My Experience Running for Council

This is my 8th election with the first one happening in 1999. The first time I ran for City Council I placed 13th out of 23 candidates. I was disappointed in the loss but soon realized that running for a seat on City Council was a life changing experience. You get thrust into the spotlight unprepared and on your own. For the first time on my life I realized that people started to believe in you and in turn you had more faith in yourself. I felt that some candidates were incredibly competitive and offered no support to fellow candidates like myself and that you had to sink or swim. Not having a campaign team or any real support, I did the best I could. I also found out that during a campaign you form some friendships and start to bond with others as you go through this short intense period of time.

In 2002 I was not sure I would run again but had a close friend tell me that if I did not try again I might always wonder “ what if”. Taking that advice, I ran again and this time I was better prepared. I had a mentor Laurie Kidd who helped me immensely, and I met with our MP at the time Dick Harris. His advice was simple, “press the flesh” and knock on doors. I did just that. I printed 5000 cheap black and white flyers – made on a low budget campaign, and spent three full weeks knocking on almost 2000 doors,  handed out flyers at London Drugs, Save on Foods, downtown street corner, the Hart mall and more. 

It was fun and rewarding but depressing at times. 

I was most often well received but on one occasion I was standing out in front of London Drugs handing out flyers when this guy comes out of the store and says, “if you need more flyers, the garbage can inside the door is full of yours!“ I was like, “what?”. I went inside and saw the garbage can was full and was saddened by the complete waste of time. I went home and was on the considering giving up. I then thought back to my conversation with Dick Harris and what he had said about getting out and meeting people. 

I came to the conclusion that even if some of my flyers ended up in garbage cans, I had actually met people face to face, shook their hands and said who I was and what my campaign was about. That was empowering and a time of personal growth for me.

Since I hurt easy, and healed hard, a civic campaign was what the doctor ordered to toughen me up. My perseverance paid off and I was elected in 2002, securing the 8th and final spot on City Council. I cried tears of happiness, total exhaustion and surprise.

As the next couple elections unfolded I started to realize that these races were very competitive and candidates held their cards close to their chests and did not seem to help the new candidates. I made it my mission to do what I could to make sure some of the new people running felt included and what they had to offer was real and worthy of the voters support.

I am a firm believer in the saying, “you can’t keep what you have unless you give it away”.

Meet Me.... the Human Being Behind the Councilor

Photography is one of my hobbies that I really enjoy. You can’t beat the scenery around our community. The wildlife is unbelievable in this area. Our green spaces in the Prince George area are second to none and I am adamant about protecting them.