To our friends, comrades, and allies,
For over a year Solidarity Halifax prepared for a campaign in the upcoming municipal election.
We developed a platform based on a vision for a just city. We want a city that addresses climate change, builds a sustainable economy, provides access to affordable childcare and transit, challenges racism and sexism, and ensures safe affordable housing for everyone.
We elected Solidarity Halifax member Evan Coole, an anti-poverty activist and community organizer, as our candidate to run for Halifax city council’s seat for District 8.
Solidarity Halifax then learned of Lindell Smith’s candidacy for District 8 just before our campaign launch in early December. Smith is a progressive emerging leader in the African Nova Scotian community.
Nova Scotia is often called the “Mississippi of the North.” African Nova Scotian history is replete with both brutal oppression and brilliant resistance. Ongoing racism and unofficial segregation manifests itself in many ways, including an absence of any representation on Halifax city council.
Solidarity Halifax recognized the historic significance of Lindell Smith’s candidacy, and the potential for his campaign to highlight issues important to African Nova Scotians in the North End.
We carefully deliberated whether to continue our candidacy. We had many conversations on the issue, both internally and with our allies in the African Nova Scotian community.
Ultimately, Solidarity Halifax made the decision to withdraw our candidate from District 8. We are proud of the program we developed and are grateful to have recruited an excellent candidate in Evan Coole. However, we could not reconcile our campaign’s continuation with our anti-racist organizing principles.
As part of our political process in preparing for municipal intervention, we made a decision not to endorse any candidates not running for Solidarity Halifax. As such, our withdrawal is not an endorsement of Lindell Smith’s candidacy. However, we do wish him good luck in the election.
We want to sincerely thank all of our friends and allies for their enthusiastic and generous support of our campaign. In coming months, we will announce new plans to build the just city we know is possible.
Our decision to not make endorsements in the 2016 municipal election was made before any candidates were announced and follows our past practice. If anyone would like to have a conversation about any municipal endorsements or Solidarity Halifax in general, someone from the group would be happy to meet up and chat.