Sarah Shafik, The Circle

It will be the first time I will l be voting for the upcoming municipal elections in Ontario. As a new immigrant I fully realize the responsibility of upholding a functioning democracy by investing time and energy in choosing our political leadership.

I do not take this right for granted. I try to get to know the candidates through meeting them, their website, online debates etc. I look for experience, passion, past stances, their ability to listen, accessibility and approachability.

If someone in my circle knows the candidate first hand then that opinion is a consideration with caution.

If two candidates seem to be similar then I do lean towards those who are under-represented at that leadership level. Lastly, I also value discussions with some trusted and wise elders about the candidates.

John Sprovieri, The Circle

What I look for in a political candidate is someone who is accessible to the people. Someone who is willing to put the time to call and email constituents back in a timely manner and address their issues directly.

I also look for someone who has integrity and does not abuse their position to elevate their status off of bribes and contracts.

Integrity is key. I also look for someone who is fiscally responsible and truly loves the city and the people they work for. Someone who will responsibly spend tax dollars for the benefit of the greater community and works hard to use their resources to bring the best facilities and fairest funding for the city.