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Top 20 Under 40 – Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor Josh Matlow brings diplomacy, creativity, and thoughtfulness to our city.
By: Sarah Bauder
Published: February 25th, 2012 in Culture » Society » Interviews
Josh Matlow
Shalom Life is proud to present our 2nd annual ”Top 20 Under 40” list. This list encompasses 20 individuals of diverse occupations and backgrounds from businessmen and businesswomen and innovative entrepreneurs, to philanthropists, entertainers, doctors and more, the list places a spotlight on the myriad of talented, creative and passionate Jews, all under 40, who call Canada home.

Top 20 Under 40- Josh Matlow

Age: 36

Josh Matlow had worn many hats, so to speak, prior to being elected to Toronto City Council in October 2010. The Ward 22, St. Paul’s resident was a Toronto School Board Trustee from 2003 to 2010, a co-director for the Ontario non-profit environmental conservation organization, Earthroots, and a quondam campaign organizer for the Canadian Peace Alliance opposing the war in Iraq. However, the community advocate is most proud of the opportunity to affect change, afforded to elected officials.

“I believe my greatest achievement since being elected as City Councillor has been being able to bring people who have opposing views together to arrive at solutions for our city. I've found that by taking this approach, more and more people, including politicians at City Hall, have begun to recognize that one needs not to defeat ‘the other side’, in order to genuinely win.”

While serving as a Toronto District School Board trustee, Matlow was responsible for implementing various initiatives within our public schools; a ‘Green Grid’ project that promises renewable energy generators on school rooftops, a cell phone ban, homework policy reform, and an ‘Economic Literacy’ curriculum teaching students about finances such as credit cards, stock market, and budgets. Additionally, Matlow campaigned to keep Toronto’s school pools open and spoke out against CUPE Ontario’s president Sid Ryan regarding his comments comparing the Israeli Defense Force to the Nazi’s.

Matlow is also a journalistic writer, having written articles for the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Organic Earth Magazine and Town Crier. The Councillor used to host a weekly call-in show for U of T radio station CIUT, and was a contributor and co-host on AM 640 and CFRB. Until this past week, Matlow was the host of The City, a radio show aired every Sunday on Newstalk 1010.

If Matlow were not a Toronto City Councillor, he would pursue a full-time career as a journalist.

“I'd be a journalist. I'm fascinated by people. I enjoy learning about peoples' stories and getting a better understanding of how our society works.”

Other than writing and broadcast journalism, Matlow is actively involved with other facets of the arts.

“I have always been into the arts. I've performed on stage, on screen, and have been a broadcaster for many years. I also play guitar and write songs. I may even consider playing a live gig next year.”

Councillor Matlow is perhaps best known for his positive and diplomatic attitude, as well as his unique perspective on politics. He strongly believes that politics needs to “become more thoughtful, responsible, creative, and accountable.”

So, Mr. Councillor, do you have any final words?

“While you fight for what you believe in, please don't forget to take time to actively listen to what others have to say, even if you disagree with someone on nine out of ten things. Focus on that one thing you agree on and work on it together. That's how we move forward.”

Shalom Life is currently searching for the best and brightest Jews under 40 in New York who have gained recognition in business, entertainment, philanthropy, technology and more. Please send suggestions to top20NY@shalomlife.com

Related articles: Josh Matlow, City Council, The City, Rob Ford, TDSB, Earthroots, Top 20 Under 40, Israel, Jewish, St. Pauls, Ward 22, CIUT, Newstalk 1010, AM 640, Toronto Star, The Sun
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