Young School Board Trustee Candidates

Since the election is almost over, it's probably too late to recommend him now, but today Torontonians vote for their council, mayor, and school trustees, and Matei Savulescu, a 20-something living in Ward 7 Parkdale-High Park, is running for school trustee. Sacha Peter ran last year for Richmond (B.C.) school board trustee as well, so it got me thinking about the strategies young candidates might pursue to get noticed in their campaigns, even elected. Are younger campaigners worse off, because they have to think about school and/or starting their careers? Or is it just that their time pressures are no less than older campaigners, but that the pressures are different?

Of course the offline campaign would involve most of the time spent, which would involve door-to-door visits (tough in high-rise neighbourhoods, I'm sure), all-candidate meetings, leafletting, media interviews, and so on. Online campaigns these days would include having a MySpace site, a weblog, a campaign photo gallery, and a little "search engine marketing". Matei's site does fairly well in different combinations of phrases like 'toronto school board trustee ward 7' (including variations like adding 'parkdale high park', removing the word 'board', and so on), coming in the top 10 for each.

In a private conversation, Matei reported to me that he had at least one person call him based on the pamphlets he handed out. Almost by definition youth means inexperience, but you don't get experience by not trying because you think you won't win. In other words, it sounds like something to build on for his next campaigns, whatever he sets his sights on.


The results are in, and Matei got almost 9% of the vote.

Since the URL at which the results are available looks anything but permanent, I'll repost them here:

Candidate Total votes % of
total votes
Irene Atkinson 14755 79.589%
Christopher Swiat 2122 11.446%
Matei Savulescu 1662 8.965%
Totals 18539 100%