Friday, 10 October 2014

Open. Accountable. Accessible.

I have been working hard during the election period to tell you what I stand for. My platform has been on the Web site since August and expanded on the planks in this blog. I've included it in brochures, spoken about it at all-candidates meetings, and spoken with you about it at your doors.

What happens a year or two into the council term when there are issues we haven't anticipated? How can you know now how I will deal with the questions of the future?

Here’s the answer: I will talk with you about them.

I have spoken with you about your priorities and concerns for London at your doors for over six months now. While I won't be at the doorstep as frequently after October 27, I will continue to engage with Ward 6 residents and with all Londoners in a number of ways.

First, I will hold regular office hours and return your calls and emails in a timely fashion. That’s easy to promise, and you can be reasonably assured I will do so, because I’m doing it already. A wide selection of London organizations send surveys to council candidates to make sure voters know their positions on key issues like poverty or the arts. Here’s a selection of just a few: from a student engagement effort to a local magazine, from the London Arts Council and the Middlesex-London Health Unit, to a local blogger. I've responded to each and every survey thoughtfully. I believe I’m the only Ward 6 candidate who has responded to every survey sent out.

Secondly, I will continue to meet regularly with constituents. I support the idea also raised by several candidates in other wards of establishing wards councils. A diverse group of Ward 6 residents representing arts, business, faith, and community groups would meet regularly with me as councillor to advise on issues facing our ward and our city. Regular townhall meetings where anyone can participate and share their thoughts will also be a great way to listen to residents.

Finally, I will listen to the experts. Throughout this campaign, I have been meeting with people who have real experience providing services to Londoners, services like policing, fighting fires, providing childcare, and working with homeless people. By listening to people with firsthand knowledge, I gain a perspective you can't get only from reading reports and policy papers. I will continue to seek out this kind of advice one elected.

I want to thank everyone who has shared their own concerns and priorities with me already, whether at the door, on the phone, or at community events. I encourage you to get in touch with any questions and comments, good or bad, both before the election and after. I've talked a lot in my platform about integrity. One of the things integrity means is that I will keep listening, even if I think I have the answer.

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