What are your two highest priorities for the Ward and for the City? Why these ones?
I have 6 key priority areas that are the foundation of my platform. They are: strengthening our neighbourhoods, building public transit, creating safe, shared streets, making strategic, sustainable infrastructure investments, ensuring inclusivity and affordability, and enhancing our public spaces. For each of them, I propose to use the City’s Vision of being the best place to raise a child and to age successfully to assess our needs and our investments.
What has been your biggest personal contribution to this community so far?
While I am involved in many city-building activities, perhaps the most important one for me personally has been to raise three kids to be responsible, compassionate and aware kids who are empowered to become city builders. I try to inspire their confidence, and in all the Hamiltonians I work with, to become engaged and be a real contributor to their community.
What 3 skills have you demonstrated that make you the best choice for our Ward?
I have proven skills in working in and understanding how municipal government works. I’m a team builder and a connector.
I have proven myself to be a dedicated community builder who can bring people together in ways that help people to share their ideas, to listen to the ideas of others, and to try to reach common ground.
What 3 things would you like to see Council do less of? What 3 things would you like to see Council do more of?
- A lot less talking and a lot more listening. Real listening so that we all understand where people are coming from and where they want to go.
- Less negativity towards residents who take the time to engage.
- Stop focusing on right now, and be sure to also focus on our future as a city.
- A lot more listening to each other, to delegations, to residents.
- More thinking=, planning and acting about the long term issues of tomorrow that will affect Hamiltonians.
- More openness to understanding best practices on all issues in which we have to invest.
What motion would you introduce that you believe would have a positive, city-wide impact?
I would move that the City of Hamilton create a Public Health Master Plan. Health is the great connector because it affects every person and therefore our entire city. A healthy, productive city is one that has an integrated plan for housing, nutrition, accessibility, safety, clean water, public spaces, etc. Using a public health lens makes plans and actions much more human and, by extension, humane.
How should Council better engage with residents on city-wide issues?
I want all Councillors to attend events where they actively learn about new ideas, issues, concerns. I think it would be great if people could notice Councillors in attendance at community meetings, lectures, films, panel discussions. I’d like Councillors to attend to learn, not to be seen. I’d also like Councillors to ask residents how they prefer to be informed, so that we don’t just use the same communication vehicles we’ve always used.
How will the City’s Vision impact how you make decisions?
As I said in my answer to Question #1, using the city’s Vision is critical to decision making. I cannot overstate the power that I think a well understood and a widely used Vision has in helping to guide discussions and decisions. I would use it every single day to do just that. Whether it’s a bike lane, or a development, or a park, I would think about all of them through the context of our Vision and I would ask how this decision supports the achievement of our Vision.