Did Alejandra Bravo doom the Jonah Schein campaign?

32 posts / 0 new
Last post
Downtowner
Did Alejandra Bravo doom the Jonah Schein campaign?

Much grumbling in the Jonah Schein campaign for City Council about the role of Alejandra Bravo in the wake of his resounding defeat to Council embarrassment Cesar Palacio in Davenport North. The campaign was in thrall to Bravo, who came very close the last time around, losing to Palacio by less than 300 votes. She endorsed Schein early on and they believed she would be their secret weapon. There is no doubt that Bravo is a star. Very charismatic, talented, Latina, speaks Portugese, the dominant language of Davenport North. Schein, in contrast, is a unilingual anglo. They were obviously counting on Bravo to campaign hard for Schein, who she endorsed early on. However, in the words of one campaign insider, "she barely lifted a finger." Her people came in one night to make calls to their old supporters, she went out once or twice with Schein, despite sending an email three weeks before election day claiming she would spend every spare moment knocking on doors with him. Of course, she's a mother with a full-time job so perhaps she really din't have a lot of time to spare. But it was her long tentacles and unhealthy influence over the campaign that have people perplexed. First, she insisted early on that Schein distance himself from Joe Pantalone. Why? Not because he was a loser. But because Pantalone failed to endorse her in 2006. Instead, he campaigned for one of the fringe candidates, Fred Dominelli, one of his best friends who he grew up with. Then she insisted that Schein stay away from the local Trustee, Maria Rodrigues, a long-time Dipper and one of the leaders of the progressive faction at the TDSB, who Bravo originally asked to run in 2003 and who she campaigned with as a slate in both 2003 and 2006. Given Schein's lack of Portugese, one would think he'd be anxious to latch on to Rodrigues, a popular incumbent who is Portugese, speaks Spanish, and whose husband, a Salvadoran refugee, has strong ties to the progressive Latino population in Davenport. Rodrigues was also a key player in the battle against diesel trains, helping to ally the TDSB with the local community to argue for electrification of the Georgetown Corridor by sponsoring a Board study that showed the diesel trains would affect the health and hearing of thousands of students in schools near the tracks. Surely she would be an important campaign asset. But it seems that a few months before the election, Bravo approached Rodrigues and asked her to step aside so that she could run for Trustee, which is only a part time job. That way, she could keep her comfortable job at the Maytree Foundation and it would be a great platform to launch a future run. Understandably, Rodrigues declined and that put her on Bravo's very long enemies list. Schein was cautioned not to run with her. Rodrigues went on to win a landslide victory, getting more votes than all her four opponents combined, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of her fellow Portugese population are listed as Catholic school supporters and couldn't even vote for her. And yet she could have helped Schein win some of those people over, especially the progressive mainland Portugese who make up a small but politically aware percentage of the ward's population. Portugal, after all, has a socialist government. Peter Ferreira, another Portugese stalwart in Davenport, had also reportedly alienated Bravo, so no sign of him in the Schein campaign either, despite the fact that he built up a very strong team in his previous runs. That may not be entirely Bravo's fault though, considering that he and the riding association had a temporary falling out that has since apparently been healed. Partially as the result of these dubious choices, the Labour Council was very slow to endorse Jonah and provided very little support.  I heard one member of the Riding association complain that he is "not a team player." In Schein's defence, he is not actually a Dipper and so he is not being disloyal by distancing himself from the Party faithful. In contrast, I admire his independent spirit. He ran a great, very inspiring grassroots campaign and brought up important issues that no other campaign addressed. In many ways, he was victimized by the Ford effect. In fact, his ward was one of the only ones in Toronto proper who voted for Ford, and I'm sure most of those Fordistas voted for Palacio, though he was truly trounced at the polls so the Ford bandwagon alone can't really explain it. It would be great to see him try again in four years, but this time, they'd be smart to listen to their own instincts instead of the ghosts of the past and realize that without Portugese support, Davenport is unwinnable.  It's too bad that Bravo can't seem to let go of her petty vendettas, which are tarnishing her reputation and legacy. Very disappointing. She, like Karen Sun, could be the future of the NDP and I hope she can let it go because I was always a big fan of hers. The left has to stop eating itself or we're doomed to many more elections like this one. 

 

 

 

Issues Pages: 
Sunday Hat

Downtowner wrote:
... without Portugese support, Davenport is unwinnable.
In that case, maybe people should find a Portugese candidate.

Stockholm

I don't think you need to be Portuguese yourself to get significant Portuguese support. Giambrone managed to win there twice and last I chcek Ruprecht does not have one drop of Portuguese blood either.

