Hamilton Mayoral Candidate: Hermiz Ishaya
Mayoral candidate Hermiz Ishaya discusses the housing crisis, the importance of the youth vote and his experience as the youngest mayoral candidate
The Silhouette sat down with mayoral candidate Hermiz Ishaya to discuss his platform and experience running in the upcoming municipal election.
At 21 years old, Ishaya is the youngest candidate in the mayoral race. He described himself as being eager for change in the city and optimistic about the abilities of young people to make a difference.
Ishaya identified housing as a key issue in this election and a key component of his platform. He expressed frustration at how difficult it has become to buy a house in Hamilton, particularly for young people.
“In my opinion we should be building more houses. We have free space in the city and we can build more houses. By building more houses, we can decrease the prices of houses. We can also decrease the price of rent, because if there's more supply, there will be less demand,” said Ishaya.
According to a 2021 study by the Smart Prosperity institute at the University of Ottawa, Hamilton will need to build 52,400 more homes by 2031 in order to successfully mitigate the current housing crisis.
Lack of supply is also only one aspect of Hamilton’s ongoing housing crisis; other issues at play include gaps in tenants’ rights, gentrification and systemic inequalities.
Beyond housing, Ishaya discussed his desire to build better infrastructure and roads, to invest in family businesses and to get more young people involved in politics.
In their article about the mayoral candidates, CBC Hamilton detailed Ishaya’s plan to build more bike lanes and trails, highlighting the affordability of biking as a mode of transportation.
Ishaya also expressed a desire to act as a positive role model for young people.
“I decided to run for mayor because I've always really been attracted to politics and I decided [that] I wanted to be an example for younger people. I wanted to show younger people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” said Ishaya.
Ishaya urged young people to continue to involve themselves in politics, encouraging them not just to vote but also to consider running in elections as well.
“Young people need to be really involved because it's their future as well. They're the ones that are going to be paying mortgages in a few years. They're the ones that are going to [have] a high amount of debt, so of course, they have to be worried about [politics],” said Ishaya.
Ishaya has been doing the majority of his campaigning on his Twitter. He also stated that he and his team were working on a website; however, as of the publication of this article, the website does not yet appear to exist.
Hermiz Ishaya is running for mayor in the Oct. 2022 municipal election. His candidate profile has been posted as part of a series the Silhouette is running to build student awareness about the municipal election. Candidate profiles will continue to be posted in alphabetical order over the next few weeks. Election Day is Oct. 24 and more details on how to vote can be found here.