There are a lot of opinions flying around St. John’s these days about city council. Perhaps more than ever. But if there’s one thing we can say about all of them, every last councilor , with certainty, it’s this: they’re all white guys. They’re all men.
There is not a single woman on council right now. Explain that to your daughters with political aspirations, parents of Ward 4.
During this year’s provincial election in November, city councillor Bernard Davis vacated his council seat when he was elected to the provincial House of Assembly. And on February 23rd, a replacement for Ward 4’s seat will be elected.
Anyone can run for city council so long as they’re a Canadian citizen who doesn’t owe any unpaid taxes. And luckily the ward has 4 women running, to help out with gender diversity on the panel of people running our city.
Two of them – would-be mayor Sheilagh O’Leary and real estate agent Debbie Hanlon – have been city councillors before. A third candidate, Janet Kovich, is also a real estate agent, and Jill Bruce is the fourth female option.
Bruce says running for council has “been on her mind for years.” Now is certainly a daunting time to join council, which only means now is the time for us to vote wisely and diversify the voice (and genders!) of those calling the shots for us.
Pressure’s on you, Ward 4. Change starts now. Pay attention to these women’s campaigns and vote with your gut and heart. Poor Dave Lane needs a comrade up in there. (Oh, the fifth candidate is accountant Matt White.)