Podcasting to Reset the Region – Why Politics?

You might know that I’m a fan of podcasting, and I thought that Podcasting to Reset the Region would provide an opportunity to dive a little deeper on things that people ask me about without writing a blog entry that can make for dense reading.

For my hearing impaired friends and followers, here’s the transcript:

Hi, my name is Laura Ip, and I’m running to represent the people of St. Catharines at Niagara Regional Council.

So, we’re trying something a little new here. I’ve been communicating with people certainly at their doors and through all of the social media channels, via e-mail, and my website; we thought we’d try our hand at a little podcast. Podcasting to Reset the Region.

So, today, I wanted to talk about why politics is important to me; why am I entering the fray, so to speak; putting my name on the ballot and giving this a go? And there’s a few reasons.

So, oftentimes, I hear people say that, “oh, you’ll be our next MP or MPP or, you know, you’ll be Prime Minister one day,” and it amuses me, because I can’t actually see myself in any of those positions, mostly because I have an extremely difficult time reading a party’s platform and agreeing with even most of it, never mind all of it. So, it’s not about that for me, as a politician, I don’t see myself spending the rest of my career in politics.

I refer to politics at this level – at the municipal level, at the regional level – as community politics. For me, it’s about making a difference in our community; it’s about making Niagara a great place to live and work, for us to raise our children, hopefully for our children to stay, because as much as I would like to see my children travel the world, I want them to come back too.

So, that’s what it’s about for me. It’s about ensuring that we have access to the services that we need; that we’re doing it in a way that makes sense for the citizens and taxpayers of Niagara, and attracting business and homebuyers and people who just want to make a life here.

The other thing that I think is really important at this level of politics, again, that community politics level, is that everyone is represented, and in so many ways, I suppose depending on who’s listening to this right now, but in so many ways, I am you. I’m a mom; I have young children who are still in school; I work for a living; I’m doing all of the things that so many of us are doing to get through that daily grind. And I understand, you know, what it is to need access to transit or need access to more affordable housing. I’ve worked in the non-profit sector and I’ve seen that firsthand. For those of you who may have been following my blog posts already as far as my campaign goes, you know that that is something that’s very personal to me as well.

So, that’s what politics is about for me. It’s about ensuring that everyone is represented; it’s about communicating with people. Too often, we don’t hear from our politicians until it’s election time, and that’s even more true – I think – at the regional level. A lot of people know who their city councillors are, they might know who their MPP or their MP is; most people in Niagara don’t seem to know who their regional councillors are. And, in St. Catharines, where we have six, you might be able to name two or three of them; I have yet to come across anyone – who isn’t super tuned into regional politics – who can actually name all six of them. And I want to change that. I want people to know that they can get in touch with me, that I will answer them, that I will always be respectful, and that – even if we don’t come from the same point of view – I think it’s important to learn and understand what your point of view is.

So, that’s why politics for me; that’s why it’s important to me; that’s what I hope to achieve for St. Catharines, again, the pieces around affordability and transit and just good representation with integrity and accountability and hard work. Hard work is something that, again, although it’s hard, I guess, it comes easy to me; it’s what I’ve done all my life.

That’s it for me, I suppose, for this very first episode of the Reset the Region podcast; that’s why politics is important to me, and that’s why I am putting my name on the ballot to run for regional council in St. Catharines.

Now, as I mentioned, communication is extremely important to me, so there are a number of ways that you can reach me. My website is lauraip.ca. You can e-mail me at laura@lauraip.ca, or you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, simply by searching Laura Ip for Regional Council.

On Monday, October 22, 2018, you can vote to Reset the Region. Vote for me – Laura Ip – for Regional Council. Thank you.

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