By LAURA BRADLEY

Toronto-Danforth candidate John Richardson wants East Yorkers to take a greater interest in their community.

"It amazes me that, when it comes to city politics, the overwhelming majority of people don’t vote," he said. "I really want people to wise up and take control of [their community]."

Richardson has lived in Ward 29 since 1984. He has been involved in a number of small business ventures, one of which was as a small-scale landlord. He thinks the way tenants are taxed by the city is horrible and he’d like to see that changed.

"If I could achieve one thing it would be to get the tax differential changed," he said, "so people who have a lease…aren’t incorrectly taxed at the highest rate."

Coming from the vantage point of an independent, Richardson believes that candidates should not be dependent on major political parties for support and funding.

"We’re dealing with local issues, neighbourhood issues," he said. "I don’t really see how the organization of a political party working on a national level or provincial level has much to do with local politics."

Richardson said that East York residents have lost faith in city council, because of the amalgamation a few years back and also because there is no evidence that their votes are making a difference. He wants to start working for them.

"If elected, I wouldn’t see my vote as my vote, I would see it as the trustee of their vote and certainly hope that they’d be interested in telling me what they think that vote should be."

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