2011 campaign archive
Enterprising cities are thriving and resilient. Their citizens are living full, rich lives.
An enterprising city has:
- » Active and engaged citizens
- » A thriving, interdependent local economy
- » Security and connectedness in community
- » Cherished and protected natural places
- » A solid infrastructure plan
To help build this city I will:
- » Draw on the assets already present in the community
- » Seek out and welcome people with a diversity of perspectives and experiences and listen to what they have to say
- » Steward and use wisely the city's assets and resources
- » Spark and foster innovation
These are the areas I'd like to work on as your city councillor.
- » Create a participatory budgeting process where citizens are involved in shaping the city's budget. The City's budgeting process for any given year begins in July. Yet it is only in March of the following year that the public is brought into the discussion. And, the City currently has a $500 infrastructure deficit and spends $10 million per year maintaining its $1.7 billion in infrastructure. A participatory budgeting process would allow for citizen input in shaping the city's infrastructure and other priorities and helping to ensure that the City is living within its means and preparing for the future. Head here to watch me speak on the issue.
- » Increase citizen involvement by beginning implementation of the City's Public Engagement Strategy to give citizens information and a timely opportunities to have a voice in other city decisions that affect them.
- » Create 'Shape Your Future Victoria' Citizens' Grants. These will be similar to the current Special Projects Grants Program but would be available to groups of neighbours who want to work on a project together. The application process will be simple and accessible. Proposed grant maximum: $2500. Proposed selection criteria: a.) projects that implement the OCP policy areas b.) Projects that can be replicated by other groups of neighbours or expanded if successful.
- » Foster community-based, resident-focussed research on issues critical to the city by sttrengthening ties with the Office for Community Based Research at UVic. This research would focus on issues such as affordable housing, sustainable transportation and food accessibility and security.
- » Increase affordable housing by working with organizations involved in Community Economic Development to create pooled community investment funds similar to those that exist in Nova Scotia and outlined in the Community Social Planning Council's recently released report. These are pooled community funds in which citizens can invest locally to solve local problems and get a return.
- » Implement a comprehensive harm reduction strategy by working with groups and agencies such as the Society of Living Intravenous Drug Users, Harm Reduction Victoria, AIDS Vancouver Island, the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Victoria Police Department.
- » Better connect neighbourhood resources by creating or supporting the creation of a web platform to create a skills, tools and assets bank on a street, block and neighbourhood basis. This will strengthen the home-based business sector, increase village-based economic resilience and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. For example someone could walk to a bookkeeper down the block rather than get in a car and drive there. The benefits and possibilities for connection are endless.
- » Revitalize seniors' centres to meet the needs of aging populations. Create more opportunities for seniors to contribute their wealth of experience and knowledge to building vibrant intergenerational communities in neighbourhoods and village centres.
- » Expand 'buy local' networks by working with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce, other business organizations and local businesses to create policies, connections and incentives to support our local economy. This includes organizing or supporting the organization of a yearly 'Local Fair Trade Fair'.
- » Encourage high-quality appropriate development and investment downtown and in village centres slated for densification in the Official Community Plan (OCP) by simplifying the development permit process and improving ways for citizen input.
- » Encourage vibrant streets and public places by permitting food vending and other suitable small-scale economic activities in appropriate public spaces.
- » Move sustainable transportation forward by working collaboratively across the region to get things done about cycling, public transportation, regional greenways and other issues that improve air quality, reduce emissions, result in fewer trips made by car, and enhance residents' well-being.
- » Enhance parks by completing and implementing the City of Victoria Parks Master Plan including creative, lower-cost approaches to expanding park supply such as agreements with schools or new developments.
- » Make greenways happen by implementing the City's Greenway Plan to create a world-class transportation and recreation network that is easy to identify and follow in every neighbourhood across the City.
- » Ramp up local food production by implementing the Food Systems policies stated in the Official Community Plan by beginning with the simple low-cost solutions which citizens can take on themselves.
- » Develop an Infrastructure Priority Plan. This plan will address the City's crumbling infrastructure such as key community assets like Crystal Pool. It will also lay out plans for ongoing maintenance of current and new infrastructure projects like Fire Station #1 and the Johnson Street Bridge. Finally, it will prioritize and budget for any new infrastructure projects the City will undertake over the next 30 years. An Infrastructure Priority Plan will responsibly steward the City's assets within the City's means.
- » Steward Johnson Street Bridge construction to keep it on time and on budget by creating a citizens' panel that meets regularly with council and staff to review the Johnson Street Bridge Project Charter. The panel members could be chosen using the citizens' insight council model that the City tested as a pilot during its Official Community Plan public engagement process.
- » Advocate for opportunities to make regional sewage treatment revenue neutral or revenue generating for communities over the long term by creating renewable energy from sewage. Draw on examples from Escondido California, a proposed project in New York City and other places outlined in Chris Turner's Geography of Hope.
- » Work regionally to create sustainable transportation infrastructure in order to increase transportation options, decrease travel times, and reduce greenhouse gases. Before proceeding in the construction of Light Rail Transit or any other large transportation infrastructure projects, ensure that the Province and the Federal Government are both at the table with funding and that the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce's call for taxpayer input on LRT is met.
Here are some of the people that I have been meeting and the things that I've been up to as part of this election campaign.
- » Canvassing and Meeting Residents (Nov. 17)
- » Making Bike Flags (Nov. 6) - A local resident came up with this great idea to show your support on two wheels. These flags were fun to make and you can do it, too! Just check out the easy instructions and download the flag.
- » Building Community Book Shelves (Nov. 5) - Built from wood salvaged from the Vic High renovation, these bookshelves will enliven public spaces and give a place for neighbours to share and pass on great reads.
- » Lawn Signs Arrive and Head Out for Distribution! (Nov. 1) - They're here! I am so grateful to all those people who are supporting me. All the lawnsigns are now distributed but you can also support the campaign by downloading and making a sign for your bike or window.
- » At the All Candidates Hootenanny (Oct. 30) - Candidates in the Victoria election came together at Logan's pub to strum, plink and sing their platforms. A fun evening for all. Lisa plays guitar with friends to a election-specific rendition of "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain."
- » At the James Bay New Horizons All Candidates Meeting (Oct. 29) - Great questions and a welcome opportunity to connect with residents.
- » Canvassing in Oaklands (Oct. 22)
- » Meeting with Citizens
- » Lisa Helps Friends and Family Bike Ride (Oct. 15)
- » Supporting Roofs & Roots (Oct. 8) - Had a terrific and productive time working with a team of volunteers to repair and paint the fence at the Roofs and Roots Housing Co-op.
- » Canvassing in Jubilee Neighbourhood (Oct. 8) - Wonderful to meet people on their doorsteps and in their gardens in Jubilee.