Updated: Mar 24
It's been 4 years since I ran to represent the City of St. Catharines as a Regional Councillor. I was disappointed that I wasn't elected in 2018, the only comfort was that I knew I gave everything I had, left nothing on the table.
As they say, when one door closes another one opens, so I welcomed the opportunity to examine my how I can continue to stay engaged and create meaningful change. I applied to be a member of the St. Catharines Library Board, but was not successful. Which was really disappointing because I think Libraries need to be dusted off, invested in and are the forgotten treasure of every all of our cities.
I was successful in my application to be part of the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. At that first meeting, I recognized how important practicing inclusion and diversity are in good governance and how lucky I was to be a part of this group.
As Chair, my responsibilities included liaising with City Staff, bringing motions to the Social Pillar Committee and supporting committee members if we were required to present to Council.
Not long after our committee work began, we were sidelined by Covid-19. We recognized the importance of our contribution and that those who are most profoundly effected by Covid-19 are from equity-deserving groups. Our goal was to create a detailed approach with the goal of fully recovering from the effects of Covid-19. Led by Emily Kovacs and Rashmi Biswas, and with the support of the City Clerk, Bonnie Nistico-Dunk, we established a Equitable Recovery Sub-Committee in response to the pandemic. Working with this group of volunteers has been one of the highlights of my professional experiences. They were dedicated, worked with intent, passion, collaborative and willing to adapt and accept criticism from their peers. The result, is a fulsome report currently being adopted by City Staff - the first and only in our Region.
Not long after the report was completed, I resigned from my committee work at the City. I continue to watch the meetings and engage and support their work.
Which brings me to today. Preparing for another Campaign. This time with more experience, a greater understanding of the work and a more diverse group of colleagues who I will continue to learn from and who will encourage me every step of the way on the over the next 7 months.