Together Victoria

As I mentioned in my very first post of #WorldSavingWednesday, life has seemed a bit heavier for most of us since November 2016. For 20 months, it has felt a bit like watching a car crash in slow-mo; a maniac at the wheel, plowing down the progressive, inclusive society we had spent decades building up. And for most of us, we have felt pretty helpless. But as this blog has focused on, there are so many people out there doing their part in keeping this beautiful world afloat. In fact, the one good thing about the maniac-led car crash has been that it actually has inspired folks to step up and take action like they may had never done before.

So, to compliment last week’s post about keeping governments accountable for their actions, this week, I want to introduce you to the folks taking their action inside government.

First, because the sh*t going on is primarily happening South of the border (though is felt by almost everyone), I want to give shoutouts to two (of many) badass women who are running for congress in the US: Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Jahana Hayes. As many of you likely know by now, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the 28-year-old who ousted a longterm incumbent in New York. To see why she ran, check out this interview. You may also remember Jahana Hayes showing up on your feed two years ago when she was voted America’s Teacher of the Year. Check out her campaign video to see why she is running ❤

Now, something closer to home: these three wonderful humans are running for city council in the upcoming municipal elections in Victoria, BC. Sarah Potts, Sharmarke Dubow and Laurel Collins are all first-time candidates, running together under the banner of Together Victoria, a grassroots organization focused on “creating an affordable, inclusive Victoria” — and it makes me so happy!

Between 2004 and 2017, Victoria was a home-base for me. It’s where I graduated from high school, started my career in immigration, and while I was very bi-coastal during that time, it’s where I always went to visit my parents. Victoria is an incredible city — it has the Pacific Ocean, big trees, a mild climate, views of the Olympic Range, bike lanes, craft beer, perfect cafés, and a great mix of hipsters, activists, elderly, intellects… and lots of tourists! But it is hella expensive. Although I was working full-time, the cost of living on my own and trying to pay off my student loans was nearly impossible. And the stress of it impacted me everyday. So when a job opportunity came up in my other (East Coast and much more affordable) home-base of New Brunswick, I jumped at it, and sadly sad goodbye to Victoria.

There are so many young people who also love Victoria, but have had to make the same decision I did, or are still dealing with that daily financial stress. This is why I am so happy that these three *young-ish* candidates are running with affordability as one of their priorities. With my passions for immigration and the environment pretty evident, I am also obviously stoked that inclusivity and the environment are also main priorities. So, if you are reading this from Victoria, be sure to read more about these awesome candidates. Better yet, meet up with them, and see how you can help out with their campaign. If you’re not in Victoria, I hope all of these candidates have at least given you some inspiration on this Wednesday evening!

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Sharmarke, Laurel & Sarah

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