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CANDIDATE: Teresa Taylor (GF -- Council)
To see a list of all the available candidate profiles click here.
Please give a brief summary of who you are and why you have decided to run for office.
Years ago, I decided the best way to improve the places we choose to live was to get involved. I am a forward thinking woman, driven by passion for our community. In 1996, I chose Grand Forks for its down-to-earth nature, the genuine and hardworking people that live here and the rural lifestyle we enjoy.
I was raised in a political family, by two extraordinary leaders. I am a mother, an artist, a professional facilitator and a social activist. I am running for City Council because I hold the skill and dedication to represent our community in municipal government, and advocate for the needs of rural BC.
What is your background? Have you held office before? If not what skills do you bring to the job if you are elected?
I hold a degree in Social Work with focus on Community Development, Social Management and Policy and graduate level education in traditional indigenous knowledge. I have worked in social service for 20 years, and as marketing and communications consultant for rural businesses for 10 years. My experience in community outreach and marketing gives me a rounded perspective, understanding both elements of social health and business. This is my fourth run for political office. I am a skilled public speaker, able to put forward a message that is articulate and effective.
I served a two year term as a volunteer member on the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), working with community leaders to promote and enhance opportunities for growth in the region. I often voice the needs of young families; advocating for birth services, housing, education and economic security.
As Program Manager at the Boundary Women’s Resource Centre in the downtown core, I witness the pulse of Market Avenue. In this role, I recently participated as a mentor for the HeadStart program coordinated by Coun. Cher Wyers, supported by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by Status of Women Canada. This program highlighted the importance of engaging young women in municipal politics and our community decision making. These people are the future of the region, and it is critical that we include them in discussion.
To further support public health, I sit with Creating Caring Communities(www.yourcaringcommunity.ca), a regional harm reduction committee. I have worked on the front line with some of our community's most vulnerable people, and simultaneously networked with the most highly positioned.
What do you think are the top three challenges facing the city/region/school district (depending on what you are running for) in the upcoming term?
1. Economic diversity and employment opportunity
A community dependent on a limited number of employment opportunities feels precariously balanced. Diversification alleviates some of the risk, and attracts a wider range of residents with varied skills and interests. There is great opportunity in our region, including cooperative agriculture, clean technology industries, health and wellness services, and advanced education.
2. Positioning for our future
Our city is in transition. Though some may be discouraged by empty storefronts, the City is positioning for expansion. We need vision, planning and determination to serve the needs of today as well as those of the next generation. What kind of city do we want our children’s children to live in and are we on the right path? We should not be afraid of growth. We should guide it.
3. Collaboration across the Boundary
The residents of the wider Boundary region represent a significant population base that enjoy Grand Forks city resources, and depend upon the city’s good fortune for their own prosperity. In building the relationship between the City of Grand Forks and the Regional District, I see advantage to our communities in combining their energies and identifying areas in which co-operation backed with the force of combined numbers, leads to mutual benefit.
How do you think you can impact these challenges?
We have a wealth of community spirit in Grand Forks. Those of us who have decided to make this home speak with reverence about the region and the untapped potential of the City. Harnessing this passion is a key role of council - leveraging the pre-existing assets of our city and supporting them with forward action.
With years of experience as a professional facilitator, I am often required to research information, analyze it and use it to facilitate discussion among diverse groups of clientele. A leader should do just that: Bringing good ideas to fruition takes a good deal of study, consideration of competing needs and people, skillful exposition and strong communications skills. Leaders must learn from other leaders, and realize their authority comes from grassroots; especially in rural communities. Leaders are advocates for their citizens’ and their constituency.
If you could describe yourself in three words what would they be?
Dedicated, innovative and socially aware.
Other comments that you feel are important to the voters.
I believe that our municipality should advocate to other levels of government responsible for services outside the municipal scope. Let’s not be silenced by bureaucratic borders. We are the voice of our communities, and I believe that rural BC needs to make that voice loud and clear.
I’d like to hear your concerns and questions. For contact information, please visit www.teresataylor.ca