As a long-time environmental advocate with a track record of success, I know that to make real progress it takes vision, strategy, partnership, and perseverance.
I have over 25 years of experience co-creating and managing healthy, effective organizations and partnerships, on issues ranging from improving the lives of people with disabilities to the protection of our precious ecosystems and wildlife.
My experience has taught me how to rally resources and support behind an issue or project, how to listen deeply to all voices, and how to hold the big picture while ensuring the work gets done.
Managing effective organizations demands combining vision with practicality, ensuring the human and financial house is in order while always reaching for your goals.
For the past 10 years I was the director of forest programs for ForestEthics, an international organization. I played a leading role in protecting millions of hectares of forests, some close to home and some as far away as Chile. This work required the ability to work effectively with a wide range of people, including activists, scientists, arts and culture workers, business interests, policy-makers and government officials. I am now the principal of Windhorse Strategies, serving civil society groups and organizations.
Nelson is a fantastic place to live! Our citizens are creative and compassionate, and our natural wealth is unparalleled.
I care deeply about clean air and water, healthy local food, and community health and wellbeing. I would love to bring my skills and experience to the role of city councillor.
TOP THREE ISSUES
#1. Nelson citizens care about clean air and water, healthy ecosystems, and living lightly by reducing our energy consumption, our greenhouse gas emissions, and our waste. The city has done some excellent sustainability planning, but even the best planning will gather dust without champions for implementation. Good ideas I want to see become reality include reducing automobile use and creating affordable housing by supporting the creation of secondary suites and infill housing in our downtown core. I want us to have a strong transit system and a world-class rideshare system. The city can help homeowners and businesses retrofit their buildings for energy efficiency. The relocation of the transfer station from Nelson’s waterfront gives us a wonderful opportunity to expand our network of natural spaces, restoring natural ecosystems so our parks work for people and for wildlife. And let’s keep organic waste out of our landfills by expanding community composting.
#2. Youth and seniors are valued members of our community, but Nelson has a youth homelessness problem, and poverty affects many seniors. Downtown densification will help create more housing, but we also need more shelter beds for youth. I like the idea of putting a second storey on the youth centre. Let’s make it a model of green building, very energy efficient, with rooftop gardens, to give youth training and skills and provide healthy local food. Strengthening transit will help seniors and youth too. Creating low-income housing requires lobbying the province and working with a range of organizations. The Housing Forum is working well and making it an official city committee will increase the city’s commitment to working for housing solutions. Agencies are saying we need a youth liaison and/or a social development officer. I will work with all parties to get our most vulnerable citizens the supports they need.
#3. Local food, local culture, and local economies make Nelson vibrant, healthy and resilient.
Local food increases food security, reduces our carbon footprint, saves us money, makes us healthier, and nurtures community connection. Let’s put community gardens (with community compost) on city properties, and create a local food centre where people share and donate food, learn about processing and storing (our seniors are a source of local wisdom), and create products for local sale. Yes to the responsible keeping of backyard hens.
Our amazing arts and culture sector nurtures our citizens and attracts tourists, new residents, and innovative new businesses. Our municipal cultural funding strategy must be protected and expanded over time. As we co-create our compact, sustainable city, let’s integrate public art throughout.
And let’s work with regional partners to create and implement a green economic development strategy, and grow the clean energy economy right here at home.