This letter was posted on Jessie’s Facebook page. Personally, I think that Ontario lost by not having Jessie in the legislature. With permission, here is the entire letter.
Hello, friends and supporters! Apologies for the delay in posting this quick note. I hope you have all been well since our celebrations on Thursday night.
I must first thank all those volunteers who knocked on doors with me, phone canvassed, stuffed envelopes, answered phones, dropped flyers, put up [and are now taking down] signs, and generally made our efforts that much easier. Your time and commitment is so very much appreciated. Seeing new volunteers in the office made my day. It was that much more fun to get out and meet people knowing we had a fantastic and capable group in the office and out in the community.
To the office staff – Ian Roberts [data whiz and expert on everything SSW], Ryan Hurley [who is on it and will handle it!], Cindy Kraakman [office whiz and expert at remembering where we parked!], Chris Mockler, Hijal De Sarkar, and everyone else who came in to make sure e-day went smoothly, my deepest thanks.
To the executive and members of the SSW ONDP, I am profoundly grateful for your trust and faith in me and the whole team. Thanks especially to our fabulous Scarborough Southwest MP, Dan Harris, for the hours he lent out of his busy schedule to assist. I began my volunteering in SSW with Dan’s office and his continually brilliant staff and I am honoured to have had his [and their] support.
Thanks also to those in other political parties who were so kind as to believe in a young person wanting to make a difference that they contributed in various ways.
Thank you to our brilliant campaign manager, Andrea Moffatt, whose humour and determination inspired all of us to work our hardest. Andrea [and Khel!] are now working for the equally fantastic federal candidate Elizabeth Wong in the Scarborough-Agincourt federal by-election. I encourage all of my friends and fellow Scarborough NDPers to get out there to volunteer! I will certainly be keeping my canvassing skills fresh over in Trinity-Spadina, as well, where Joe Cressy and his talented team are working hard to keep the riding orange.
Thanks also to those other Scarborough ONDP candidates, especially Alexander Wilson [and family!], Carol Baker, Neethan Shan. We are Scarborough United!
To the elected MPP for the fourth straight time, Lorenzo Berardinetti: congratulations. Until now I have only been involved with campaigns as a volunteer; it has been an eye-opener to realize how much time and effort it takes to be the face of one, much less to continually represent a riding so diverse. To Nita Kang and David Del Grande, congratulations on a hard-fought campaign. Though we may each have different approaches, we are all committed to the goal of a better Scarborough Southwest and a better Ontario.
Thank you to all of the supporters, those who took a lawn sign, those who donated, and those who voted. Thanks, of course, to those who voted for the SSW ONDP, but thanks also to those who considered their options and took the time to vote, generally. I encourage you to continue to discuss the issues you hear about on the news with your friends and colleagues and to encourage those who do not normally vote to vote in any upcoming elections. It pained me [and my mother, who was out and about with me in Scarborough every day!] to hear about all those who felt that there was no place for them in politics, that they were completely unrepresented, that all politicians are crooks and so would not vote. I ran for the ONDP because I felt that, by getting involved, I might be able to demonstrate why it need not be this way.
Thanks to all those I met at the Fu Yaos, the No Frills, the coffee shops, the grocery stores. Thanks to all those who saw me running down the street to your doorsteps in my bright orange sneakers and scarf and greeted me with such enthusiasm and support, or running down Birchmount at 8 15pm on the night of the election as I tried to get people to vote at the last moment and shouted to me, “we just voted for you, Jessie!!”. My heart swells so that it nearly explodes when I remember these parts of the campaign.
Thanks also to those whose doors I knocked on and whose afternoon coffees I interrupted who challenged me. Who asked me why no one was accountable, why nothing was getting done, why we as politicians [or prospective politicians] couldn’t get our collective acts together and make some change, already. I am a different person from having met many of you, and I am honoured that you took the time to remind me of why I am never giving up.
Robert Frost said that “a champion of the working man has never yet been known to die of overwork.” This quote has never resonated with me so much as now.
Onward we go!