Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow announced Tuesday that he won’t seek re-election this fall.
“I know this news may come as a disappointment to those who have been inspired by or have seen themselves in my journey into elected office,” he said in a statement. “Serving you on council over the last four years has been the privilege of my life.”
Dubow said his time on council included challenging how decisions are made and money is allocated, along with finding a way to engage with communities, especially those historically marginalized.
He also pointed to how he championed the creation of the city’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which he said will help remove systemic barriers by embedding equity in city policies, programs and services.
“I’m very proud to have played a part in beginning this work.”
The first-term councillor highlighted his advocacy on expanding affordable housing, increasing protections for renters and public transit improvements like fare-free travel for youth.
Dubow, Victoria’s first Black city councillor in 152 years, was elected in 2018 and was recently named a Noteworthy Historical Figure by the Government of Canada. As a former refugee who fled civil war in Somalia at the age of eight, Dubow also noted his time in local government included efforts to support immigrants new to Victoria through the Welcoming City strategy.
“I ran for office because I love this community and I wanted to be part of pushing it to be more inclusive at the decision-making table,” he said.
Dubow is stepping away from politics to explore other opportunities, adding that as the world changes, ideas and policies must change with it.
“I’m excited to learn more about how I can be part of that change.”
Both he and Mayor Lisa Helps are not seeking re-election, while current Coun. Stephen Andrew has announced a mayoral bid.
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