Saturday, January 9, 2016

7- Candidate Timothy Gordon

In our series entitled "7", The Hamiltonian will provide all candidates who are registered to run in the Ward 7 by-election, equal access to The Hamiltonian to get their message out. As per our standing policies, The Hamiltonian will remain nuetral and will allow all an opportunity. Our series continues with Ward 7 candidate Timothy Gordon. Enjoy our Q/A with Timothy:

Why are you running for Ward 7 Councillor? What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?

City council is a great opportunity to affect change in the city I love. We need outspoken advocates who are unafraid to make bold moves with social policy and advocacy. This is a great city with a lot of vulnerable people who desperately need a city council that will engage the people of this city to do great things. I believe our city has an incredible amount of potential that is hugely overlooked. I hope to be elected and to advocate for changes that are brave.

2. What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the Ward and facing the city as a whole? How would your contributions help to resolve these issues?

I live in Ward 7 and am well aware of the issues in our Ward from talking to neighbours, friends, and canvassing. We desperately need help with infrastructure, from low water pressure to maintaining our roadways. Ward 7 also has immense potential to develop commercially. I will secure commercial capital growth in Ward 7 through urban revitalization fostering business growth on Concession St.
and Upper Wellington St.

City wide, we are struggling with a major issue, the dismantling of supports for voluntary trusteeship programs run by organizations in our community (Good Shepherd, Salvation Army, Mission Services). This service is a necessity in assisting vulnerable members of our community who require help managing their finances. I believe people have a right to access this service in our community and that it is city councils duty to protect vulnerable citizens by insuring the continuance of voluntary trusteeship programs. I will advocate to maintain the programs and explain to other council members the value of these programs.

Budgeting is a major concern for me and something I am interested in contributing to our City council. We pay a lot in taxes and deserve to see a good return for what we pay. I believe it’s important to see the resources that Hamilton possesses not as a burden but instead with value and to treat them with a sense of stewardship.

3. What is your current assessment of this installation of City council? Are you satisfied with their performance? What, if anything, might you add to council that would be unique or new?

I believe this installation of City council is working! Councillor Johnson has been engaging citizens through participatory based budgeting where constituents make decisions about how the Ward spends its budget. This is a great idea and if elected I most certainly will be taking a page from Councillor Johnson’s book. Councillor Green has made great strides with issues involving money lending/cheque cashing services which is bringing attention to issues of marginalization and financial oppression in our city. This is important and I not only support Councillor Green in this endeavour but I’m curious about what other issues we can expose in this city to bring more attention and change to issues of marginalization, poverty, and oppression.

The issues I mentioned above are close to my heart, this is what I will bring to City council. I’m not afraid to be outspoken and challenge the systems we have in place, which may inadvertently be contributing to poverty and hurting our fellow Hamiltonians.

4. How can people reach you to ask you about your position on matters or to otherwise engage with you?

I welcome anyone to call or email me to discuss this election and my position on issues. I am also open to meeting in person and will be spending a lot of time canvassing. Although I am a strong advocate for the issues I have mentioned, I am also flexible and open to hearing other peoples ideas and opinions. I enjoy being engaged in discussions about Hamilton and how we can make the problems more workable and how we can practice stewardship over what is working already. 

5. Tell us a little about yourself, on a personal note. Your hobbies, likes, dislikes, background etc. Anything that would have people get to know who you are on a more personal basis.

I was born in Hamilton and grew up in Ward 7! This was before the Lincoln M. Alexander was built, our backyard was a field with a hill where the Linc now stands! I’m an avid outdoorsman, I am on one of Hamilton’s trails every single day hiking with my dog, a golden retriever named Ohana. I spend most of my free time playing guitar and singing with friends and volunteering for local organizations including a dog rescue.

6. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am honoured to have my name on the ballot with many other good names. I love Hamilton and I hope we have a great voter turnout to help shape this city!


  1. What kind of business growth are your plans for Upper Wellington? It's currently primarily residential,and most of the buildings that are businesses are in operation.

    1. Hi! Thanks for writing. My plan is to make Upper Wellington St. a more pedestrian friendly area and to engage in some urban revitalization. I’d like to bring your attention to an article published in November of 2015 by local journalist, Ryan McGreal: https://raisethehammer.org/article/2768

      McGreal exposes the precedence involving physical changes that need to occur (including mindset changes) to bring about commercial development in a similar area (Locke St. South). I think the article is brilliant and the conversations I've had with local business owners (as many as I've been able to engage so far) as well as citizens living in the area is making sense to them. The largely residential population is going to help drive all of that pedestrian traffic.

