Toronto City Councillor Norm Kelly: Too Lit to Politic
Norm Kelly has arguably reached the youth better than any Canadian politician not named Justin Trudeau. He rose to social media fame in 2015 when he stood up for Drake during his beef with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. Weeks before Meek was scheduled to perform in Toronto, Norm tweeted, “You’re no longer welcome in Toronto @MeekMill.” The message generated over 100k retweets, and raised Norm’s followers from 10k to over 100k. Adding fire to the flame, Meek Mill kept engaging with Norm and escalating their twitter feud. The internet ate it up, and it became clear they sided with Norm and crowned him the victor in the fun war of words. Just like that, the 6Dad was born.
Norm leveraged his new digital fame as a way to connect with youth in a way that wasn’t forcing political issues down their throat. He kept his political views separate from social media, something that many politicians frowned at, but also something he credits as being instrumental in his ability to attract youth.
While Norm is now in his 70s, he claims he has never really grown up. A lifelong jokester, he has always kept up with pop culture trends, which he says keeps him young at heart. Norm has also used his digital fame for good, creating a 6Dad merchandise line, from which his profits go to various charities across the city.
Norm wasn’t totally new to the spotlight as former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford made Norm deputy mayor in 2013. When Rob Ford’s fall began and city council voted to relinquish his powers, Norm Kelly stepped in as acting mayor of the city. Working double duty as a city councillor and mayor, Norm embraced the role, immediately creating an open door and open communication policy, which was non-existent when Rob was running the city.
Norm has dedicated most of his life to serving the city of Toronto and he is not shy in voicing his opinion that it’s the greatest city in the world. He cites that in addition to being the fourth largest city in North America, there are over 200 languages spoken in the city and that it is a place where people come from all over the world to chase their dreams and raise their families.
“I hope that history remembers me as someone who made a difference. It may have been a small one, but an important one.”
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