Hello Ontario friends,
A new school year has begun! After a summer hiatus, we’re returning to the vigorous debate on the future of education in Ottawa and, more generally, across the province.
I am running for trustee with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in next month’s municipal election as I believe we need a renewed – more ambitious, progressive and innovative – education system in Ontario.
My first priority is to promote equity and quality education for ALL students in the District. Zone 4 (Bay Ward), where I run, is one of the most diverse and ambitious wards in the city. Yet, by the same token, it’s a zone where socio-economic disparities are particularly pronounced.
Among others, I’m advocating for: more resources into the classroom (including educational assistants) and for extracurricular activities (music, sports, etc.); more authority for the Board to make decisions at the local level, as opposed to key decisions largely made by the provincial Ministry of Education; access to technology for students and teachers; and a focus on student well-being, including extensive resources and services for positive mental health, provided at or through the school.
Last June, the citizens of Ontario elected a new government, which is revisiting established policies and reviewing programs that have a direct impact on education. At the very least, this means that local school boards need to engage with the new Ministry of Education, to make a convincing and firm case for their priorities, and not hesitate to challenge provincial policies where necessary. This requires trustees that have the know-how, skills and resolve to navigate a very complex political environment.
In this context, I am convinced I can put my academic background in Political Science, and my extensive work on policy and program implementation – within and outside government – to good use as a school board trustee. I also hope that a majority of school board trustees will be like-minded individuals, allowing us to advance a progressive agenda, while implementing programs in an effective and efficient manner.
Between now and Election Day (Oct. 22) I will send out weekly emails, providing updates on the campaign, latest policy positions, and news-worthy developments. I would be thrilled to receive your comments and suggestions, at any time.
As mentioned before, your support would make a huge difference to my campaign. Here are four practical and easy ways you can help:
 Let you friends and family living in Ottawa know about this campaign. Forward them a link to my website and my Top 10 priorities for the next four years in OCDSB.
 Subscribe to my blog, follow my social media channels, and share information relating to the campaign via your own sites and channels.
 If you’re in Ottawa, consider volunteering a couple of hours, later this month and in October. Canvassing, installing signs, doing research or designing election materials are an essential part of any campaign. Please send an email to DragosPopa2018@gmail.com if you think you might be able to help in the weeks ahead.
 Please consider making a campaign donation. Fundraising is critically important, allowing us to spread the word in the community, which requires election signs, flyers, and online ads. Donate securely via FundRazr (a Canadian fundraising platform) https://fundrazr.com/a1NdAe?ref=ab_f7QAE4
Twenty-five dollars will help buy 4 lawn signs (18”x24”) or 100 “door-hangers” or 150 flyers!
[Note that, under provincial election laws, any person who is a resident of Ontario may contribute to a candidate’s campaign. Individuals may contribute a maximum of $1,200 to a single candidate. Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash, and may not be made anonymously.]
What I’m proposing is an agenda of change, renewal and hope for a better education system. Join me in rebuilding trust in public schools.