      Again, thanks for the question and please don't hesitate to get in touch with me directly: gordon.timothy@me.com or 905 516 4981


    2. I'm a big believer in the concept of Complete Streets, and in fact, the first time I heard about it was many years ago at a presentation by city staff. It seems to takes a long time for City Council to get on board. I asked the question because you mentioned further business development on Upper Wellington, yet most of Upper Wellington is residential. Of course, there is that land, where the police station used to be, that has lots of potential. But one of the main business areas that needs help is the northern part of Upper James, especially on the Ward 8 side. Development continues on the south part of Upper James, while the north part is getting really run down.

    3. Yes! I can see that need along Upper James (North). I was at a community hub initial meeting last night: https://www.facebook.com/ButlerCommunityHub/

      I can almost guarantee that this is the type of thing the community hub would get behind. Geraldine McMullen was there as well last night and frankly, she gets it. I'm wondering if you would be willing to get involved with this new Butler Community Hub. I am involved, election or not. Let's get some attention in this area, I know some other regulated health professionals that have offices in that area and frequent some of the businesses there (At Upper James and Fennell) that I'm positive would all welcome some grassroots attention. Plus, it might be a nice opportunity to get some support from Terry Whitehead as it could be collaborative with Ward 8 considering the area is a shared border.

      I really appreciate your engagement on this.

    4. The Butler Community Hub Facebook page says the boundaries are "from Mohawk Road, Upper Wellington, Stonechurch, Upper Wentworth, Upper Sherman, to Rymal Rd." This is very confusing. Is it Mohawk to Rymal, and Upper Wellington to Upper Sherman? Also, perhaps you could mention that their cover page spells "you're" as "your". This might turn some people off. Good idea though.

    5. Journalist?? Hardly.

  2. I love that you are addressing poverty. Ward 7 has a significant amount of people who come under the category of lower income (as shown by the Spectator last year). This is being ignored by many of the other candidates. I'm not interested in hearing any of them promise no rise in taxes, which is often used to try to gain support. I want to know what concrete plans candidates have for affordable housing and efficient public transportation. It's extremely difficult to find decent rentals in Hamilton, as well as starter homes.

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback!

      I could not agree with your comment more and frankly, this has been something really difficult to talk to people about while canvassing thus far. They hear me say I'm a social worker, that I live and work in the ward, and that I'm focused on these issues: poverty, marginalization, maintaining and restoring programs that help vulnerable people in the city and they appear to be associating this with tax hikes.

      I believe in responsible spending and when you consult all kinds of literature; be it social psychological/behavioural, economic, etc. there appears to be an interesting paradox: investing in voluntary trusteeship, efficient public transportation outside of the core, and more of these seemingly outreach programs, we see something powerful, a healthy inoculation to the economy, more mobility amongst marginalized peoples which means more opportunities for work. I've covered similar issues regarding mental health here: http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/5430004-community-columnist-some-help-to-figure-out-your-mental-health-options/

      Thanks for the feedback, don't hesitate to get in touch!
      905 516 4981

    2. I agree with you that the City needs to support the voluntary trusteeship program. Groups like Good Shepherd are providing services where governments have been lacking. We also need the federal government to help with the kind of program we used to have when it comes to affordable housing. Developers just aren't going to provide affordable housing all on their own. Back in the late 70s / early 80s, the mountain was developing neighbourhoods with mixed housing; single-family dwellings, semis,low income townhouses, rental townhouses, and some public housing all within the same neighbourhood. This needs to be happening again. What they didn't do was include some businesses on the outskirts of the neighbourhoods, and some medium-rise rental apartments. Instead, they allowed developers to have the main streets with backyards facing onto them, showing only unattractive wooden fences. City Council needs to take a greater role in smart planing.

    3. Thank you! This is great feedback and something I feel really positively about advocating for with city hall.

      On a personal note, I remember those developments on the mountain because that is where I grew up before the Linc was built. We had a really great mixed townhouse community of exactly as you describe: low income, subsidized, rentals, etc. and I remember there being a great sense of diversity and community. These townhouses were however sold off privately and yes, access to local commerce was not workable.

      I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject to see how other communities are dealing with it and the city of Burlington appears to have some useful subsidized housing policies (in place since the 70s) that look like they're working. I don't claim to be an expert on this and am fully open to receiving new information but I'd like to see if we could get Hamilton as a city, and especially the mountain on par with this happening anew: mixed housing as you described and smart planning to combat poverty and the lack of access to affordable housing.


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