The Mi’kmaq honour song filled the air as people from all walks of life – and all corners of Halifax – convened at the Halifax North Memorial Public library to help Lindell Smith launch his campaign for City Councilor last Thursday.
Smith, 26, is running for Halifax District 8 in the upcoming October election.
District 8 is where the party is at!
“It’s time for somebody who’s grown up in this community to represent us on city council,” he said to the hooting and cheering crowd.
“W-O-W … Wow. Right now this room represents Halifax. This room represents Nova Scotia.”
Smith said he was not a politician. He is a proud father and pillar in the community through his work at Centreline Studios for youth in Uniacke Square, Hope Blooms gardens, and the North Memorial Public Library.
The North memorial public library is so-named in memory of the Halifax Explosion. It was built in 1965 – amidst the tumultous expulsion of residents from Africville – and provides for the urban community through the largest collection of books by black authors in Canada.
When current councilor Jennifer Watts did not reoffer to run, it daunted him, said Smith – but he soon realized he should step up to the plate.
“Lots of articles online mention the colour of my skin, but that’s not what’s gonna win this election,” he said.
He acknowledged that opportunities are lacking for young black males in the community.
However, the city is improving at consultations: “If something is going to be built here, we should know about it,” he said.
Ted Worthington, 85, said he was there to offer support his friend. He mentioned the last black Canadian to represent the riding was Graham Downey, who did a “goddamn good job,” he said.
Cherry Brook resident Denkaya Colley, 10, said she was there to support Smith “by being there for him.” Her favorite subjects in school are gym class and art.
Smith’s campaign goal is $5,000.