By Jasmine Shaw | Apr 5th
“The impossible only seems impossible until you cross that line, and suddenly it was inevitable.”
This sums up the energy in the room on Wednesday, March 30th as 40 (masked) people gathered to celebrate the Campaign Office opening of Abhijeet Manay, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and Candidate for Beaches East York (BEY). 40 people of all backgrounds, ages, and identities ready to mobilize neighbours and fellow residents of BEY to elect their very first Green MPP.
Abhijeet’s speech started on a powerful note of optimism and hope about the office opening, and the upcoming election more broadly: “[This office] will be a garden where we can plant our seeds of hope, that will flower into change and a better tomorrow.” Systemic change, that is, rooted in justice and sustainability. “Environmental justice, climate justice, political justice, economic justice, social justice.” Before looking ahead to the future, Abhijeet reflected on his own political roots. His grandfather served as a member of parliament in India and was a steadfast champion of social justice and a voice for the urban poor. His desire to do politics differently was instilled in Abhijeet, who recognized those same traits when he met Mike Schreiner. Schreiner – also in attendance at the BEY Office opening – has been in office for 4 years now, and there are two key lessons that we can learn not only from his journey as the first Green MPP in Ontario, but from Greens across the country. The secret sauce? It all comes down to humility as a leader and willingness to listen to people.
And Abhijeet plans to do just that. Having already knocked on 20% of doors in the BEY riding, he has heard loud and clear what matters most to residents: addressing the affordability crisis, political transparency and honesty, and true climate action.
Whether you live in the BEY riding, are passing by, or happen to be in the area, we invite you to pop in to our office at 1821 Queen Street East, Unit #5 to chat with Abhijeet or one of our many volunteers about the power of a Green future for our community. Check out Abhijeet’s full speech below:
Speech quotes and highlights
“Justice is why we are all here today. Environmental Justice, climate justice, political justice, economic justice, social justice.”
“Solutions lie in changes to systems.”
- 4:00 “The impossible only seems impossible until you cross that line, and suddenly it was inevitable.”
- 9:40 “That’s how we’ll win. By listening to people.”
- 12:00 “Converting someone to your cause is about emotion … about recognizing that there’s a human being in front of you.”
- 13:00 “Even more important is humility … we don’t have all the answers. So listen to what people have to say to you .. that’s what politics should be about.”
- 13:38 “This is how we win: With people-powered change.”
- 16:00 “Enough is enough. This cannot go on, because the status quo is completely broken, and Greens are the ones who can fix it. So join us in bringing change to BEY and let’s paint this riding green!”