Who is Sophie Geffros?
I’m a researcher in Health and Aging at McMaster University, and a longtime housing and transit advocate. I have worked on a number of political and advocacy campaigns, including Environment Hamilton’s #FixTheHSR campaign.
I have spent my entire life trying to change things from the outside. I was raised to believe that when you see a problem, you speak to others who might be effected, and then you do something about it. This has been the case all my life. I was concerned about the treatment of students with disabilities in schools, so I joined the Special Education Advisory Council as the Easter Seals representative. I have consulted on policy at all levels of government, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. As a student organizer, I was instrumental in the creation of a peer-to-peer equity support service for students with disabilities at McMaster University.
I have worked with the YWCA, and was one of the organizers of the Womens’ March Forward in 2017 and the Elect More Women conference. I have worked with organizations such as the Social Planning and Research Council on issues of housing justice and pedestrian safety. I spearheaded the production of a pedestrian audit in Crown Point, and have been an active participant in conversations about student housing, gentrification, and housing justice. I am a frequent contributor to Cable 14’s The Opinionators, and have written extensively about the importance of affordable housing and reliable transit.
As an organizer, not only am I good at moving people, I’m good at creating political momentum from both the inside and out that actually get things done. I have a proven track record of identifying problems and working to solve them. For example, when I was working at the SPRC in Crown Point, residents highlighted the need for a safe path to the only park in the area that didn’t involve crossing the train tracks: I helped them get that. While at McMaster as an undergrad I knew from personal experiences and the experiences of others that students with disabilities felt isolated. I worked with these students to move the student union to create a service, which is now a fully operational peer support service. My credo as an organizer has always been: meet people where they are, bring them together, and create change. I look forward to doing more of this as the Ward One councillor.