By Brian Capitao
The Vaughan Citizen – Tue., Sept. 6, 2022
NAME: Sandra Yeung Racco
POSITION YOU ARE RUNNING FOR: Mayor of Vaughan
PREVIOUS POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:
First elected in 2003, I have served as a local councillor for Ward 4 in the City of Vaughan for more than 18 years and am proud to currently be the longest-serving Asian female politician in the City of Vaughan and York Region.
Currently, in my capacity as a city councillor, I serve as vice-chair of the Smart City Advisory Task Force and chair of the Economic Prosperity Task Force, working with residents, businesses and other stakeholders to develop a vision of what a Smart City would mean for the City of Vaughan and ensuring we continue to support efforts to encourage sustainable economic growth in order to retain existing successful business leaders and innovators while attracting additional entrepreneurs and talents to grow our local prosperity.
I have also participated in and led successful trade missions to China and Asia with the goal of developing, growing and nurturing international business relationships and bringing forward mutually beneficial and positive economic growth.
Prior to my tenure as a city councillor, I sat on several community and ratepayer groups, as well as task forces and committees at all levels of government.
WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO RUN?
Having been successfully elected five times as the local councillor, I feel that my experience and work ethic and tenacity, along with the principles of fairness, integrity and accountability, will continue to lead Vaughan to the next stage of becoming the most desirable and welcoming place to live, work and play.
Together, working with my council colleagues, city staff and the citizens of Vaughan, we will continue to build a city that is recognized for accountability, transparency, sustainability and innovation. Effective and balanced leadership is key to Vaughan’s success, and I will lead the city through this next phase.
HOW WILL YOU EMBRACE AND CHAMPION DIVERSITY?
Vaughan is a multicultural city made up of people from many different backgrounds and cultures, and I have always supported and advocated for inclusivity within diversity.
Since being elected in 2003, I have consistently worked closely with our many community groups and Community Service Organizations (CSOs), listening to their needs and looking for opportunities to champion different programs and services.
For example, I brought the Peace Tree Celebration to Vaughan and worked with school boards and cultural groups to promote the values Peace Tree Day encompasses. Additionally, this year, I kicked off the first ever Vaughan International Music Festival, utilizing music and the arts as a platform to advocate for unity and inclusivity.
I have also brought in several council resolutions over the years, denouncing racism and bigotry of all forms and seeking city support for initiatives that champion inclusivity.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE ISSUES:
• I will continue to ensure good value for your tax dollar. For the past 12 years, Vaughan has consistently had one of the lowest tax rates in the GTA, and I am committed to keeping tax rates low while delivering exceptional public services and advancing city-building through innovative improvements.
• I will continue working with all levels of government to ensure we improve transportation infrastructure through seamless connections that are accessible to all. I have been instrumental in advancing projects, including the subway extension into the VMC, GO parking expansion and Langstaff extension Environmental Assessment, and will continue to advocate for all necessary improvements.
• I recognize small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs and deliver vital services. I will continue to support and implement opportunities and programs to strengthen and empower Vaughan’s small business sector to make Vaughan a destination where entrepreneurship, tourism and art can prosper to create a thriving business community.
IF ELECTED, WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR FIRST 100 DAYS?
The first task is to meet with each elected council member and senior staff to listen to their vision, ensure the important priorities of our citizens are captured, and work toward aligning our objectives and strategic goals within appropriate time frames. This Term of Council Strategic Plan will ensure continued, accessible and improved service delivery for all citizens and businesses.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL DATE SPOT?
Imagine Cinemas at the Promenade Mall
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK/MOVIE/SOCIAL MEDIA SITE?
“Becoming” — Michelle Obama
“The Sound of Music” with Julie Andrews
YouTube — watching international music and theatre performances
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG?
A very close tie between “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Multiple international planners and architects
WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU ATTENDED?
• Our own family “YEUNG RECITAL,” where I performed with my siblings
• Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed at Massey Hall (classical)
• Guess Who (classic rock)
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
Mother Teresa — a compassionate leader who gave of herself every day to improve the lives of everyone around her.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN AND BY WHOM?
“To always try your best so that you will have no regrets, regardless of the outcome” — Mom
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO TAKEOUT ORDER?
Flaming Kitchen Vaughan for their spicy cheesy rice cake