I am running for City Council because I believe that the best gift anyone can give is the gift of service. I have been anchored in the community from the day I moved to Coquitlam. Running for council is a natural progression from my current volunteer work. It is also a continuation of my current profession through my non-profit Women’s Collaborative Hub Society which I co-founded with Sandra J Horton and Dana Harvey. I am also partner and CEO of Ubuntu StratEdge. Through both organizations, I have been working on unlocking both community and business potential by integrating culture, diversity, leadership and business strategies.
I see myself as the perfect fit council as I have a wide range of competencies. I also already collaborate as well as sit on committees with some of Councillors. I believe that an efficient council is one that consists of individuals who respect each other, come to the table with a clear mind and hear all sides before making their mind. I believe I am the perfect puzzle piece.
Why am I the BEST person for the job?
Here are 10 reasons why:
1) Wide range of knowledge and ideas to share
2) Extensive experience and unique perspective
3) Business Leader with Solid understanding of budgets & Finances.
4) Agile & Independent thinker who is flexible and adaptive yet Decisive.
5) A systems thinker with proven problem-solving skills
6) Community builder who believes in clear Communication & Collaboration.
7) Action oriented, results driven, authentic, relatable, honest & Trustworthy, Great
8) A Mom, wife, with great family values.
10) Champion for social change
The core functions of our municipality are –Water, sanitary & storm sewers, roads, parks & recreation, public safety, public transportation and emergency. Budgets must be balanced and focused on providing improved services to all citizens. With global migration on the rise, the city must set a progressive agenda. I will bring a fresh, new and different perspective to the table.
Economic Development (Pro Business)
The Evergreen line is here. Its time for us to leverage on the Vancouver congestion and have eyes looking into Coquitlam. We need to diversify the city’s economy and raise the profile of Coquitlam in order to attract talent. We need to promote responsible and innovative resource development. We need to attract an anchor such as a tech hub and more supporting businesses will follow. The business community needs reasonably priced office space with more hotels and convention centres. If we are to make Coquitlam the best place to live, work and play then we need to drastically improve the economy.
• As a business owner myself, I believe that we need to create an environment that nurtures the growth of new businesses attracts investors while fostering retention and expansion of existing businesses. Stimulate the local economy thereby creating more jobs.
• Business real estate is limited. I support looking at innovative ways to increase office space.
• I will encourage the best possible business climate for economic development and the creation of good jobs.
Community Engagement #CollectiveVoice
Global migration is on the rise. More than ever, the city has to set a progressive agenda on making our city inclusive. We are a blended community. This comes with its own complexities. My vision is to turn our blended community into a melting pot.
Strong neighborhoods are vital to our continued growth and quality of life. As we march into the future, our society and community cannot be divided. A cohesive approach leads to a better future.
I truly believe that the fresh look of Coquitlam requires social capital from the residence. Community engagement is pivotal for the city to succeed. Coquitlam Today is so diverse, we need to bring all the communities together. Strong neighborhoods are vital to our continued growth and quality of life.
I will continue to be an active citizen who serves as a conduit between our community and the city.
I will support strategies that address the “Perpetual Foreign Syndrome” thereby fostering a ccommunity participation infrastructure provision for our city.
Affordable Living / Affordable Housing
When we talk affordable housing, we are referring to housing for the working class, those making $50K—$100K. I find that a lot of people use affordable housing and subsidized/low income housing interchangeably. That is wrong. Subsidized housing is a provincial and federal issue. At the municipal level, I will champion for affordable housing through smart densification. We need to increase family and seniors’ housing. If the supply is higher than the demand, affordability will follow.
We need to promote gentle density: townhouses and low-rises instead of monster houses. For this to be feasible, we need to expedite the permit process.
Coquitlam needs to continue working with developers, provincial government, other partners and the community at large to plan and build significant affordable housing, and develop innovative solutions to traffic, parking and park plans.
We need to build more purpose built rental units
I support smart responsible growth. We can build affordable and sustainable housing while maintaining Coquitlam’s unique character.
