We’ll start with the basic facts: I’m currently a city councillor, but I’m also a Durham College alum, a parent, by previous vocation a Canadian music industry professional, a (proud!) downtown Oshawa resident, and someone who likes to eat all kinds of food from all kinds of cultures. (Those last two work in great synergy, for those who haven’t noticed lately.)
What else? Community service and working for the greater good are at the very core of my values. I believe that change for the better is possible, but since I also have an equally severe allergy to political clichés, I hope some of what you find on this website is helpful in conveying the why and what and how on that last part.
A few other things I’ve been involved in here in the community that would usually belong in an “About Me” section:
- In June I wrapped up my 6 years on the board of the Back Door Mission downtown Oshawa, where I was board president for the last 5 years and led this non-profit through exponential growth and change in response to both the pandemic and the significant increasing levels of urban poverty, homelessness, and mental health and addictions challenges we’ve been experiencing (no, this is not a problem unique to downtown Oshawa, despite what people sometimes say: I spoke at a conference this summer about our work there and asked a room of 100+ municipal leaders from all across Ontario to raise your hand if you’re experiencing the same challenges and every single hand in the room went up. Even the guy working the sound board. This is happening everywhere. Beware those who propose simple solutions to complex issues. But please check out the work happening at the Mission. The people there are doing awesome things and I couldn’t be more proud of them.)
- I’ve been the board chair at Parkview Place Senior Housing, a 115-unit non-profit housing provider also in downtown Oshawa, for several years. It gives me some helpful insights into our housing affordability challenges, and they’re also a wonderful community within the community, too.
- During this term of Council, I’ve served as the vice-chair of the Community Services Committee. I could bore you here with boring explanations of the procedural rules and what a vice-chair does, but most people aren’t weirdos like me who find that stuff interesting. If you actually want to learn though, I’d be happy to talk your ear off about that stuff, so get in touch. I’m so much fun at parties.
- I was appointed the council representative on both the Robert McLaughlin Gallery board and the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee. I was forced, under much duress, to go to both kicking and screaming. Just kidding. I love the RMG and the chances they take in shaping our civic dialogue through culture; and I don’t know if you’ve checked the news lately but we have a lot of work to do on the environment and climate change, so I was grateful to work with community members on OEAC to try to move the needle where we could on those files.