Young people who care about municipal affairs

Two young candidates step up for council seat

By Kevin Woodhouse

Voter turnout for municipal elections is not exemplary. The last citywide elections in 2009 saw only a 39 percent participation rate, and young voters do not rush to the polls to cast their ballots. But two young West Island residents are bucking the trend and are running for a seat on council in their respective cities.

Twenty-year-old Sean Cohen is vying for the District 5 council seat in Dollard des Ormeaux where he is going up against incumbent Morris Vesely. Cohen is pleased with how the city is run but wants to be more collaborative with the citizens. “I want people to know that I am only a phone call away. I want to offer better representation by actively consulting residents.”

With the influx of more new families moving into DDO, Cohen wants to adopt some new “programs to promote youth leadership as well as reducing speeding on residential streets.”

Cohen is “ready to represent his neighbours and as many councillors have been at city hall for years, it is time for some fresh faces.”

Cohen strives for maximum “approachability as I am a few doors down, a phone call or e-mail away.”

Kirkland resident Sophie Mohsen, 23, is running as an independent candidate in District 4, a crowded race with four other aspirants including incumbent Domenico Zito.

One of Mohsen’s reasons for running was when she received the city’s 50th anniversary pamphlet that included a photo of the mayor and his council that “did not have a woman or person under 50. I think it is important to get the word out to all races and ethnicities as a way of getting more citizen and youth involvement.”

Mohsen works for one of the three federal political parties and has an MA in Public Affairs. One of her platform suggestions is to limit council terms “otherwise municipal politics can develop into an entrenched culture. There is a lot of diversity in Kirkland and I want people to see that I have a lot of energy for my community.”

Mohsen will also campaign door to door on improving the city’s environmental policies.

“The environment is an issue the younger generations will have to deal with and we need to team up with some experienced organizations with more experienced resources,” Mohsen said.

Improved park maintenance as well as renovating St. Charles are other issues Mohsen will be working on.

Both Sean Cohen and Sophie Mohsen can be found on Facebook for more information about their respective campaigns.

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