Assor seeks CDN seat
Raphael Assor isn’t looking for a job. “I don’t need one” he says. “That’s not what I’m all about.”
The Coalition Montreal candidate for Côte-des-Neiges district first ran municipally in 2013, placing third with 20.3 percent of the vote.
“I have a vision for CDN,” the professional event organizer and fundraiser told The Suburban, “one of more culture, better retail offerings, better restaurants, it’s enough with the fast food.”
A local resident since 1968, he says “people make special trips downtown or to Bernard? Why not come to Côte-des-Neiges? Why are they not coming to Queen Mary which could be our very own Champs-Élysées? We can do that here.”
Last time he ran for Mélanie Joly’s upstart party. This time he is partnering with Montreal city council dean Marvin Rotrand. “Marvin is for me and so many of my neighbours a symbol of honesty and commitment to this city. He’s a straight guy and with his support we can promote real ideas for lasting change, we can make things happen. You will see a change in the spirit of this community.”
Assor is counting on deep relations with various Montreal cultural communities, having worked extensively with the Sephardic community, with government organizations and institutions, and as an organizer for a slew of Montreal festivals from Nuits d’Afrique to Festivalissimo and more. He has also served on several boards, Sainte-Justine Hospital, the Centre d’études et de coopération internationale (CECI) and is a founding member of the Alliance des communautés culturelles pour l’égalité et santé et services sociaux.
Challenging popular incumbent Magda Popeanu he agrees, is no easy feat. “I admire anybody with the courage to be a city councillor, but I have my own ideas, I know what I’m able to do. Last time I only began campaigning a month in advance, which was late in the game. That won’t happen this time around,” he laughs, adding he’s already knocking on doors. People know my commitment, I’m not running to be there for 20 years. I’m doing this because this is my vocation.”
He says he chose Coalition Montreal because it is “trying to make council less partisan and more about problem-solving,” adding parties are too often “promotional vehicles for city hall candidates. It’s the best ideas that should be supported. This is how it works in Toronto but here it is rigid party discipline that prevails.”