Local group looks to encourage racialized people to enter politics

A group in Waterloo Region is looking to encourage BIPOC and racialized people to enter politics.

It comes as Ontario voters prepare to head to the polls twice this year --- the provincial election next month and municipal elections in October.

The goal of Run4OfficeWR is to make local politics more diverse.

“Building the confidence to say ‘yeah you can do this, you’re absolutely qualified and capable to do this.’ And knowing there’s a support system,” said Colleen James, a member of the group who has also thrown her name in the municipal election race.

The organization says their main focus is the municipal election.

“Our voices are not represented, our perspectives are not represented. And we wish to vote in people who understand our interests and can represent our perspectives,” says Run4OfficeWR co-creator Lannois Carroll-Woolery.

The group works by encouraging and convincing people of colour in the community to run for office. Regular meetings are held where potential candidates can get advice from people of colour who are already in politics.

“People say ‘why me? I don’t see anyone who looks like me in those positions, I don’t see myself belonging in those spaces.’ So a lot of what we do is convincing people that you belong there,” said Carroll-Woolery.

James said the group has inspired her to make her voice heard and hopes more people of colour will get into politics.