Why are you running for Ward 7 Councillor. What are you hoping to achieve by doing so?
I am running for Ward 7 Councillor because I live in the Ward, I know our neighbourhoods, and I know I can make a difference at City Hall.
I have run projects alongside elected officials and would like to build on the good work I see being done in our neighbourhoods to help grow Ward 7 together with its residents.
My experience is in bringing people together – my work with small business, in the non-profit sector, as well as on community boards and committees – has proven my ability to listen to diverse opinions and find a solution that moves us forward.
I believe in relationship-building - and as a result even as a non-partisan, I can count on support from across party lines -- I have endorsements from prominent New Democrats (Monique Taylor and David Christopherson) and Liberals (Javid Mirza) -- we understand the value of working together to get results.
Ward 7 would benefit by working with neighbourhood committees on safety initiatives for our residential streets. We can promote an economic renewal and commercial revitalization in our Ward that will leave local small business owners feeling empowered.
Bringing together a diversity of voices is the job of a municipal leader. It creates safer neighbourhoods, increases municipal revenue, and makes our community stronger.
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 am determined to build on the great work that Scott Duvall has done to address the issues that are important to our Ward. Scott always ensured that seniors, affordability and social housing were a top priority for Hamilton. It is vital that we have a representative that will continue to fight alongside pensioners and US Steel retirees to ensure their voice is heard, since we have so many of them in Ward 7.
Regardless of who is elected as our Ward 7 representative this by-election presents a great opportunity to talk about the Central Mountain, its residents and our needs.
As my campaign progresses I will talk about a more inclusive transportation, taxation, democratic reform, and perceived inequities on the Mountain and the ways to make it better.
It’s a perfect time to talk about the investments The City has made in the great improvements to Concession Street. We need to capitalize on that to make sure it is a thriving commercial centre with the best view in the city.
Having said that, I feel strongly that engaging the diverse voices and opinions in our community is necessary to identifying all opportunities. I look forward to listening to residents and local business to help move this community – and City – forward.
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?
Ward 7 is stronger if we bring a diversity of voices together and work collaboratively, that goes double for City Hall.
I have worked on projects alongside some of our councillors. and I know how hard working they all are.
That said, City Hall can at times get bogged down by battle lines that only make it less effective.
It’s been almost 15 years since amalgamation, and Council still has not conducted any meaningful Ward Boundary Review -- Ward 7 has almost three times the population of other Wards. Our debates about transit and traffic are more often about destruction than construction.
We can change those conversations by changing how we converse.I bring support from different political stripes because I focus on working together to get results. I do not have an adversarial approach to politics, I’m collaborative and that’s exactly what Ward 7 needs to move us forward and get results.
How can people reach you to ask you about your position on matters or to otherwise engage with you?
The one thing I have learned through my community work is the value of open and participatory conversations. Even though, as the campaign progresses, I will talk about how and what we can do to make Ward 7 better, I always want to hear ideas (even contrasting ones) from other people.
Social media is a great way of having those conversations.
And, as always, I am available by phone at 1.905.923.3190
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 raised on Hamilton Mountain. I live in Ward 7 with my husband and four children.
Prior to running for city council, I managed Hamilton’s “Newcomer Family Centre” at the Settlement Integration Services Organization and I am a trusted public relations advisor to a number of progressive organizations across the City. I currently serve as the Coordinator of Marketing & Communications for the YWCA Hamilton. In 2012, I was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, presented by former Hamilton Mountain MP Chris Charlton
I believe deeply in the values of community organizing, focusing on positive change through citizen participation.
My real passion is building better communities – especially here on Hamilton Mountain – by working collaboratively with local residents. I have long believed that public service is a shared responsibility. I have sat on many community and city committees dealing with topics such
as education, refugees, and the status of women. Some of my strongest connections with public officials come from my work on these projects.
I attended Hill Park Secondary School, and at the age of 16 I began managing a local discount store. After high school I went to Mohawk College where I graduated from the Small Business Management Program.
Our community on the Central Mountain is diverse and we have seen great results from our public officials. This by-election is an opportunity to build on those great results. It allows Ward 7 to talk publicly and collaboratively about what we would like to see going forward.
The next few months Ward 7 will be on centre stage, and I hope we get to hear from as many voices as possible. I hope that I get to your doorstep and have a conversation personally. Otherwise, I encourage residents to email or call me with their ideas or questions.
I want to bring a diversity of voices to City Hall and I hope that will include yours.