. In fact, as a first-time eligible voter, he marked “x” beside his own name as Green Party candidate for MP in his hometown riding of Ottawa-Vanier in 2000. As a teenager in the 90’s, a political platform based on global Green principles — fighting climate change and biodiversity, championing social justice and global equity, curbing consumption and a just transition to a sustainable economy — resonated deeply with me. No other party was raising these concerns and he’s proud to have been part of a political movement that has pushed these issues to the forefront of the democratic agenda. We need more Greens in the House of Commons to fight for the well-being of people (present and future generations) and our planet!
In your opinion, what are the top three issues in Toronto Centre?
The climate crisis and climate justice are global issues that all communities must confront. It has never been more important to work across party lines and with representatives from all regions and levels of government to achieve a just transition to a clean and caring economy. Toronto Centre can be a global leader in building a new just economy. The impending approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline as Parliament debates declaring a climate emergency again demonstrates the lack of ambition on climate action.
It is essential that we take a holistic approach to policy making that recognizes the interconnections between social, economic and environmental issues. So, I'd like to touch on a few things that local residences have raised during my conversations with them over the past year. Access to affordable housing—in the true sense of the word affordable, which is not synonymous with "market rate"—is undoubtedly one of the most challenging local issues. It, however, cannot be isolated from growing economic inequality and precarity caused by rapidly shifting job markets. These issues point to an urgent need to implement a guaranteed basic iIncome. Harm reduction and preventative health care are also top of mind for residents in this neighbourhood and beyond—addiction must be approached as a health issue, not a criminal one.
Democratic engagement should be the priority of any campaign. An election campaign is only the beginning, not the end, of the on-going democratic conversation—one that needs to include people with a wide variety of lived experiences. We must support and reinforce an independent media, a strong civil society and government transparency. Politicians must find creative, compelling ways to engage more citizens and create space for those who have been left out of the process. Partisan politics in merely a means to an end, not an end in and of itself
LinkedIn Adam Sommerfeld
L'espace franco-torontois me tient beaucoup à cœur. N'hésitez pas à m'écrire en français également! Il me ferait plaisir de vous répondre dans la langue de Molière.