Monday, June 17, 2024

Victoria city councillor Sharmarke Dubow won’t seek re-election this fall


Victoria city councillor Sharmarke Dubow is stepping away from public office.

In a Tuesday tweet, first-term councillor Dubow announced his intentions not to seek re-election in the upcoming municipal election this fall, calling it a “difficult decision.”

“In the meantime, I will continue to serve the people of the City of Victoria and push for meaningful change,” wrote Dubow, who currently serves as Fernwood and Victoria West community liaison.

Dubow says his love for the community prompted him to run for office in 2018 to push for a “more inclusive decision-making table.”

“I am so grateful to the residents of the City of Victoria who elected me for this opportunity. Serving you on council over the last four years has been the privilege of my life,” he said.

As a former refugee who fled the civil war in Somalia at the age of 8, Dubow spent 20 years seeking safe haven until Canada offered him a home in 2012.

Looking back on his career as a city councillor, Dubow notes he was the first Somali-Canadian elected to a city council in Canada and Victoria’s first Black councillor in 152 years.

“During my time in office, I championed the establishment of a new Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to embed equity throughout policies, programs and services in order to advance the removal of systemic barriers,” he said.

Advocating for affordable housing is another career highlight for Dubow, along with prioritizing bus lanes.

SEE ALSO: Victoria council passes councillor Dubow’s motion challenging them to take transit for a week

He also challenged local leaders to travel by BC Transit for a week—a motion lauded by people in Victoria and across Canada.

In January 2021, Dubow was in hot water after he admitted to flying to Somalia despite government advisories against non-essential travel.

However, he argued he had been planning and saving for the trip for years, after not seeing relatives living in the East African country for over three decades. 

Victoria’s 2022 municipal election is set for October 15th. Dubow now joins Mayor Lisa Helps, who announced last fall she would not be seeking re-election this year.

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