This article was posted in the London Free Press on September 4th.
1. The basics:
a) Age: 50
b) Occupation: University Lecturer and Strategy Consultant
c) Family: Fiancée – Sonia
2. What’s the most pressing problem you’d tackle, if elected?
Downtown revitalization is at the heart of Ward 13. I want to be a part of this transformation for two reasons. First, because I want to make every Londoner proud of our city core: I want it to be the first place that we each think of to explain why we choose to live, work, learn and play in this great city. Second, and more importantly, we cannot fix the downtown without addressing housing affordability and homelessness, safety and security, job growth and transit. To revitalize our downtown, in reality, means to address many of the underlying needs of our community.
3. Do you support the current BRT plan, yes or no?
A great city needs great transit. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring rapid transit to London with $370 million in investment from higher levels of government. LRT sounded good, but predicted ridership levels do not support it. The BRT plan is a foundation that is flexible, extendable throughout the city, and adaptable to future technology such as autonomous vehicles. Opponents offer no alternatives that would make real reductions in traffic congestion. The plan also provides for significant gains in infrastructure for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.
4. What leadership skills could you bring to city hall?
As an instructor in organizational behaviour, it is change management and leadership that are my areas of expertise. I have consulted with many global organizations, helping to bring people together to create common visions and the strategy plans and accountability systems to make those ideas a reality. At city hall, I will help our council to be bold, to ensure we have the plans to deliver, to achieve the results promised, and to do so in a fiscally responsible manner.
5. How would you bridge divides between Londoners?
I will listen!
6. Which past or present city councillor would you hope to emulate?
While we may not agree on policy, it is my belief that those who enter political life do so for the right reasons, and no one works harder than a councillor for residents and business. I give them all my gratitude. Great leadership comes not from emulating someone else but from being the best you can be. My values are those of integrity, collaboration, professionalism and results; and, using these as a foundation, I promise to actively listen, be your strong voice, and work harder than anyone to make our dreams for the city a reality.
7. Who should have the final say in how London grows, city hall or developers?
Residents should always have the final say as to how our city grows. We elect a council to ensure we put in place the right policies, as well as checks and balances, so that our city grows in a sustainable way. The best growth is done in partnership with developers, many of whom are residents themselves. We must work collaboratively, listening to local communities, protecting heritage and ensuring housing affordability. Only by working together can we build the best possible outcomes.
8. What sets you apart from other candidates?
I bring experience from living in different cities both large and small, and from having worked in cities all over the world. This allows me to look at opportunities from different perspectives, creating solutions that others may not consider. My expertise in facilitation and conflict resolution will allow me to collaborate with other councillors to build common-sense and socially progressive solutions to the challenges ahead. Let’s all move forward together.