Stephen's message on why he's running for council

February 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

 

It’s time for a return to a council that listens and acts in the interest of ALL in the City of Victoria. 

 

Today, I enter the byelection for Victoria Councillor without a manifesto or desire to audition for a higher office, but as someone who wants to see our city run in the best way it can.

 

This means dealing with the priorities assigned to a local government that includes; to maintain infrastructure such as roads, sewers, to oversee the official community plan, to ensure an environment that is sustainable and healthy so we can live, work and play, ensure our citizens are safe with a resourced police and fire department, and well thought out development to keep pace with our need for housing and a growing population. 

 

I believe in affordable and attainable housing.  We must encourage and set the groundwork for new residents and families to be able to live in our city. 

 

I believe in an “housing first” strategy, but - and this is a key element that has been extremely lacking so far - it must be “supported housing”.  We must set our vulnerable citizens up for success; simply moving them indoors without the necessary support has proven to be a failure.  This community deserves dignity and a real opportunity to live a healthy life.

 

I speak from experience.   I have been homeless twice in my life.  As a young man I lived on the street.  I know the fear, depression and the lack of self-worth.   Life “can” improve. For years as a journalist, I opposed the notion that “homelessness is a choice” and there are solutions, we just need to find the right approach.

 

And to achieve these goals, we must maintain an environment that supports and encourages business, tourism and development.

 

Throughout the next few weeks I will release more policy issues and make myself available to answer any questions you have about specific municipal issues.  Please feel free to reach out here or email me at info@stephenandrew.ca

 

To begin, I want to make some promises about issues that receive a lot of attention:

 

1. I promise that I will not support an increase to Councillor Salaries.

 

The position of Councillor in the City of Victoria is part time and until that changes remuneration for this important public service position is reasonable and adequate.

 

2.  I will not participate in the “free lunch program” at City Hall.

 

I will bring or pay for my own lunch to meetings and I do not expect your hard-earned tax dollars to pay my way through meeting lunches.  It is my hope, when elected, that the portion of the $10,000 budget for free lunches for this councillor position will be removed from that budget and put to better use.

 

3. As Councillor, I will focus on the job.

 

I care deeply about our city.  I know that there are always issues that are going to be difficult to resolve however, I will keep my focus on local government issues not outside our scope.

 

4. I will continue to live in the City of Victoria.

 

I believe a Councillor should live in the city.  I live in the Burnside – Gorge community and I will continue to live in Victoria so I will experience the impact of the decisions I make at the council table.  I realize the commitment it takes to live in the public eye and be connected to the community.

 

 

On April 4th, I would be honoured if you vote “Stephen Andrew for City Council”

 

Thank you

 

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© 2020 by Stephen Andrew