“What experience do you have?”
Well, actually, that might not be the number one question. Over the years, I’ve also received a lot of “Do you even have time for this?” questions, so I’ll address them both in this post with a resounding “yes.”
I’ve always found the ‘experience’ question to be an interesting one. Generally, people talk about wanting change, which would usually suggest that they’re okay with voting for people who haven’t been on council previously, but in the same breath they ask if you have any experience and what it is.
So, I have good news for you; great news, in fact.
If you’re looking for change, I’m your candidate. If you’re looking for experience, I’m also your candidate.
I am a former St. Catharines City Councillor (St. George’s ward), and I’ve also worked for two mayors and a municipal CAO. Additionally, I’ve worked in public and government relations, where I worked on municipal, regional, provincial, and federal projects. I’ve read the Ontario Municipal Act and other legislation that lays out what municipal politicians and municipal governments can and cannot do.
I know how municipal government works and have a reputation for building relationships and getting things done.
Presently, I am building a freelance practice (research, writing, editing, virtual assistant); I founded and run Underdogs Boxing Club on a volunteer basis, as well as do some personal training; I’m very active with various community initiatives; and I have two children. That’s a busy schedule, isn’t it?
The thing about running for Council is that I have always taken it as seriously as I’ve taken any job I’ve applied for. Many of our city and regional councillors across Niagara are retired or otherwise unemployed. Whilst I’m not unemployed and haven’t been at any time that I’ve run, I view the campaign much like a very long job interview, and I take the work as seriously as I take employment opportunities.
If I am given the honour and privilege of representing the people of St. Catharines at Niagara Regional Council, some of my freelance work will have to be given up to make time to fulfill my responsibilities as an elected official, and we’re already in the process of welcoming more coaches to Underdogs, which will reduce the amount of time I spend coaching each week.
With respect to my children, their father is actively involved with them and we are good friends. He’s very supportive of my run for regional council (and even wrote me an endorsement 🙂 ), as are my children (because, yes, I spoke with them at length about it and told them that if they didn’t want me to run, I wouldn’t run).
Help me Reset the Region and vote for change, experience, and someone who has the time and also understands what it is to balance other responsibilities while representing your best interests with integrity.