I'm Li Koo and I'm running for public school trustee in Toronto Centre Rosedale. I understand our public education system inside and out. As a mother, as a leader and as a doer. I'm here to build bridges by working together. I'm here to stand up and speak out and I'm here to make a difference. I want public education in Toronto to be the best it can be.

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I believe in the power of the public education system and its ability to provide opportunities that shape our society.


Li Koo believes in the power of the public education system and its ability to provide opportunity to shape our society. As a child of Chinese immigrants from India, Li’s early life was shaped by the Toronto public education system which she pledges to uphold and defend as Public School Trustee for Toronto Centre-Rosedale.

Li holds a Masters of Education from U of T and worked in Museum Education and International Literacy Development before exploring a variety of fields with a focus on communications. Always interested in social justice and supporting strong, vibrant communities, Li’s breadth of experience includes not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors. She has worked with a Toronto community arts centre, in the green energy sector, and served as an advisor to the Attorney General, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Aboriginal Affairs.

Li has been a member of local professional and community boards such as the Ontario Energy Association, and the Women’s Hockey Club of Toronto at Moss Park. Li and her family are involved in the Metropolitan United Church and the 519 Community Centre. Li’s diversity of experience and community involvement makes her qualified and ready for the role of Trustee.

Li and her spouse, a public high school teacher in the ward, understand both the triumphs and the challenges faced by the students and the families of Ward 14. Li and Mary’s young daughter will enter the public education system soon, and they are committed to the task of improving the TDSB for her generation and for future generations.



I believe in the power of our public education system. We all should.

The public education system has the power to provide opportunities and shape our society. It can – and must – be a force for good. My spouse Mary is a public high school teacher in our neighbourhood, and our daughter will be starting school in a few years. I want our schools to be the best they can be.

My family were Chinese immigrants from India, and the Toronto public education system shaped my life. I want to make sure students always have the kind of opportunities that I had, and more.

I have worked in government. I know how it works and how to get things done. Education and public policy are my passions, and my experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors has taught me to listen, and then act to deliver change and results.

I am an eternal optimist, and know we can make our community better.

If you share that belief I hope I can count on your support.

Here are some reasons why I want to be your trustee:

We have a responsibility to current future generations of students to invest in their success. Many of the schools in our city are older and in desperate need of repairs. The Margaret Wilson report estimated the cost of the TDSB’s repair backlog to be 3 billion dollars, and I know firsthand that Ward 14 is home to many of the schools needing help.

As part of the building process, Educational Development Charges (EDCs) can be applied to residential developments all across Ontario and are intended to build capacity in the education system for the increased population density. Currently though, EDC funds can only be used for school boards to buy new land, which is not what the TDSB needs.

PLATFORM: Let’s fix our schools

As your Trustee, I will advocate to the provincial government for modest changes to the Education Act that would allow for our local schools to benefit from the increased density in the area by making it possible to invest in the bricks and mortar of where those children learn.

Education is the great equalizer. Ward 14 is home to some of the very most and very least affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto, but access to a quality public education with extracurricular activities and diverse programming will build a strong generation of future leaders.

As the child of immigrants, I am a success story. Ontario schools are where I learned how to read music, play sports, and develop skills on the yearbook committee that I would later take into a job in communications.

PLATFORM: Let’s fight for programming

Increasing numbers of students in today’s schools need mental health and wellbeing supports to be successful. I will advocate for increased funding for mental health and wellbeing support workers in every school.

Advocating for programs that make real differences in the lives of students is a must for neighbourhoods as diverse as ours.

In some parts of town, school yards are the only public green space. All across Toronto, schools house daycare services, adult learning programs, girl scout meetings, spring teas, and countless other things that create a real sense of community.

Last summer, the provincial government was been delivered a report by Karen Pitre which outlines recommendations on making schools in Ontario true community hubs.

PLATFORM: Let’s build community hubs

Schools are the cornerstones of our communities and in our urban landscape, we need our schools not only as educational institutions, but as centres for community activities and green space.

As trustee, I will work to protect school spaces for community use and fight developments that threaten our precious school green spaces. I will work to ensure that schools in our area are being put to the best use possible and making life better for everyone that lives in the area.



  • “Li understands the education sector and has the passion, dedication, and perseverance to get things done. As a community advocate and a mother, Li is the candidate who will listen to your ideas and make your voices heard.”

    - Glen Murray, MPP Toronto Centre
  • “Li’s extensive background in the education sector will strengthen the trustee team at the TDSB, which continues to confront major policy and operational decisions.”

    - Jane Rounthwaite
  • “Smart and hardworking. Li Koo will be a great school trustee.”

