Forum Questions – Inclusivity, and Equality

Equality, Equity, and Inclusivity are topics that I care a great deal about. I am well aware of my privilege – I am a cis-gendered, heterosexual, white male. My privilege resides not in the fact that I have been given a specific benefit, but rather that I have not been deprived of a benefit. We need to be cognizant of our privilege, and to ensure we are using it to benefit everyone else even before ourselves.

Inclusive Community

Do you support access to books that showcase diversity within your community?

I 100% percent support access to books demonstrating diversity. Our community is diverse and wonderful. Limiting access to books in any way, hurts everyone. I have friends and family who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and they have my full support and love. It tears my heart apart thinking that some people would ask to restrict books depicting their lives, struggles, and desire to simply exist.

Rather than restricting access, or removing books altogether, I would encourage greater access to a wider variety of books in our libraries. We need more voices, not fewer.

Equality and Equity

With only 1 potential female to be elected, what will you do to ensure the female perspective/voice is being heard?

Listen. That is the most important things anyone can do about anything. That’s the first thing to do. The next step is to take action, but most importantly to take action with the people I am supporting. Better still, provide the tools necessary for action to be taken. And then supporting them.

We need to be better allow for a diversity of voices on city council. Prior to the nominations being opened, I urged a number of friends to run in this election. For various reasons they were unable to run this time around. For some women, they are unable to run for family reasons. We need to provide avenues for anyone who wants to serve, to be able to do so. A single mother may not be able to commit the time or afford childcare. Or, for a two-parent family, the partner may work a conflicting schedule.

How do you feel the diversity of this panel reflects the diversity of our community?

The diversity of the panel does not reflect the diversity of our community. I believe this is a result of a number of factors. I’ve mentioned a few above. Other reasons include financial limitations, political ambivalence, or a perceived lack of ability to represent their community. Our community, while welcoming and caring, needs to continue to work to foster a sense of shared community involvement. I love our city, and I would love for our city council to better represent our entire community.