• Campaign BBQ with MP Mathyssen, Cheryl Miller, & Ward 7’s Josh Morgan

    Launching the Shawn Lewis for Ward 2 City Councillor Campaign with an east London backyard BBQ Meet & Greet, Shawn was joined by local Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen, former City Councillor and past Conservative candidate Cheryl Miller and Ward 7’s Josh Morgan.

  • Time for Someone New to Represent Ward 2

    I’m literally on the wrong side of the tracks to be able to say I live in Ward 2. But arbitrary lines on a map don’t define community.  I’ve called east London’s Argyle neighbourhood home for more than 20 years.

    Argyle—or Ward 2—is where I work, shop, and play. It’s where my heart is. Home.

    For the past 12 years I’ve been privileged to work as the assistant to our Member of Parliament, Irene Mathyssen in her office on Dundas St., handling local priorities and needs while she has been working at the national level in Ottawa for us.

    In that role I have helped deliver millions of federal dollars to our area through:

    • Canada Summer Jobs funding for small business and non-profits, creating about 100 jobs a year
    • Accessibility Fund grants to help places like Trinity United Church to become accessible buildings for people with disabilities
    • New Horizons for Seniors funding to support social and recreational programs for seniors
    • Supporting City of London requests for federal funding to help with infrastructure building and repairs

    And helped businesses and individuals navigate federal departments to:

    • Get visitor visas for tourism projects to bring in foreign performers
    • Straighten out tax problems with Canada Revenue
    • Sort out delays in getting Employment Insurance Benefits

    For the past 5 years, I’ve spent most of my free time at the Argyle Arena, volunteering for London Bandits minor hockey. I may be terrible on the ice, but I love hockey and helping our kids grow and develop, not only as players, but as people. I’ve been a hockey fundraiser, parent rep, team manager and back-up trainer. I’m the team stats-keeper, website-updater, stick-taper, water bottle-filler and skate-tier.

    A member of the Argyle Community Association since 2008, I’ve served on the board of directors for the past two years.  First, as chair of infrastructure issues, I pushed for the new community centre in East Lion’s Park, the Kiwanis Park trail connection and pedestrian bridge over the CN Rail corridor and the Vimy Ridge Park project at the Hale St. Roundabout. Then, as chair of the board and continuing to work on those projects, I organized a community meeting and an online survey and took the results to put Argyle’s  transit concerns on the city hall agenda. Along with others, I went door to door and talked to residents about the proposed new strip club on Dundas St., then delivered a petition to City Hall expressing the community’s objections.

    It is important for a community to come together and have fun. I also worked to bring free events to Argyle residents, such as: Continue Reading

  • Better Transit, a To-Do List that isn’t all about BRT

     

    Let’s be honest eliminating poverty in a generation. Not something a City Council can do by itself. Bringing more jobs? Well, a city council can create a good environment for that to happen in again not something a city council can do on it’s own.

    But fixing transit…that folks is something that with leadership at City Council and through it at the London Transit Commission, that is something that can be done! Transit is something wholly under the city’s control. Continue Reading

  • Bus Rapid Transit, an Argyle Neighbourhood Viewpoint

    As chair of the Argyle Community Association, I have been pressing the City of London to hold public information sessions on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan outside of the Central Library and in neighbourhoods where people live.  This week, BRT information  FINALLY came east of Highbury, when the Argyle Community Association hosted city staff at an information session at Clarke Road Secondary School.

    What I learned in trying to get people to attend was that people feel that this is a done deal, that there is nothing they can do to stop, change, or improve it. They feel nothing they have to say is genuinely going to be listened to. Continue Reading

  • Apology to London’s LGBT Community Must Come From Council

    When I first arrived in London (much younger) the Mayor of the day was defending herself and her council at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to declare Gay Pride Weekend in the city. As a gay person who was still in the closet at the time, it certainly made it feel like the city really didn’t want me or–anyone like me–to make London home. Continue Reading

  • Politicians “Experience” and Years in Office Are Not Equal

    Some politicians hold office for many years because they are good at getting results for the people they represent. Others simply benefit from the “incumbent advantage” of name recognition and vote splitting to hold on. So the public should never mistake years in public office with the experience needed to “get the job done”.

    Recently, this was evident in the debate around the proposed “adult entertainment license” for a new strip club in east London’s Ward 2. Continue Reading

  • June 14 Roundtable with Steve Garrison & Craig Needles

    Talking about the opioid addiction crisis and the need for local leadership on the issue, the ranked ballot mess council has created in it’s own votes, and some good news about traffic light synchronization in London, with local broadcast legend Steve Garrison and host Craig Needles on the AM980 Wednesday Roundtable:

  • London Home Owners Get Some Tax Relief

    Get this year’s property tax bill yet?

    When you do, you might notice how the 2.9% increase homeowners were supposed to get ended up only being 1.1%

    That’s some good news and Londoners have my friend Ward 7 Councillor Josh Morgan to thank for that.

    In 2014 I was happy to serve as Campaign Manager for Josh Morgan’s (successful) bid for a council seat, not just because Josh is a friend, but because I knew Josh was someone Londoners could count on to balance the need for city building and infrastructure improvements with the fiscal realities of London families.

    Josh and his wife are working hard to raise 3 kids, make the mortgage and car payments, and cover the grocery and hydro bills, just like so many other London families. So he gets prioritizing the “need to haves” over the “nice to haves” for the City, and recognizes just how hard people work to generate a tax dollar.

    This year, some changes to the education portion of our property taxes meant there was an opportunity to provide some tax relief. These variances do happen from time to time, but historically City Councils (remember, Mayor Brown and Councillors Armstrong, Hubert, and Usher have been on past councils) have given the relief to industrial and commercial landowners (people like Mr. Farhi who can write off more in taxes than most homeowners earn in a year).

    This year Josh Morgan made sure that homeowners got the relief.

    This is exactly the kind of balanced, fair tax approach Josh campaigned on.

    Here is Josh (along with AM980’s Craig Needles and myself) talking about how he delivered this tax relief for homeowners, give it a quick listen:

  • Urging Council to Connect Argyle to BRT

    Members believe the college is too isolated and would prefer the transit hub be located at Argyle Mall, or close to it.

    “People want to see transit improved,” association chair Shawn Lewis told AM980.

    Full story and audio clip:
    Continue Reading

  • If London’s Doing BRT, Argyle Wants to be Included

    “The Argyle Community Association asks council to reconsider the eastern route,” the group writes in a letter sent to council, signed by board chair Shawn Lewis. “It is our position that the eastern transit village should be located at Argyle Mall.”
    Continue Reading

Page 1 of 212