Elections in Vaughan, Sandra Yeung Racco: “My lengthly experience at the service of citizens”
TORONTO – Elected city councillor of the City of Vaughan starting in 2003, Sandra Yeung Racco (in the pic above) threw down the gauntlet and ran for mayor, which was a natural thing for her.
Her programmatic platform ranges from transport to strengthening and empowering small businesses, from crime to taxes, from public services to housing: thanks to her long experience Sandra Yeung Racco in an interview with the Corriere Canadese said that if elected “she will give voice to the citizens of Vaughan, that the issues they care about will be the priorities on her agenda”.
Sandra Yeung Racco is currently Vice President of the Smart City Advisory Task Force and Chair of the Economic Prosperity Task Force. After being first elected in 2003, Racco is currently the longest-serving Asian politician in the City of Vaughan and the York Region, of which she says she is very proud.
Certainly Yeung Racco did not take well the endorsement given by the outgoing mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua to Steven Del Duca in the race for mayor of the city. “I am pleased that Steven approves the currently in place programs that I took part in at the start, including those for small businesses and maintaining the tax rates on property among the lowest in the GTA – reads the press release issued by the outgoing councilor immediately after the announcement of Bevilacqua – this further validates my leadership and the results achieved in the last 18 years. This Bevilacqua-DelDuca agreement is not a platform: it supports a candidate who lacks experience and who is riding the wave of the current mayor, parroting the initiatives of the Council that are already underway”.
Councillor, why did you decide to run for mayor?
“First of all because the incumbent mayor has decided not to run again. Then because I boast a great experience having been elected as a city councilor five times. Given the work I have done, my preparation, my sense of responsibility, my integrity I think I am the right person to carry forward the vision we have created for the future of Vaughan.”
What are the top three issues of your electoral platform?
“First of all, to ensure a good value for taxpayer dollars. In past years, Vaughan has kept taxes low while providing exceptional public services. Secondly, to work with all levels of government to improve transport infrastructure, to ensure that it is accessible from east to west, from north to south. I have been of crucial importance in carrying out various projects, such as extensions of the subway, go parking lots and so on. Finally, I want to make sure that people live safely. Many people are concerned about the increase in violence in the community so I believe it is necessary to create a Safety community taskforce. In my opinion we need to understand what the roots are and focus our efforts in that direction, we need to go to the origin of the problem in order to get to its solution because asking only for the intervention of the police is not enough”.
The traffic problem is big. What do you intend to do?
“It’s a problem that affects all the cities that like ours are growing. If people do not have an efficient transport network, they get in the car to reach the place where they have to go, and driving obviously creates traffic jams on the roads. We really need to understand how to get people to use public transport and leave cars at home.”
What are you going to do for small businesses?
“I believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs and provide vital services. I will continue to support and implement opportunities and programs to strengthen Vaughan’s small business sector to make Vaughan a thriving community.”
The cost of living continues to rise. What can be done to make life less difficult for citizens?
“It’s a good question. The answer is that we have to work with the provincial and federal governments to find a solution, it is certainly not easy. We need to act quickly with all levels of government to make buying and renting homes more affordable.”
In Vaughan lives a large community of Italian origin. Do you have a message for them?
“I will work for them as I will for the whole community, I will try to find solutions for their needs, to give them the programs and services they need. I realize that the population of the elderly is growing and therefore we must meet their needs. When I talk to them, there are many who point out to me the problem of pensions, but it is a federal competence. If I am elected, I will work with the government in Ottawa to ensure that their pensions are increased. It is difficult to live with retirement alone, I am committed to making their difficulties known”.