I'm running: DeCicco
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I'm running: DeCicco
By Aaron Wherry
The race to be London's mayor officially kicked off May 19, as current Deputy Mayor Anne-Marie DeCicco threw her hat into the ring.
"After a great deal of thought and consideration, I am proud and pleased to announce that I will be seeking the community's support to become London's next mayor," DeCicco announced, before a large crowd of well-wishers, city councilors and business dignitaries.
DeCicco expressed her love for London while outlining how, as a member of City Council, she has striven to make it better. "First and always, we celebrate our greatness," DeCicco said. "We appreciate what we have and we tell others why London is the place to be. London, Ontario is the best place in the world to work, raise a family and live and its only going to get better," she said.
"Over the past three years we have been bold and decisive and we can't lose that momentum," DeCicco added. "I will be relentless in promoting London and its greatness."
Specifically, DeCicco said she hopes to make London proactive, not reactive, in terms of attracting local business and improving the downtown core. "There is a renewed confidence in the core and the model for the core could be used to revitalize East London."
DeCicco said she hopes to place more focus on the arts and culture in London, as well as provide more affordable housing. "You know I'm going to make a great mayor for London," DeCicco concluded.
While rumoured to also be running also, Ward 2 councillor Joe Swan officially ended speculation. "I am not going to run, I am going to stay in the ward," he said. "The timing's not right for me."
Swan said he did think DeCicco was a worthy candidate for mayor, noting her 12 years of experience and commitment to the City, but referred to the mayoral campaign as a "coronation" not an election.
"It seems to me London's local daily has already prescripted who is going to win," he said. "The public loses out when there is so much favouritism."
Swan said, in his opinion, the London Free Press' apparent support for DeCicco has discouraged others from running for mayor while also discouraging businesses from supporting potential candidates. "Running for local office is beyond the reach of the average person."
Ward 6 councillor, Ben Veel said he hopes to seek the position of London mayor, but he currently lacks the financial means to run a proper campaign. Veel said he has collected $30,000 from businesses and supporters, but still needs approximately $70,000 more, to make a proper run for office.
Veel also said he was concerned with the progress of the City. "Are people happy with the status quo or do they want progress," he said. "It is a great concern, especially for young people."