About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Farewell Bev

The City of Guelph lost a passionate and intrepid voice in local politics this week when Bev Izzillo-Ustation passed away after a lengthy fight against cancer at the age of 74.

Before five gos at the Mayor’s chair and twice running for city council, Izzillo-Ustation as an advocate for the group Persons United for Self Help (PUSH), an organization that focused on taking down barriers and meeting the needs of those with visual and hidden disabilities. She pressed for accessibility in all areas of public space and was instrumental in improving access by pressing for curb cuts, automatic doors and ramps.

To many Politicos though, Izzillo-Ustation was most known for her fiery, grassroots campaigning. She was usually the candidate for open and honest government and in what would be her last election, up against incumbents Kate Quarrie and Karen Farbridge, she enthusiastically declared that “It’s my turn now.”

That's where I remember her from. The 2006 election was the first municipal race I followed (and yes, covered) since I moved here. Izzillo-Ustation was written off by some people as a kook, or "that funny old lady running for Mayor," but hearing her speak on the issues, you had to admire her spirit. She was informed, she was active and she was engaged, which is a lot more than you can say about most people and municipal politics. It takes a lot of guts to get up to bat again and again knowing that you might not get a hit, but Izzillo-Ustation was a player on the political field, always unafraid to take a swing. If anything, we need more people like her.

Bev Izzillo-Ustation is survived by four grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. As expressions of sympathy, donations to Marianne's Place and/or the Salvation Army would be appreciated.

Read Scott Tracy's article on Izzillo-Ustation's passing here.

Read my candidate questionnaire to her from the last election here.

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