Josefina Blanco has always been passionate about politics, no matter where she has lived: after growing up in Argentina, she lived in Spain and Amsterdam, before making her home here in her late twenties. As a newcomer who spoke little French, Josefina found support from community organizations on the Plateau, and then volunteered to give back to the neighbourhood that had welcomed her.
During that time, Josefina was surprised to see that elected officials from the Plateau were often on the ground and responded quickly to residents' requests. Since municipal politics with Projet Montréal corresponded to her notion of civic engagement and because she was part of a population that was rarely represented, Josefina took the plunge and was elected borough councillor of the De Lorimier district in 2017.
Josefina sits on three very different commissions: Public Safety, the Social Development and Montreal Diversity, and Water, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Large Parks. For her, it is necessary as an elected official to continuously learn and question. In order to create a more liveable community, she makes it her mission to broaden her knowledge.
Josefina takes her role as a representative of the citizens of the Plateau seriously, taking the time to make sure they understand the decisions made and the projects to come. Any process that seems simple at first glance can become complicated along the way: there are steps to follow, regulations to comply with, consultations to be held, etc. This is why a great idea can take a long time to develop and can take months to come to fruition. Josefina knows how to find the right tone to explain it, and her training as a social worker is a valuable asset in these situations. Her sincerity and calmness help her to connect with the people of De Lorimier, her favourite part of the job.
In her district, the biggest challenges remain access to housing and food security. With the pandemic, the demands for these have skyrocketed. However, the health crisis allowed the pedestrianisation of Mount Royal Avenue in the summer of 2020; Josefina went to meet with shopkeepers and citizens to address their concerns and explain the pilot project, which has proven to be a real success.
Together with Fanny Magini, a councillor in Outremont, Josefina also works with Montreal's Latin American communities to promote them throughout the metropolis. Since 2012, the month of October has been recognized as Latin American Heritage Month in Montreal. For Josefina, it is important to recognize the contribution of the many communities (no less than 20 countries!) in all spheres of the metropolis. It's a tribute to her Argentinean roots, now well transplanted in Montreal's fertile soil!
The new Projet Montréal team in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie plans to move forward with a political approach still concentrated on the ecological transition, but which will be more inclusive and more focused on citizen participation. Residents are the best experts on their neighborhoods, and it is in collaboration with them that we want to continue the grand shift toward a greener, healthier, cleaner, more friendly city, always on a more human scale.See more