The #1 question all afternoon- I didn't get my voter card- where do I vote?
Get your vote on until 8pm!
Need a ride? Call us at 226-667-4701 and a volunteer will be happy to assist.
Nothing is quite as tried tested and true in Canadian politics as the election sign. They are a great tool to 'get your name out' in the community to let everyone know that you exist as a candidate. But are they actually good for the community?
We've all seen how out of control election signs can get in this city. To call it visual pollution would be an understatement. Campaign teams compete for the best sign locations, major corners become so crowded that we can't even make out much information. They can be distracting and a general nuisance that by the end of an election we've all had enough of.
Last year council brought in new laws to try to limit the over abundance of election signs. Those rules included increased set-back distances from roadways for signs, preventing signs from the same candidate to be less than 10 meters apart, and signs that are too large needing to be farther back among other measures. The provincial election made three things that are abundantly clear. First, the rules are so complicated, or miss understood by campaign teams that they can't or won't follow them. Second, that our by-law officers are going to be very busy during elections. And third, that when we limit how many signs can go up in public spaces the signs just tend to get bigger and take up the same room as before.
So what are we to do? Well, I for one would be in support of allowing election signs to only be allowed on private property.
I believe that this would improve democracy in our city. The cost to run a full campaign would not need to include a $5,000 budget just for signs. Candidates could appear to be serious on a lower campaign spend, and if candidates did have the financial resources, more could be spent providing citizens information on their platform. I believe that election signs should be allowed on private property. Being willing to put an election sign on your front yard is visual endorsement that you support someone enough that you're proud to share it with your neighbours. With so many signs everywhere else though they lose some of their meaning and impact.
In this election I will run a full sign campaign, because right now, that is part of the way politics is done in this city. When elected I will bring forward a motion to make 2018 the last year our street corners get overrun with election signs.
In 2022, lets make sure the way we interact and get our names out as candidates entails more than letters on a sheet of plastic.
Recently at the Aeolian Talks debate a question brought forward was what is the most pressing issue affecting London and our Ward?
After knocking on over 5,000 doors, I don't feel that this election is all about, or should be all about BRT. London is a complex city and we can't only be defined by one issue. Failing to focus on the issues that affect our daily lives today risks depriving so many of life's essentials.
Below was my response.
"When I was small we spent an entire summer camping, little did I know but my family was actually homeless.
For me I would say that housing is the number one issue for Ward 12 and all of Londoners. We currently have a vacancy rate of 1.8%, housing prices are going up, and its hard to find a rental property in an area that you actually need to live, that leaves you close to school and your jobs.
Once one doesn't have access to housing; mental health, food security and addition. None of those can be addressed till you actually have shelter. So housing first and foremost is my concern going forward for Ward 12."
Week 13 July 22-28
Scouters - If you’re ever recruited as a Scouter with Scouts Canada and are told it will only be 2 hours a week time commitment- it’s understated. If you’re recruited and they tell you that you’ll be volunteering with some of the best people around- it’s bang on! Our Cub Scout planning meetings happened early this year to insure the election had minimal impact on the kids. Camps, outings and activities are drafted for the year as directed by the Cubs wishes in May. I like that the programming is youth led and we’re there to help facilitate the adventure!
BRT- regardless what side of the conversation you’re on- I’m open to a conversation. Londoners have many concerns over the route, ridership, funding and when it will be completed. I encourage you to attend a Transit Tuesday drop in to have staff hear your concerns and answer your questions. More info on Shift and in person consultation may be found here https://www.shiftlondon.ca/
Reimagine Co. - A zero-waste demonstration hub that’s taken up shop in the old Novacks building at 211 King Street in London, came out of an $8,000 grant by the Neighbourhood decision Making Program through the City of London. I attended their grand opening on Saturday and I’m excited to see a space for gathering and conversations about how to reduce our waste and environmental impact. The space is perfect - be sure to stop by, attend a workshop, purchase a metal straw or shampoo bar or another great product. Definitely worth the time to check them out.
Sunfest - If you enjoy Sunfest and wish it wasn’t only a once a year occurrence- you’re in luck! I attended the FIRST ever Sunfest Social Club secret pop up show and it was AMAZING! This is their way to crowdfund live music in the city, create culture and celebrate diversity through music. The more members they have, the more shows they can do. To find out more or become a member visit www.sunfestsocialclub.com
Resident led conversations this week were: a desire to have LTC electronic payment, other fair passes on LTC- family, weekend, safe injection sites with supports to help people, and more music in the city.
