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Thursday, November 6, 2008

All Candidates Meeting – November 3rd

I have to say that given only one minute for an opening statement is a bit of a challenge but all of the candidates seemed to do pretty well in the limited time frame. Below is a copy of my opening statement which I managed to get through except for one sentence, underlined, used that one in my closing minute. Homelessness seemed to be mentioned a lot in the prospective council candidates opening statements, a number of questions were also forwarded to individual candidates on the subject as well.

I had toyed with the idea of saying in my closing that it was nice to here all of these new voices talking about the issue and that I hoped, whether elected or not, they would continue to do so after the election. I chose instead to acknowledge a group of people that were camping out at Vancouver Island University, for three days, to raise money for a memorial garden at Samaritan House Women's Shelter.

Students Sleep Out For Homeless

I then asked people to sit in silence and think about the disenfranchised that so often die without any acknowledgement. This year I have attended a number of memorial services and gatherings for street people who passed away. I find it sad that, in most cases, within 6 months they will be forgotten by many and only remembered by those of us who work with them or who like them face the same fate.

I have one simple request, when you walk by someone who is homeless, or looks a bit on the rough side, don't turn your head away ignoring their presence. Acknowledge them with a nod and a good day. Something that simple can do wonders to lift a persons spirit.

My spiel:
I am a long time Community and Social Advocate and have considerable experience working with committees and boards on issues ranging from Homelessness & Affordable Housing, Food Security and Poverty, to Neighbourhood Development and Downtown revitalization. I recognize the importance of a healthy diverse economy in providing social stability and the necessary tax base to run the city.

I believe many on council have become complacent in their positions and that we should limit council and mayoral terms to two. We should revisit the ward system and its potential for fairer representation of neighbourhoods on council. How can we provide security persons and yet not provide lifeguards at our public beaches, what cost a human life?
I support smart growth principals and believe we need to work towards a greener environment, create a viable transit system and increased density in existing urban areas. When elected I promise the same tenacity I am known for when advocating on Community and Social issues.

November 15th elect Gordon Fuller to Council

Links to All Candidates Coverage
Daily News

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