Municipal election recommendations for #YYJ

Voting for a mayor and eight councillors can make for tricky decisions. Here are my Victoria recommendations

Here’s where I’m coming from. I live in a family of three with a young kid, downtown adjacent, in a condo and here’s how I came to my picks 

  1. Attitude and Presentation: I want to vote for people who are passionate about making life better and moving forward. Those looking to the past as a better time or coding as “tough on crime” with a policing-first approach were scratched immediately.
  2. Anyone with connections to the people’s party of Canada, other right-wing groups were scratched immediately.
  3. My three major priorities are 1) Housing 2) Prioritizing walking and biking over driving, and 3) Alternatives to policing/criminalization on homelessness, drug use, mental health crises and more.   
  4. I read multiple surveys on housing, transportation and other issues where available.
  5. I tried to meet the people I was planning to vote for.  

My pick for Mayor

Marianne Alto: I met Marianne Alto 2010 or thereabouts and I endorsed her during her first run for councillor. She’s been a solid voice on council, seeking to find compromise, well prepared and calm. She’s been very supportive of all housing projects that have come her way and has evidenced-based positions on our homelessness crisis, drug toxicity crisis and more. I’ve always voted for Marianne Alto and will continue to vote for her for Mayor.  

My pick for council (vote for up to eight) 

Council is tricky this year with so much turnover. We have many new names and it’s hard to tell who is capable, who has the experience and who has the right policy chops to move forward on issues. It’s especially hard to understand how well they will work with others. So, keep that in mind, also note below which candidates I’ve talked with, I would have a better sense if I’ve talked with them.  

  1. Susan Kim: I have met Susan AND contributed to her campaign. Susan has wowed me with her policy platform, her general ability to talk to people, find common ground, and charm my kid into a mass of high fives in half a minute (Works well with kids!). Susan has run a well-organized campaign that shows she knows how to lead, bring people together and dive down on details. Susan is the first box I will pick this year.  
  2. Jeremy Caradonna. I have met Jeremy a few times both through his work on the Fernwood Community Association and during the campaign. He’s thoughtful, well organized and has put together a good platform.  
  3. Khadoni Pitt-Chambers. Khadoni is an interesting pick for me. They are young and on paper, relatively inexperienced. But their ongoing work and experience on environmental policy and their passion for making thing better is what I liked about them. My conversations with them revealed a committed voice for more housing and walking and biking. Especially this year with our younger, non-homeowner and people of colour councillors leaving, we need people like Khadoni on council to represent historically underrepresented voices.  
  4. David Thompson. I have met David a few times and am impressed by his thoughtfulness, policy positions and general demeanour. He has the experience to work well with others on council  
  5. Matt Dell: I have met Matt a few times and very much like Jeremy C or Dave T, he will bring a thoughtful, collaborative voice to council, and he’s a talented musician as well, bonus!  
  6. Ben Isitt. This is a tough call for me. Ben has always been my first vote till now. He’s an excellent councillor who’s responsive to emails, and listens and acts on resident concerns. He’s experienced and is an excellent neighbourhood liaison as well. He’s an important voice on council against the power of established power centres in Victoria. He’s a strong voice for alternatives to policing and is great on walking and biking advocacy. His housing voting record however is mediocre. While Ben and I agree on the need to prioritize a massive build-out of non-market affordable housing, Ben doesn’t appear to have a coherent vision on making housing affordability happen, nor does he seems to understand that in the current reality, we basically can’t say no to any proposal that adds housing units.
  7. Tony Yacowar. I met Tony briefly, didn’t have much of a chance to chat. I liked Tony’s platform and his stance on affordable housing and missing middle housing.  I need to have a longer conversation with him on what amalgamation means to him, as he’s emphasized it in his website.
  8. Krista Loughton. I have not met Krista in person, but she’s a well known local film maker and comes across as a strong advocate for more housing, alternatives to policing and 15 minute cities. 
  9. Note that I’ve updated to remove Anna King as an alternate. I am not comfortable with her positions on feminism and pregnancy choice