This week we made our annual pilgrimage to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to visit family including my Grandmother who turned 91! Three main things came out of this trip.
- One of the best things about going out of town is seeing great ideas that could benefit Londoner. There was a community garden with plots that also contained a community orchard in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. It was made even better by being sponsored by CN, TreeCanada, Communities in Bloom and the city and located by a school.
I also liked the dog poop stop and scoop reminder sign with courtesy litter bags at the entrance to a popular public trail. As a dog owner it’s proper etiquette to pick up after your pet- but sometimes you do it the end of a roll at an inopportune time.
- My Grandmother has macular degeneration- she’s losing central vision in both eyes and they may not be able to do anything to help her. Part of my time focused on reading up on the CNIB resources, convincing her to leave her apartment as she feels unsteady when out, reading her mail for her and basking in her positive attitude. Despite saying straight out how he feel about it.
- I never visit one grandparent and not the other, so a trip to the cemetery is always in order. Not cheery I know but I try to teach my kids to value what you have, respect your elders and everything comes to an end so enjoy today. This trip had the added fun of learning about how to raise a gravestone and all the fees associated with upright monuments. From there an enlightening conversation with the monument store about being cremated and planted in a bio urn. Yes- planted.
I imagine the beauty of a cemetery that’s a planted forest. A place to enjoy, reflect and remember. I found this article to be a good overview https://www.usurnsonline.com/memorial-trees/can-i-be-planted-as-a-tree-when-i-die/.
I have not found a place that facilitates this type of burial. This is certainly a stray topic from a municipal election- but if you want to know me – then know I consider how things are done, how they could be done and look for a way forward.
Did you ever want a Prom do-over- I know I did. Thank you to the Women’s Event Committee for putting on the Pride Prom Party. A great show followed by a fantastic DJ, wonderful company and dancing.
Resident led conversations this week were: around Pride events and concerns in changes over reverting back to the prior education curriculum.
Rank Them 1-2-3
I’m an advocate for ranked ballots in Municipal elections. I spoke from the Gallery at the Public Participation Meeting at City Hall and I was glad to see it passed. This October London will be the first Municipality to use Ranked Ballots in a Municipal Election. The City has been doing tremendous outreach to help insure voters are informed about the process. There will be ranked ballot demonstrations across the city leading up to October 22. On July 12, I was glad to attend a Ranked Ballot demonstration in Ward 12 that was hosted at the South London Community Centre .
If you would like to read more about Ranked Ballots click here https://www.london.ca/city-hall/elections/ranked-choice-voting/Pages/default.aspx
Book a Demonstration for Your Group or Organization
We'll come to you!
call 519-661-2489 ext. 8436
HAPPY 151st BIRTHDAY CANADA
A day of the community coming together to enjoy cake, inflatable kids rides, kids activities live music and fireworks! I’m honoured to give back to my community through the South London Canada Day. Throughout the year the South London Canada Day Committee works diligently through the Community Council of White Oaks. This event is made possible by generous donors and volunteers. It takes around 150 volunteers as to make this day possible! I enjoy my work throughout the year as part of the planning committee and as the Emcee on the event day. This year also saw the South London Community Centre host a Citizenship Ceremony where over 80 people became Canadian! This day truly exemplified my vision for London a ‘Community of Neighbours’. Canada Day Welcome
This week I transitioned into the role of President of the London City Hall Toastmasters Club for the 2018-2019 term. I look forward to continuing to serve our members in this capacity and expand the knowledge gained by having served as the VP of Education. London City Hall Toastmasters is open to the public. If you have ever wanted to work on your public speaking skills, develop more confidence and practice speech craft amongst friendly, supportive peers- this is the place! For more info on the club click here
Resident led conversations this week were: Union gas fence requirements- wood or woven chain link privacy fence, homelessness.
Yes, another year has come and gone and the children have been released for the summer. Thank you to all the teachers, support staff, principals, bus drivers, custodians, coaches, and volunteers who help insure students have a successful year. I reflect on what trials, tribulations and successes we have had over the course of the school year. I review my children’s report card and consider their marks as part of the evaluation– not the entirety of it. My kids have tried new things, learned new skills, and grown as people. As summer vacation is here, now we need to figure out what to do with them and ensure their learning continues. We need to find ways to teach them new skills, build memories, and do all the above on a budget. I look forward to not packing lunches and being more lax with bedtime. If you have children and are relating to my above sentiments this summer I hope to see you at the ice cream shop, cooling off at the cities splash pads and enjoying an evening at the drive in movie theatre.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and to all those who fill the role of father to someone. Personally, I’m grateful to have my father still with us and to be married to a man who is a great father to his children. We spent the morning suiting our son in goalie gear at Herm’s Sports Exchange- a knowledgeable business that helps make sports affordable and located in Ward 12! This outing was fitting as his dad also played net.