Unionist

Ruprecht? I could have told you Steve Martin wasn't Portuguese.

Ok, I'll bow back out of this very local Toronto thread...

It is Hallowe'en, after all.

Lord Palmerston

Tony Letra is Portuguese and he came a distant third. Cesar Palacio is Ecuadorian.

I think Jonah Schein did respectably.  Remember that Ford carried Ward 17.

Stockholm

Thank goodness that in the interest of diversity - we maintained some Ecuadorian representation on council!!

BTW: I think that Mary Fragedakis may be one of the first Greek-Canadians I can think of elected to Toronto City council.

Its true that Ford carried ward 17 - but he also carried the northern half of Beaches-East York and that didn't stop Janet Davis from sweeping in.

Aristotleded24

Interesting discussion, I know people in this ward, so I was watching it and was disappointed that nothing changed here.

Stockholm

I realize there are two sides to every story, but if in fact Brava did purposely sabotage the Shein campaign - what would be the motive? Or is it possible that she thought she was giving sound advice and it some people think it was counter productive?

Downtowner

I don't think Bravo purposefully sabotaged the Schein campaign. I'm sure she would have loved to see him win. It's just that she used her influence over the campaign to even personal scores. And the stuff she was spreading about Rodrigues was quite mean-spirited. I suppose that's typical in politics, but I expected better from her and it definitely hurt the Schein campaign, no two ways about it. 

Sunday Hat

Stockholm wrote:

I don't think you need to be Portuguese yourself to get significant Portuguese support. Giambrone managed to win there twice and last I chcek Ruprecht does not have one drop of Portuguese blood either.

Giambrone's in a different ward. Much more anglo.

I don't think you need a Portugese candidate to win. I think you need someone who can metaphorically speak their language (literally would be nice too). Ford did. Ruprecht, for all his creepiness, has a populist touch.

Endorsements by Jim Stanford, Wayne Roberts and Adam Vaughan... don't quite hit that spot. In fact, they miss it by 33 million milies.

 

Polunatic2

Palacio significantly increased his margin of victory this time. That could say a lot about the power of incumbency (and the streetcar issue). It's  not clear that anyone could have beat him from the left. We can always say that we or someone else "didn't do enough" but sometimes, it's just not in the cards and it's best to come peace with that. The 2006 Bravo campaign must have squeezed every single possible vote out of that ward and still came up short against an incumbent. 

Stockholm

Sunday Hat wrote:

I don't think you need a Portugese candidate to win. I think you need someone who can metaphorically speak their language (literally would be nice too). Ford did. Ruprecht, for all his creepiness, has a populist touch.

Endorsements by Jim Stanford, Wayne Roberts and Adam Vaughan... don't quite hit that spot. In fact, they miss it by 33 million milies.

 

What exactly are you trying to imply about Portuguese-Canadians?? Do you think they are all a bunch of semi-literate goons who are either cleaning ladies or work in construction and who all hate intellectuals and pine for the good old days when Portugal was under the Salazar dictatorship? and that therefore the ONLY way to attract them if by doing the Ford/Ruprecht rightwing populist shtick? If that's the case, why do you think that federally those that don't vote NDP vote for openly gay Mario Silva of the Liberals and very, very few have voted for the rightwing populist Tory candidates they had the option of voting for in the last few elections.

are you even aware of the fact that Portugal itself has a Socialist Party government?

FYI: I think that Jim Stanford is actually a very good example of a guy who is very populist but from a more leftwing perspective - but somehow I doubt whether very many Portuguese-Canadian voters in ward 17 poured over Jonah Schein's website and said "no way am i voting for this guy - he's endorsed by Jim Stanford and Wayne Roberts - horror of horrors!!"

Sunday Hat

Dude.

I have to assume you've never knocked on the door of a Portugese or Italian household in the west-end. They don't know who the hell Jim Stanford is and if you told them they wouldn't care. 

 

I'm saying we need left-wing populist schtick. Paul Ferreira can do it. Rosario Marchese can do it.

Stockholm

Why should they know who Jim Standford is??? He was one of many, many people who endorsed Jonah Schein - I don't think anyone expects every single solitary voter to be personally familiar with every single person endorsing a candidate whose name appears on the candidate's website. I'm sure there were lots of people endorsing Cesra Palacio that no one's ever heard of either.

From what I can tell Schein actually was a very "populist" candidate. I don't buy into this idea that the only way you can be a leftwing populist if to have a name that ends in a vowel and to not be able to pronouce the "th" sound in English. That's just an old stereotype.

