- Get Involved
- Connect with Leaders
- Leadership Stories
- Research and Tools
Who spends a sunny, Saturday morning in June indoors learning about how to volunteer in an election campaign that doesn’t officially start until after Labour Day? The answer is a group of forty committed, dynamic and engaged emerging leaders from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.
Diverse in every sense of the word, and falling across the political spectrum, they are all active in some capacity in making change in their communities. Some have previously volunteered in campaigns. One is weighing a municipal by-election run. Two will stand as candidates for Member of Provincial Parliament on October 6.
Their participation in electoral politics enriches and strengthens our democracy. It matters who is within the corridors of power. It matters who our political leaders are.Those who lead and make decisions shape the future of our communities. Leaders are a powerful symbol and political leadership is particularly visible.
But, to ensure all sectors of society can participate, the political process needs to be demystified.
That’s where the School4Civics Bootcamp comes in. So often political involvement is fleeting, short-term and confusing.
This is particularly true of election campaigns. Volunteers work in campaigns, carrying out an endless list of tasks, without understanding their purpose within the larger context of the campaign. And after the ballots are cast, most will walk away having experienced an intense period of participation but without a plan to remain involved and indeed to become more connected and influential.
In our Bootcamp, participants gained insight into the process and practical tools to participate. Together with Sean Meagher, we packed the day with participatory training and exercises focused on volunteering with purpose, understanding the key elements of a campaign, and understanding how a campaign is built and executed.
Above all, through School4Civics we encourage participants to stay engaged and build a network that will allow for a lifetime of making social change through the political process. We hope that they will remain interested in political engagement over the long haul, which is when change can really happen.
The Bootcamp participants are off to do just that. They’ll volunteer on provincial campaigns. They’ll join a political party. They will become involved in their riding associations. Sooner or later many will be candidates.
We will offer another School4Civics Bootcamp in September, just as the candidates are knocking on doors and the campaign signs start to dot the lawns and balconies of homes across our region.
Expect new faces on your doorstep.