As the daughter of Canadian diplomats, I was born in Tunisia and raised in Venezuela, Germany, Indonesia, and Australia. As an adult, I have worked in Bangladesh, Japan and Singapore. I grew up acutely aware of how good governance leads to progress for all. My first political campaign was for student council in grade seven. I was living in Jakarta and my campaign at school coincided with the Indonesian national elections. I can still recall the violence I witnessed in the streets of Jakarta. These formative experiences solidified my commitment to the democratic election process and I vowed to be involved and vote in every Canadian election. Here in Vancouver, we should not lose sight of the fact that free choice and voting in city politics is a democratic right that few citizens have.
I chose Vancouver to raise my family and grow roots because of the opportunities my children will have to recreate, study, innovate and contribute. But it hasn’t been easy. As a young mum, I experienced a very frightening home invasion. I woke up to the needs of my community. I became an involved citizen and was elected as a director on the Britannia Community Services Centre board in East Vancouver. I worked in tandem with the school board, parks board and council to deliver integral municipal services for families, youth and seniors. This experience gave me a valuable asset: it taught me to be power literate and how to leverage power to do good.
I’m known as a hard worker and a bridge builder. My work experience in corporate communications for TD Bank as well as the federal Canadian International Development Agency, UNICEF-Bangladesh and UBC will bring positive engagement with all sectors that intersect with the City of Vancouver. Raised to value public service as a central tenant to how I live my life, I served this year as auction chair for the B.C. Heart and Stroke Foundation gala and helped to raise just under one million dollars for cardiac and stroke research.
I’m running with the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) because it represents Vancouver at its best. We are diverse, innovative, and open. The NPA is the founding party of Vancouver, and is responsible for the introduction of the green bin program, bikeways, and the Four Pillars Drug Policy. We have a strong track record for supporting small business and listening to community groups.
I want to be your city councillor because I know I can bring good discernment and sensible spending back to Vancouver city council. The Vancouver I want does not close off favourite streets or claim to listen to our vibrant community groups then plow through with an ulterior agenda. With the introduction of the first office of ombudsman and a lobby registry, these two NPA principles emphasize how open government is a core value worth standing up for.
The world is watching how Vancouver manages issues of density, transit, homelessness, and addiction. With Kirk LaPointe and the NPA—and Suzanne Scott as your councillor—we will be on the right path to a stable, steady progress. Through consultation and open government, we can all live in the Vancouver we are so fortunate to call our home.