Running for Election
After much encouragement from citizens, I’ve decided to run for Municipal councillor of Sackville in the by-election to be held on December 10th 2018. This would only be a 16-month position, to replace Megan Mitton who was recently elected as the first Green Party MLA of Memramcook-Tantramar. Please check out the other 4 candidates (Sabine Dietz, Dylan Wooley-Berry, Brian Neilson and Shawn Mesheau) and see the candidate’s debate at 7pm on Wednesday, November 28th at the Civic Centre. Please find information on how to vote here(Albert-Westmorland) or visit my campaign page on facebook.
Why am I running?
I want to talk about the future of Sackville. Always.
I want Sackville residents to understand I am always thinking about the future of Sackville and ways to foster great ideas & actions in our community. As a social entrepreneur and Community Economic Development consultant who is invested in this community, it is my work to reframethe problems in our community into all the possible opportunities. Whatever the results of the election, I hope that residents feel they can approach me with ideas, problems, hopes and fears for our beautiful home. I want to help move ideas into action, and improve the reputation of Sackville as a great place to live and thrive.
I believe in the future of Sackville.
I moved to Sackville because I believe in this town. Moved by the culture and heritage of the place, my role as co-founder of The Sackville Commons involves spending a lot of my time connecting people, ideas and resources. After years of connecting, I am continutally blown away by the people, the talent, the community and the kindness in this town. Though I was not born and raised here, Sackville is my heart’s home and where I am raising my 4 yr old. Sackville’s story isn’t well told. I moved here because I saw the amazing organizations, talent, workers, and saw that our biggest problem is we’re not celebrating the richness we have. I believe we can be a national exemplar in how to be a sustainable town and that Atlantic Canada has a competitive edge in creating a new economy, bringing back blue-collar jobs and stepping into a more pro-active and positive future. I believe we have a better chance than nearly *anywhere* to attract young professionals, new innovative businesses and be known as a centre for rural innovation, university collaboration and climate change adaptation. All this while being a great place to raise kids, grow old, hold up our heritage and tradtions.
I’m running for my daughter.
I want our children to see more women in government. We need more young and female elected officials. Our council has been praised for the proportion of female elected officials it as compared to many in New Brunswick. If Megan’s seat is replaced by a man, the proportion of women on council would be 2 out of 9. New Brunswick often has had the lowest representation of women in elected offices in the country. For women it influence decisions, The UN’s minimum recommendation for women representatives is 30%. Having women as representatives matters. If you know the award-winning business owners in our town, the community organizations, churches… the women in our community are incredible and deserve to be represented. For them to be so vastly underrepresented in our town in 2018 seems absurd.
I believe in great communication & collaboration
We expect more in this era. We’re used to visual communication, rapid communication, easy-to-understand information. But managing the public purse is complicated. As an avid social media user and participant in public processes, I’m regularly perterubed by misinformation spread about decisions in all levels of government, and watching the hard work of residents, council and staff be misconstrued or misunderstood. We can do better and we need better. As a trained host of public consultations, I want raise the bar on our civic discourse: Rebuilding public trust, and help host healthy debates. When we are competing and debating solutions for public good? We all win. I want to work with citizens, council and staff to build a culture of civic discource. There is no reason, in a town of our size, we cannot become leaders in communication and problem solving. In an increasingly polarized world we have a great opportunity in our town to deal with our biggest threats together.
I believe Municipalities are engines of change
I actively research the best practices for municipalities across the nation and internationally and love attending FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) conferences. I see no reason why Sackville’s long-term vision as a community can’t be to become the embodiment of a municipality that brought all hands on deck to solve our most pressing problems. The UN just released a study saying we’re poised to be the most climate-change vulnerable place in North America besides New Orleans. In the early 90s we lost thousands of jobs, and we need to build opportunities for workers, to attract and retain talent, and welcome newcomers. In a provice that needs 7 500 immigrants a year to deal with labour shortages, how are we going to service our population (1/4 of whom are over 65)? We have meaningful problems to tackle, and we need to tackle them together with a long-term vision and citizen buy-in. Municipalities have amazing tools at their disposal, and as a pragmatic optimist and a social entrepreneur, I feel we often don’t use the tools and the public purse as well as we can. Let’s do better together.
I would be honoured to serve our community as a councillor, and wish the other candidates luck.
I want to extend a special thanks to the 20+ people who nominated me and encouraged me to run (including Sabine Deitz!), and for the support of my family. I’m thrilled, before and after the election, to talk to citizens about how we can do better together and continuing to engage in meaningful community work and change for our region. If you want to know more about my work background, please see my linkedin page or visit The Sackville Commons webpage. Hope to see you on your doorstep and in community! To get in touch, please e-mail me here.
If you are keen to donate to my campaign please follow this link