Among countless determined and impressive leaders, he stood out most for me. Dressed eloquently for the occasion in smart suit and bow tie, speaking in perfect plain Sound Bits, I knew he was a certain future political candidate for office. I knew he belonged in the political arena where positive ambition is often nurtured and fulfilled.
I was not surprised when he decided to become a candidate in a newly vacated seat in a by-election in Windsor's Ward 7. The seat became vacant as its veteran Councillor, Percy Hatfield, vacated the seat to become an NDP MPP earlier this year. Bello is determined to win the seat and I hope he does.
The 27-year-old is an attractive candidate to a fault. He intends to be a unique voice at City Hall that seldom celebrates diversity especially as unique as his. The African-Canadian candidate intends to follow in the footsteps of Howard McCurdy, who in 1979, also at 27, became a local Councillor and ultimately an NDP MP, becoming the party's first black MP and ultimately a leadership candidate in 1989 that elected the party's first woman leader in Audrey McLaughlin.
It is no wonder McCurdy is now his mentor.
In announcing his run, he proclaimed how "I, more than anyone running in this race, understand what we need to do to attract people to live and invest in Windsor because I did that myself." It seems, more than most Bello also understands the value of second chances that seems to come on rare occasions as his own biography was convened in Toronto's brutal Rexdale area in a household run by single mother.
He moved to Maple in earnest with his mother and he has not looked back since. He graduated from high school and higher education followed.
At Windsor University, he became the Vice President (Finance) of the University of Windsor Student alliance (UWSA). As a student politician, he became the stalwart of a $6 million budget and heavily focused on the expansion of student involvement and services, often working with outside contacts to raise funds, among others, raising $25,000 in the installation of electrical outlets across the university.
Upon earning his degree in Business Commerce and Economics and later Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification, he became the CEO of BelloCorp -- a firm that provides consultation and management services.
As his friends moved to greener opportunities elsewhere, he stayed behind. He bought a house and became among others, a motivational speaker, life coach, author and consultant. He also spent countless times mentoring and advocating for youth.
I have witnessed him from near and far and I have been impressed. In a political arena -- he is a voice that needs to be given confidence. He has the experience, the wisdom and talent to be a great political star -- in a city that gave us giants such as Paul Martin Sr. - Canada's best (former) Health Minister and Herb Gray -- Canada's first Jewish Deputy Prime Minister.
Bello is an impressive candidate and I hope he comes on top on Dec 9th.