When I think about the kind of leader I want to support…one of the first things I think about is “trust”. I am supporting Charlie because I trust him. As a registered social worker and professor emerita who is committed to goals of equity and social justice, I trust Charlie. I observed Charlie’s work within the Saskatoon community long before he became the Mayor of this city. I knew what he stood for because he was someone who consistently supported the work of community agencies and community workers, especially those living on the “West side” of the city. I felt that he wanted to learn about social issues, that he wanted to listen to the voices of those who were marginalized, and that he wanted to make sure that everyone lived equitably within this city.
I trust him because I know he will continue to learn about the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the city and province. And that he will walk alongside these communities and speak out when it is appropriate. I trust him because I know he will participate in Pride Parades, not because he is being opportunistic and trying to score points, but because he does his best to understand the history of oppression and marginalization experienced by the lgbtq+ communities; and he wants to show his respect and support. More recently, as he listened to the voices of the Black Lives Matter activists, he reached out to some of us who belong to the Black Community. As a Black woman, I appreciated Charlie’s humility…he didn’t have all the answers, but he was open to creating a space for us to share our ideas. We felt he listened.
Finally, I appreciate that Charlie is not a one-issue leader. He is concerned about the economy, about the environment, about infrastructure, and many layered issues facing the Saskatoon community. I support this leader because he will provide the kind of leadership that will make Saskatoon a place where all peoples want to call home.