October 30, 2017
Leslie Claire Amminson
Last week we spoke to new Councillor at Large, Maggie Burton, about her goals for the city and her commitment to student issues. This week, we are continuing our conversation with new council members as we talk to Hope Jamieson, who represents Ward 2, about her first time on council and her plans for the area.
How have you been finding your time on council so far? How are you adapting to your first term?
I’ve enjoyed working with residents to address their concerns so far, and have been really pleased to be able to get some positive action happening already. There’s a lot of information to absorb, of course, but so far the City staff has been more than generous when it comes to sharing their expertise. I’m having to be very intentional about balancing time between my work on Council and my other most important role as mom to a little daughter, so careful planning and priority scheduling are very important.
What are your main priorities for Ward 2? What improvements would you most like to make within the community, and within the city more broadly?
I want to help build a more inclusive city as my first priority: accessible, affordable, diverse and vibrant. My aim is to make everything the city does accessible, from our events to our sidewalks to our development regulations. While campaigning I heard from people of all walks of life a nervousness around the ever-increasing costs of living- I see a key role in creating affordable housing and effective public transit as ways I can help to alleviate some of that stress. Finally, we need to build an interesting, attractive, vibrant city through investment in our cultural tourism sector, which serves the dual purpose of attracting both tourists and immigrants, as well as improving quality of life for folks who already live here.
How do you plan to communicate with various communities/demographics to get a broad idea of the issues that need to be addressed?
Social media will of course be an extremely useful tool for communicating with residents. I also plan to continue to canvas throughout my term as I understand not everyone has access to the internet and I was struck by the candour of the people I spoke to on their doorsteps while campaigning. The new Committee of the Whole meeting will also provide a valuable opportunity for collaboration with the community, as residents will be able to attend and participate in those meetings as well as watch online once we get the technology up and running.
Do you plan on talking to students about changes that can be made in St. John’s to benefit them? If so, how do you plan to reach out?
Students are an important demographic to engage with, especially given our need to attract and retain young people to secure our viability into the future. I’ll engage over social media, by attending events in the community, and by canvassing areas in my Ward where students live.