    - Bill Blair, former Toronto Chief of Police and Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest
  • “Li Koo will serve our community well.”

    - The Honourable Bill Graham, PC CM QC.
  •  “Li is committed to governance and transparency in our community. She has a strong sense of integrity and Toronto Centre – Rosedale would be well-served with Li as school trustee.” 

    - Wanda O’Hagan, longtime Rosedale resident
  • “Li and I have worked together on a volunteer hockey board for several years and I heartily endorse her!”

    - Jane Murphy, Chair of Toronto Women's Hockey Club of Toronto at Moss Park
  • “As a former School Board Chair myself I can say with confidence, Li has got what it takes. Her depth of experience and can-do spirit will be a tremendous asset to the community.”

    - Donna Cansfield, former TDSB Chair and Ontario Cabinet Minister
  • “Li Koo is energetic, smart, responsible and committed to social justice. Her diverse experience and expertise in education at local, provincial, and international levels makes her the ideal candidate. As an experienced leader, educator, and parent, Li will faithfully and masterfully represent the interests of the parents and students of the area.”

    - Megan Boler, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
  • “Li is passionate about literacy and learning; she brings a global perspective and local experience to our school system.”

    - Mamta Mishra, former Executive Director of World Literacy Canada
  • “The TDSB requires trustees who are fair-minded, thoughtful and responsive to the concerns of parents and the interests of our children. Li Koo is such an individual. She has demonstrated the ability to clearly advocate on the education issues concerning parents today. She will ensure that our children achieve success in their education.”

    - Stephen Thiele, President, The Toronto Party for a Better City

KooEndorse - Blair
KooEndorse - Graham
KooEndorse - Murray

Li is also supported by:

The Honourable Senator (ret.) David P. Smith, PC QC.

Han Dong, MPP for Trinity-Spadina

Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastrandrea, Metropolitan United Church

Chris Bentley. Executive Director – Legal Innovation Zone and Law Practice Program, Ryerson University and former attorney general of Ontario.

George Smitherman, former Deputy Premier and Ontario Cabinet Minister

Bob Kemp, resident St Lawrence Market

Roxana Tavana, Parent of child at Whitney Junior Public School

Maryam Sanati, Parent in Ward 14



Profile on Li Koo from CGCTV – June 3, 2016. In this piece, Li discusses how her strong background in education makes her the best qualified candidate for the job. Standing at the oldest public school in Ontario, Li emphasized how public education is the great equalizer in society and will fight to strengthen our public schools.

READ: Queer candidates square off in Toronto School Board race, May 16, 2016
In this piece, Daily Xtra profiles Li and one of the other candidates for the TDSB election. Li clearly defines herself as a champion of public education and highlights her experience and platform as reasons to vote for her. Her advocacy for expanding funding for public schools and working with the province all show Li as a fierce defender of our public schools

Profile on Li Koo from CCCTV – June 3rd, 2016. In this piece, Li discusses why she is running to represent public schools in Toronto and discusses many of the challenges facing public schools in Toronto Centre-Rosedale. Seen with community members, Li is vocal and active in her message to strengthen public schools.

Li went to Varanasi, India to do development work, building libraries and empowering young women in rural communities through literacy. Inspired by the women and children that she was working with, she began to document their amazing stories through video. Below is a series of short documentaries that Li filmed and created which exemplify the power of literacy.

Each film captures an aspect of the cycle of Literacy and impact it has upon the women who learn to read.


Literacy for Life Literacy for Life: Adult Literacy Classes – Delivered by trained local teachers, these classes offer literacy and numeracy skills to women with no formal education.


The Power of Community Libraries The Power of Community Libraries: Libraries and Advocacy – WLC opened the first public library for Varanasi’s underprivileged class, serving as a community hub for literacy and advocacy events such as International Women’s Day.


A Healthy Vision for Tomorrow A Healthy Vision for Tomorrow: Health Care and Health Education – Integrated with Adult Literacy Classes and mahila mandals (Women’s group), women gain the tools to keep themselves and their families healthy as they learn to read.


Voices of Future Graduates Voices of Future Graduates: Pre-School and Scholarships – Pre-school classes introduce children to reading at the same time as their mothers, with some received grade school scholarships.


Seeds for a Sustainable Income Seeds for a Sustainable Income: Skills Training and Microfinance – As women become literate they gain opportunity to enroll in skills training and social enterprise projects.


I want to hear from you! Being a TDSB Trustee is about getting to know the public in order to best advocate for parents and students alike to make absolutely sure that your voices are heard.





Sign up, get involved, come say hello and let’s have a conversation about how to make public education better!

For media inquiries, please email info@likoo.ca.

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