Understanding Municipal Politics

“For the longest time, I’ve lived in the same place for my whole life, born and raised in the same house. And a lot of the elected officials that represented me lived around me in my neighborhood. I only realized that after I got elected, that the former elected officials lived down the street or it so and so and I was like, I didn’t even know they were elected. I just thought it was Mister, Madame so and so. And I was like “Oh, you were a councilor?” I’m like, I would have never known.

But that’s also because they never necessarily came and engaged me or asked me. They didn’t ask me as a kid, like “How are things in the park?” “Can we improve the park somehow?” Or, “What do you need?” So there’s a lot of citizens who don’t think they understand municipal politics. And I think that’s really a shame because if I can do this job and I understand it and I didn’t think I understood it, every single person, every single citizen, every single resident actually understands more than they know about it.

I think once you overcome that fear of worrying that you might ask a stupid question or something like that, once you overcome that and you realize that you can have a conversation with an elected official, and the same as you, we’re all the same, there is no such thing as a stupid question, there is no such thing as an irrelevant issue. Once you realize that and you get engaged, then you become more and more engaged. So the citizens that I see that I’ve only dealt with once on a certain issue, they become super engaged after because I involved them. The same way somebody involved me in politics.”