There’s less than ten days until voters go to the polls to determine how municipalities will be governed for the next four years.
The Nelson Daily has opened the door for council candidates to pitch voters with their respective platforms in the lead up the October 20th vote.
In this installment, Stephanie Wiggins, Rik Logtenberg and Brittny Anderson explain why they should be on council when the dust settles later this month.
Other candidates on the ballot include, Robin Cherbo, Michelle Hillaby, Charles Jeanes, Bob Adams, Laureen Baker, Robbie Kalabis, Keith Page, Leslie Payne, Joseph Reiner, Cal Renwick, Travis Hauck, Jesse Woodward, Margaret Stacey, Brian Shields, Janice Morrison and Rob Richchi.
My name is Stephanie Wiggins, and I’m so excited to bring some much-needed perspective and diversity to the council chambers.
I was raised here in Nelson. I graduated from Selkirk College, receiving my diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education. Nelson is my heart and soul’s home.
I am passionate about children, education and families. I’m a relatable, tenacious, patient and kind feminist. I am part of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’m a single mother to a sassy two-year-old.
I am a lifelong learner. Through post-secondary schooling and general life experiences I have learned (and continue to master) the art of active listening, reflecting, growing and taking on other perspectives.
A fresh pair of eyes and new ideas can help find solutions to difficult issues like affordable housing. I live paycheque to paycheque, and thanks to Nelson Cares Society, I live in an affordable housing unit.
As a councillor I will be prepared for every council meeting (you’d be surprised how often this is not the case), I will make informed decisions based on facts and be prepared to change my opinions based on those facts. I will take time to research and become informed about other cities and countries models and strategies for the reduction and elimination of poverty, homelessness and lack of affordable housing. I will be curious, keen and will act in the interest of all Nelson residents.
Nelson is a fantastic place to live. But we can’t take our great lifestyle for granted anymore. For Nelson to keep thriving we'll need a lot of fresh ideas, good will, and hard work.
Affordability is a challenge for everyone and many families are being forced to move away or join an already large homeless community. Within the next 20 years, seniors will make up more than 40% of the population. This will add even more strain on a shrinking working class in a valley with limited housing options. Our infrastructure continues to age. And, of course, climate change threatens everything. We are at the top of the list when it comes to BC cities threatened by wildfire, and face serious risks from flooding, drought, watershed damage and more. If we’re not committed and energized to get in front of these problems, I worry that Nelson won’t have the bright future that we once took for granted.
I’m running for City Council because, despite these threats, I'm an optimist. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow. From my background as an entrepreneur and small business owner, and a member of our tech community, I believe that we have lots of opportunities to nurture local innovation in housing, transportation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, youth development and more. I also believe that these developments will help us navigate the worst that climate change will bring while strengthening the tax base that we’ll need to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure. If we have a clear vision, a strong sense of purpose, creative ideas, and a sincere willingness to work together, we will thrive.
I am grateful my parents chose to move to Nelson in 1986, when I was 6 months old. They provided me with the opportunity to grow up and thrive in our precious mountain town. I was given the chance to expand my wings and live in Ecuador at 16 years of age through the Rotary Youth Exchange program.
During my twenties I pursued higher education receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Masters of Science in Environmental Science and Policy and took the opportunity to explore the world as much I as could living across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Growing up in Nelson inspired me to spread my wings, live, work, travel across Canada and the globe before returning home to settle down.
My work experience has brought me to retail in Vancouver, administration in Fort McMurray, an NGO in Whitehorse and finally back to Nelson, my home where I worked at the RDCK as their Environmental Services Coordinator and their Environmental Technologist before I chose to pursue entrepreneurship. I am a co-founder and director of operations for The Cannabis Conservancy, and have recently joined Young Agrarians as their Coordinator for the Columbia Basin region.
Approach to Civic Politics
Cooperation between Mayor and Council to ensure we achieve a balanced approach that supports community vitality, economic health and public safety is key to a thriving and resilient city and local government.
Using evidence-based decision making to inform public policy is essential for a healthy democracy. I hope to strengthen local business and economies, look to relevant and replicable policy examples that address the local environmental impacts of climate change and wildfire mitigation, as well as provide solutions to the affordable housing crisis and increase childcare spaces.