05/10/10 – By JORDAN MAXWELL
After losing the battle for Ward 18 councillor to Adam Giambrone in 2003 and working in the private sector, Ana Bailao is back and says she is strapped with the confidence, knowledge and passion necessary to represent Davenport.
“We need to run the city and make sure that it’s run efficiently. My experience will help me,” she said.
Bailao received 40 per cent of the vote in 2003 while current ward councillor, Adam Giambrone, won with 52 per cent. Upon defeat, Bailao returned to the private sector working for marketing and banking firms; she is now the VP of Marketing at a health and IT company.
According to her, this is not all she’s learned and acquired since the last election.
“I gained appreciation for the hard work and (got) more contact with the people of Davenport. You see what kind of support you have out there which is great,” she said.
Public transportation, infrastructure, job growth, a sustainable budget and, more importantly, community engagement represent the new pillars of her platform.
Bailao’s plan: to be available for the community and meet its residents.
“When decisions are made, the community must be involved with community newsletters in their own languages so there is some sort of transparency,” she said.
Bailao also admitted that transparency comes not just on paper but in person as well.
“There are all kinds of people who feel left out. I feel like the residents of this area need somebody who will listen to them, work with them and be a strong voice for them.”
Infrastructure, according to Bailao, has a lot to do with her new platform, citing that business owners and their ability to run sustainable, prosperous businesses rely heavily on how the ward is maintained.
Bailao said that 42 per cent of parking was removed on Dundas St. in order to repair deteriorating streetcar tracks and worn-down watermains, which subsequently devastated business owners.
“Businesses are crying. I was talking to a lady who told me that she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to make it and she’s crying right in front of me.” she said.
Bailao admitted that even though these inconveniences are necessary, they shouldn’t interfere with the productivity of neighbourhood businesses and potential investors.
“You have to think about the residents as customers, clients and shareholders because they have the most interest,” she said.
Gentrification is another key platform in Bailao’s constitution. She said that there is “a lot of land to be developed or repair in Davenport.”
“It’s important that we invest in parks, activities for young people and seniors, and daycares as well, which has lost 49 spaces this year in the budget,” she said.
Bailao also highlighted the importance of job growth to correspond with not only the residential but commercial growth as well.
Along with her experiences, Bailao feels that her sincerity separates her from the rest of the candidates.
“Politicians like to think they know everything but that’s not true. I’m not afraid to consult with my residents and keep them involved,” she said.
Whether or not her experience in the private sector has served her with the wisdom necessary to shoulder the load, her motto still stands.
“You have to be persistent when you want something and believe in something. I believe in the potential of Davenport and I would feel very privileged if I could be councillor of Ward 18.”