The guy lost because, in municipal politics its extremely difficult to dislodge an incumbent - barring them having done something scandalous. Granted, Palacio's ex-girlfriend was murdered under suspicious circumstances last year - but there was no evidence that he was involved in it. Under the circumstances, coming within 1,000 votes of winning was quite a feat for Schein and I'm not convinced that anyone else could have done any better this year.

This started with your absurd assertion that the only way to win Ward 17 was with a Portuguese candidate - which doesn't address the fact that Palacio is Ecuadorian and the Portuguese candidate Letra (the one who was convicted of electoral fraud a few ye4ars ago) came a distant third.

Sunday Hat
Polunatic2

The margin was actually 1,300+ plus votes. I agree that under the right circumstances, incumbents can be defeated but it obviously wasn't Cesar's time. 

Lord Palmerston

Schein received 4,827 votes, which is more than the 4,546 votes Alejandra Bravo received in 2006.  But Palacio increased his raw vote total from 4,827 (yes, the exact same number as Schein!) to 6,154.

Lazy Tony

Exactly.  4827 would have been enough to win four years ago.  Unfortunately the 'Rob Ford factor' apparently got a lot of people voting this time who didn't participate in 2006.  And of course those Rob Ford voters weren't likely to vote for anyone openly campaigning to the left of centre.  This undoubtedly hurt Schein, as well as Beaulieu further south.

Anthony Schein

Downtowner, whoever you are, you should be ashamed of yourself.

My name is Anthony Schein, and I was the campaign manager for the Jonah Schein campaign.

Alejandra Bravo has been an incredible mentor both to me and to Jonah over the years I have known her. She has taught me more about civic life, politics, and campaigning then just about anyone else.

Alejandra was an incredible asset to our campaign. She supported us with her usual grace, patience, and unstoppable work ethic. Alejandra spent dozens of hours canvassing for Jonah.

When we started the campaign in July, we knew our path to victory was to capitalize on the Bravo votes and add to them. With Alejandra's help, along with her parter, mother, and daughter, as well as a political community that she has fostered in Davenport for the past decade, we did just that. The x factor here was simply the uptick in support for Palacio, provided by Rob Ford.

I, for one, am tired of hearing the idea that you need to be Portuguese to win in Davenport. We've been down that road, and we've lost. What we need in Davenport is strong candidates, with clear visions and the ability to bring people together around them. Jonah had that. Alejandra had that. Andrew Cash has that. We've continued to increease the support we have and close that gap, little by little. Jonah received more votes then any progressive candidate in Ward 17 history. Before last week, Alejandra held that record. Peter Ferreira, in his 2007 provincial run, received just over 3000 votes in Davenport North.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at anthony.schein@gmail.com or 647 802 6586.

 

Sincerely,

Anthony Schein

 

 

 

Stockholm

Cue "Downtowner" running off like a dog with its tail between its legs!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Schein made good impact here. He can run again, and maybe even win next time around.

Downtowner

Wasn't me who suggested that you have to be Portugese to run in Davenport. I don't believe that at all. But I do know that it's unwinnable without significant Portugese support and progressive candidates have to do a better job of reaching out to that community. It's simply not good politics in that ward to distance themselves from a popular progressive Portugese incumbent and an experienced Davenport pol like Ferreira. Were the Portugese naturally attracted to Rob Ford, as some are suggesting? I find that highly dubious, even ridiculous, and goes to show how out of touch many of us anglos are with this community. Traditionally, they vote Liberal and even a significant portion NDP, according to both Rui Pires and Peter Ferreira, who have mounted strong showings in previous provincial and federal elections. Portugal has had a socialist government for years and many Toronto Portugese fled the Salazar regime. Tory candidates have fared poorly in Davenport. With the right outreach, many of them will vote for a progressive candidate. The idea that a rightwing surge brought out the Portugese to vote for Palacio is highly unlikely. But Palacio, who speaks Portugese and has a Portugese wife, certainly has strong ties to the Davenport Portugese community and did a masterful job of bringing them to the polls. Ironically, he is more popular with the Portugese than with his fellow Latinos, many of whom are familiar with his questionable reputation. And as I stressed, Alejandra Bravo is a star and somebody that the NDP needs to cultivate, but there is absolutely no question that her enemies list hung over the Schein campaign. Attend the next riding association meeting and you'll hear that directly from some of her own pals. I'm not at all ashamed to say it. Somebody has to ensure the same mistakes don't happen again. 

Stockholm

I don't think anyone was suggesting that the Ford "surge" brought rightwing Portuguese voters out in particular - most people in Ward 17 are still something other than Portuguese - and i think that the point is that a lot of people of all ethnicities who don't usually vote in municipal elections went to the polls specifically to vote for Ford and while they were at it - they voted for his likely acolyte  - Palacio.