My thoughts were also with those who never had a father, or a father who was not worth celebrating, and with those who have lost their father. It can be a difficult day for many.
5:30 AM and I was so excited to be having a beautiful shared experience with many strangers. The Sunrise Ceremony was once again hosted on the Green in Old South. If you have never attended one I highly recommend this as an experience that’s worth trading some sleep for. We tend to rush about our days without stopping to pause and enjoy the beauty around us. My day continued with Indigenous Solidarity Day also hosted on the Green in Wortley Village. Just over 1,5000 people gathered and experiences a pow-wow, grand entry, a lacrosse game, traditional food and shared in the vibrant culture. Indigenous Solidarity Day coincides with National Indigenous Peoples Day, a federal observance to celebrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across Canada. Many area schools attend and I was proud to have advocated and seen my children’s school attend for the first time. We have student who danced in their regalia and I believe it’s important that their peers are there to celebrate and learn.
OPA ! Yes, it’s time for OPA Fest hosted at the Hellenic Community Centre. This one is an indulgent one… the food… and more food and my favourite- Loukoumades. I may have purchased 2 dozen of them- but I did share! This is a well-organized event that we attend annually. We have good friends who are Greek and every year my kids are joyous to go and watch their friends dance. I’m overjoyed to see my kids supporting their peers and taking in their culture.
Mosquitos, rain and porta-potties couldn’t keep this weekend from being fantastic! It was the year end Cub Scout camp also known as Cuboree. As a Harry Potter themed camp it included great activities such as a slip and slide, evening campfire, bottle rockets, wand making, homemade hovercraft, candle making and hundreds of kids and Scouters gathered to share a meal together. After this camp I received a commendation from a member of our pack. One boy said, "Thank you for teaching me how to put up a tent, helping me to make new friends, teaching me to cook over a stove. I would like to thank Ikki for being at camp. Thank you for being a good leader." His words mean so much to me. You grow together throughout the year and it can be hard seeing them move up into the next level of the Scout program but knowing you helped him discover new skills and talents is truly rewarding. This was also the last Cub camp I will have with my daughter as she moves into the Scout program next year. It was great seeing her grow over the year and interact with her peers while being accepted and valued. In the fall I welcome my youngest son into our pack as a first year Cub! Scouts is truly a family activity for us.
Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits at the London Corporate Challenge in Harris Park. I had a great morning volunteering and raising funds and awareness for the vital work that Ronald McDonald House Charities provides to families locally and abroad. We are a family who has been on the receiving end of their services and know the immeasurable value of their support. Today I ecstatically checked in the corporate teams at the registration desk and thanked them for their generous donations to support a charity that means so much to our family. To read about my family's journey with this charity and why I care so much click HERE
After watching private corporations mobilize to benefit London I assisted citizens in directing funding from the city into their local neighbourhoods. Through the Neighbourhood Decision Making process citizen’s draft, submit and then vote on the submissions that they believe would benefit the local neighbourhood enhancements. London was divided into 5 regions and each region is granted $50,000 for projects. This was the 2nd year of the program and my 2nd year volunteering at the Jalna Branch Library where I had many insightful conversations about our Southwest community. To find out more about this program, winning submissions or how to submit your idea in 2019 visit http://www.getinvolved.london.ca/ndm
The South London Community Centre is a valuable hub in our community. There’s always something going on and today I was approached with a lovely invitation to attend the Family Eid Party hosted by the World Wide Community Movement. It was a pleasure to attend and make new friends and learn about the connections they would like to make in the community. Great food, laughter and new friends await all those who attend their complementary monthly event. I hope to see you there.
The gift of music by the St. Justin's Filipino Choir welcomed guests to the Filipino - Canadian Association of London and District dinner. Over music, dancing, laughter, smiles and a wonderful dinner at the Marconi Club I celebrated 120 years of Philippine Independence with old and new friends. The community is strong, flourishing and proud and I thank them for their warm welcome.