• The London Free Press Candidate Survey

    The London Free Press has published it’s candidate surveys. My responses are here for you to read, you can find the full article at: https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/ward-2-the-candidates-in-their-own-words

    SHAWN LEWIS

    1. The basics:

    a) Age: 46 years

    b) Occupation: Constituency Assistant to MP Irene Mathyssen, local media personality on AM980 radio and Rogers TV London, past auto-sector factory worker and food services worker.

    c) Family: Single, with 20+ hockey kids & foster parent.

    2. What’s the most pressing problem you’d tackle, if elected?

    London doesn’t have one big problem with a single solution. London has several issues that add up to some serious challenges:

    • Poor job prospects for many
    • Homelessness and lack of affordable housing
    • Crumbling and inadequate infrastructure

    The biggest impact City Council can have on a number of those challenges is to focus on practical, attainable goals 1st, things that will make London a place people and businesses want to call home:

    • Building affordable housing (including micro-housing and seniors housing),
    • Address the backlog of road & sewer maintenance
    • Practical transit improvements, like bus bays and service to industrial job areas
    • Improve basic services like snow removal and waste diversion (new landfills are expensive),
    • and keep the cost of living and taxes as low as possible

    3. Do you support the current BRT plan, yes or no? 

    No, I do not support the current plan.

    4. What leadership skills could you bring to city hall?

    I don’t accept “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”, I’m open to thinking that is “outside the box” and have a proven record in the community of getting results. I am a:

    • a team builder, who empowers people to put their skills to work and learn new skills
    • a coalition builder who is able to bring together people from different backgrounds, ages, and view points and get them working together toward common goals
    • experienced at running meetings and keep people on task and on timelines
    • a strong communicator with experience in both broadcast media and social media

    5. How would you bridge divides between Londoners?

    There’s a good reason I have support from both NDP and Conservative Members of Parliament as well as previous council members on my campaign, it is about being respectful and recognizing that there are other points of view and that more often than not the best solutions come when we work toward common ground.

    It means not just listening, but truly hearing other points of view. And it is about recognizing that a compromise isn’t a defeat. It is better to take one step forward together than fighting over whether we should be standing still or taking two steps forward.

    6. Which past or present city councillor would you hope to emulate? 

    Cheryl Miller, who never told people what she thought they wanted to hear, she was honest (and blunt) about her views and my friend Josh Morgan who genuinely engages with the neighbourhoods of his ward.  An honest voice and commitment to community are good things to emulate.

    7. Who should have the final say in how London grows, city hall or developers?

    The real answer is there has to be a partnership.

    The city can’t grow without private investment and can’t let NIMBYism rule. At the same time, the developers need to better recognize existing neighbourhoods are an investment made by the people already living there.

    The city and the development community need to work together to make sure what we have is sensible, smart growth.

    8. What sets you apart from other candidates?

    I’m the only candidate in Ward 2 who is already deeply involved in the community and can offer both change and experience at the same time.

    Without being elected yet I’ve already shown the community I can get results for them:

    • Helped businesses, churches and community groups get funding for student jobs, wheelchair ramps, seniors programs, and other projects.
    • As constituency assistant to MP Irene Mathyssen, I’ve helped hundreds of Ward 2 residents resolve issues with government bureaucracy
    • Was a founding member of what would grow to become the Argyle Business Association
    • As a board member of the Argyle Community Association, kept the pressure on City Hall to stop the delay after 18 years and get building the East London Community Centre in East Lions Park
    • Organized community events like Family Day Free Skating at Argyle Arena and Movies in the Park nights at Kiwanis Park
    • Helped get Vimy Ridge Park an official park designation in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
    • Chairperson of the City’s Committee of Adjustment, approving many projects including the building of the new wave pool at East Park
    • Served on the City of London’s Neighbourhood Decision Making Committee that saw new playground equipment approved for Kiwanis Park

    And I’m deeply involved in the day to day life of the community:

    • Past Chairperson and active member of the Argyle Community Association
    • A member of the East London Optimists and Canada Day volunteer
    • A London Bandits team manager and trainer
    • A member of both the Royal Canadian Legion Victory Branch and Air Force Association’s 427 Wing

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