Jonah Schein

I am extraordinarily proud of our campaign and what we accomplished together in three short months.  Hundreds of people worked tirelessly to win the support of 4827 voters in Davenport.  We could never have come so close, however, without the seven long years of work by Alejandra Bravo and her team and their support in the last three months.  Bravo did not "doom" our campaign.  She is a gift to our community and to our city. 

It is certainly time for the left to reflect on what just happened with the election of a right wing mayor, and of course critical analysis is fundamental to building a stronger movement.  Equally important, for us, however, is a lived commitment to solidarity. Alejandra Bravo demonstrates this solidarity with her years of work in our community and with her tremendous support for the recent campaign in Ward 17.  

Those of us who organized together in Ward 17 have a lot to be proud of. We also have a lot of work ahead of us.  I don’t believe we will accomplish our goals with anonymous arguments on Rabble.  We need to be able to look each other in the eyes, reflect together, and agree to role up our sleeves and work together to make this city work better for all of us. 

A political

A final word should go to the candidate!

ward17resident

BULLSHIT, as an Ecuadorian who lives in Ward 17 and has voted for Palacio in the last 3 elections, I can only sit here and laugh as everyone in this forum, including the candidate and his aides, try to explain Mr.Schein's loss in most recent election.

While all the left leaning think tanks, filled by mostly Caucasians might I add, try to solve the case of Ward 17, Palacio has been creating a part of Toronto that is affordable to live in for the working stupid as everyone in this forum has labeled (besides, Jim Stanford is a tool, and why do I need a CBC Newsworld pundit telling me how to vote in ward 17?) and not only for yuppie media types who realize that the shit income that they make, is less than the immigrant who works construction, and that’s why ward 17 is so special. There are a lot of reasons why Palacio won, he was against the ROW, the PEOPLE were against it, BUT does the STAR and GLOBE listen? No. So, its no surprise when the left don’t understand why Palacio won, “but the paper endorsed him…..”  is most likely the most they’ll ever hear on his campaign. I encourage you to read the EYE mag piece by Edward K, who tries to explain the reasoning behind the Ford voter.

Growing up in the western part of the Ward (Pelham Park) I have seen what Cesar Palacio has done and what no left leaning candidate will touch with a 10 foot poll. Some or perhaps, all forget that ward 17, working class as it is, also has a huge crime problem, a problem that was address by Cesar while working as an EA for the then current councilor Betty Disero. In my end of the ward, I have seen the community BBQs and Compost Days.

I can keep listing what he has done, but I’m not his PR. The problem with the left and any candidate that they throw in ward 17 is: they always see the battle against Palacio as an ideological battle, this is where they lose. Fair transit, safe communities, green public spaces, are all projects that Cesar has started or supported, which bothers the left. And on the subject on Bravo, I attend the street party on Appleton Ave, which she lives on, and all I can say is, the rumors are true, this woman thinks she walks on water. Her Maytree foundation or whatever showing boating case she takes on, is about promoting visible minorities is a scam. As I recall visible minorities where running in the ward, yet she supported the white Anglo-speaking male. If the NDP rely on a selfish and corrupt candidate as Bravo for the future, then I’m sorry to say, the future is bleak.

Lets not forget that Ceasr is a white Ecuadorian, I’m  100% sure that if Cesar was what the NDP consider Latino (dark skinned) he would have been an NDP candidate from the start and every media outlet, including this forum would be singing his praises. Its sad, how blind and ignorant, some supporters of the left can be, what’s most disturbing is that people in this forum have insinuated that he killed his ex-gf or that anyone but a White Anglo Male can win the ward. What happen to diversity? Or is that something that sounds nice on a pamphlet?

So, you want to win ward 17? stop churning fucking groups and start representing your people, start knocking doors and start working, but what’s this? I just heard Jonah Schein is leaving of The Stop, which was located in ward 17. Looks like the formula still works, im sure he’ll be in another ward or fronting some group until the next election. Also, lets not forget Mihevic, this title should be changed to his name, and all these claims that Ford gave Palacio the election, how about the previous elections?, you can alternatively say that Miller helped Palacio get elected.

As I said mentioned in the beginning, I can only sit here and laugh.....

Jonathan R

Kloch

ward17resident wrote:

I can only sit here and laugh.....

That makes two of us...

Cueball Cueball's picture

ward17resident wrote:

BULLSHIT, as an Ecuadorian who lives in Ward 17 and has voted for Palacio in the last 3 elections, I can only sit here and laugh as everyone in this forum, including the candidate and his aides, try to explain Mr.Schein's loss in most recent election.