Fiscal Responsibility and Optimism
• As a serial entrepreneur, I have a strong Financial understanding and can interpret budgets, make projections etc. My goal as a councillor will be to spend your money wisely.
• The strength of Coquitlam lies in the optimism and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens.
• As an opportunity crusader, I will work to ensure we look for all opportunities that will make our community proliferate.
Other Important Issues
I have had the opportunity of working with all ages in the community. I had constant contact with daycare owners and young parents through my Gym on wheels business. I get to mentor youth in high school. I also get to engage youth and seniors through Women’s Collaborative Hub “My Story My Power”. I am truly fortunate.
Today’s children and youth are tomorrows families and senior. We need to expand our city with three key elements in mind: Daycare space, affordable housing for young people so they don’t leave, eldercare facilities.
I support – giving our senior citizens a peace of mind in knowing that the city puts caring for seniors as a priority. I Support – Promotion of active ageing & Continuum of care.
I support programs that reduce complexities and challenges that our youth face. I support: Youth mentorship program
I support: Open dialogue and open collaboration between childcare givers and the city.
What are the goals you want to achieve if elected for City Council?
We live in a great city. Coquitlam is rich in diversity and it is bursting with potential. Housing is a big issue as it is everywhere else. I will be a proponent for smart affordable and sustainable housing. I will recommend and champion a Renters Advisory Council.
We need to bring the youth voice to the table. The arts and culture strategy needs to have a youth component, at the moment, besides sports, there isn’t much for the youth, they have to go to other cities for entertainment. I will recommend and champion a Youth Advisory council.
As our community grows, so does the need for childcare. The voice from the childcare community has been silent. The city of Coquitlam needs a childcare strategy complete with a needs analysis. We need to gain insights through community dialogue and consultations with childcare providers, families, city staff representatives and other key stakeholders. Together, the statistical information and qualitative advice will inform the direction for the City’s strategy. We need to be proactive rather than reactive.
We need to have an Inclusive and Collective Voice in Coquitlam. Right now, we have silos within our community, we need to be a melting point. Through open, transparent communication and dialogue, we will an engaged and vibrant community.
Above it all, we need to develop a scorecard to use as a benchmark, so we can evaluate our progress. We all know that what gets measured, gets done.
What would you like residents of Coquitlam to know about you and your campaign?
From an Emotional intelligence perspective, it is clear that an effective leader needs to first and foremost be self-aware. My high level of political consciousness gives me the ability to critically analyze the political, economic and social forces affecting our community. It allows me to listen to the needs of my community and to have a dialogue that leads to informed decisions at the council table.
The needs of residents will always guide my decisions and be my priority. I am an independent voice. I am running for the people of Coquitlam NOT for my own interests. I actually refer myself as a “Conscious Politician”
What makes you different from the other candidates?
I have a proven track record. I don’t only talk the talk, I walk the walk. I empower others through the many programs I run such as My Story My Power, WCH Women Influencers awards and new immigrant programs. I am also heavily involved in mentoring programs for business owners, women and youth in high schools through the Young Entrepreneurship Leadership Launchpad..
I am a savvy business woman. Many of you know me through my kids business Vancouver Tumblebus and through our non profit Women’s Collaborative hub. My current and past boards and committees include: The City of Coquitlam Multiculturalism Committee, The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce were I chaired the Economic development committee, The Coquitlam Foundation, Tri-City Transitions, Early Childhood Family Friendly Business Working Group and Coquitlam Tennis Club, Douglas College Community Review Panel, Autism Speaks Canada walk – Vancouver committee and much more.
I have an in depth understanding of governance and I understand financials. I bring to the council table extensive experience in processes mapping, a skill that will be very handy. I am a conduit to the different multi-cultures and multi-generations in our community and I bring a fresh and unique voice.
In addition to my wide range of experience, I am very well rounded. I am a conduit to the different multi-cultures and multi-generations in our community and I bring a fresh and unique voice.