While all the left leaning think tanks, filled by mostly Caucasians might I add, try to solve the case of Ward 17, Palacio has been creating a part of Toronto that is affordable to live in for the working stupid as everyone in this forum has labeled (besides, Jim Stanford is a tool, and why do I need a CBC Newsworld pundit telling me how to vote in ward 17?) and not only for yuppie media types who realize that the shit income that they make, is less than the immigrant who works construction, and that’s why ward 17 is so special. There are a lot of reasons why Palacio won, he was against the ROW, the PEOPLE were against it, BUT does the STAR and GLOBE listen? No. So, its no surprise when the left don’t understand why Palacio won, “but the paper endorsed him…..”  is most likely the most they’ll ever hear on his campaign. I encourage you to read the EYE mag piece by Edward K, who tries to explain the reasoning behind the Ford voter.

Growing up in the western part of the Ward (Pelham Park) I have seen what Cesar Palacio has done and what no left leaning candidate will touch with a 10 foot poll. Some or perhaps, all forget that ward 17, working class as it is, also has a huge crime problem, a problem that was address by Cesar while working as an EA for the then current councilor Betty Disero. In my end of the ward, I have seen the community BBQs and Compost Days.

I can keep listing what he has done, but I’m not his PR. The problem with the left and any candidate that they throw in ward 17 is: they always see the battle against Palacio as an ideological battle, this is where they lose. Fair transit, safe communities, green public spaces, are all projects that Cesar has started or supported, which bothers the left. And on the subject on Bravo, I attend the street party on Appleton Ave, which she lives on, and all I can say is, the rumors are true, this woman thinks she walks on water. Her Maytree foundation or whatever showing boating case she takes on, is about promoting visible minorities is a scam. As I recall visible minorities where running in the ward, yet she supported the white Anglo-speaking male. If the NDP rely on a selfish and corrupt candidate as Bravo for the future, then I’m sorry to say, the future is bleak.

Lets not forget that Ceasr is a white Ecuadorian, I’m  100% sure that if Cesar was what the NDP consider Latino (dark skinned) he would have been an NDP candidate from the start and every media outlet, including this forum would be singing his praises. Its sad, how blind and ignorant, some supporters of the left can be, what’s most disturbing is that people in this forum have insinuated that he killed his ex-gf or that anyone but a White Anglo Male can win the ward. What happen to diversity? Or is that something that sounds nice on a pamphlet?

So, you want to win ward 17? stop churning fucking groups and start representing your people, start knocking doors and start working, but what’s this? I just heard Jonah Schein is leaving of The Stop, which was located in ward 17. Looks like the formula still works, im sure he’ll be in another ward or fronting some group until the next election. Also, lets not forget Mihevic, this title should be changed to his name, and all these claims that Ford gave Palacio the election, how about the previous elections?, you can alternatively say that Miller helped Palacio get elected.

As I said mentioned in the beginning, I can only sit here and laugh.....

Jonathan R

Yeah man. That was a blast!

"The Left" doesn't get the "reasoning behind the Ford voter" but Ford didn't give "Palacio the election". Seems like you are arguing both ends of the argument.

Best part is how Palacio singlehandedly solved crime in Ward 17! Toronto Sun anecdotes and fear mongering aside, you do know that crime has been decreasing on a city wide level? I guess the "green spaces" you are boasting about are filled with Pantalone's trees. Decreasing crime rate, trees in green spaces... hmmm... maybe Palacio has been riding on Miller's coattails all along, as you suggest, by taking credit of city initiatives.

Just a thought!

Seems like you don't like food banks. I hope you are not representing Palacio's vision of Toronto when you say that "stop churning fucking groups" like The Stop. First cut welfare, then ban food banks!

Look now, even if you live in Ward 17 you have been parachuted into the ward by the "left"... residence bankrolled by Stalin's stolen Spanish gold?

Kloch

By the way, as an aside, how many Latin American people named "Jonathan" does anybody know?

 

 Just curious...

highparkgirl

She may get full time pay, but does she actually work full-time at the Broadbent Institute?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Kloch wrote:

By the way, as an aside, how many Latin American people named "Jonathan" does anybody know?

 

 Just curious...

Haven't met any myself, but there could be a lot in places like Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay and Brazil.  There are many people living in South American countries who are of non-Hispanic European ancestry.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
She may get full time pay, but does she actually work full-time at the Broadbent Institute?

You seem to have replied to a seven year old thread, to something that wasn't said (or else, who is "she", and what of the Broadbent institute?)