GuelphToday asked candidates running for council in the Oct. 22 municipal election to provide a bio and their platform and/or reasons for running.
THE PERSON: My name is Usha Arora and I am ready to be your city council representative from Ward 6.
As we all know, Guelph is a vibrant and growing city. I have witnessed this first-hand, living in Guelph for the better part of four decades (including 14 years in Ward 6). The small-town character, natural surroundings, and ever-increasing amenities combine to make this an ideal home for my family, neighbours and friends. For this reason, I unashamedly call it the best city in the world.
Although I have always had an avid interest in municipal politics, I am recently retired from a lifelong career in nursing. As part of that job, I enjoyed the privilege to serve on a human rights and equity committee on the provincial level, as well as on several other committees including labour management, fiscal advisory, professional development, negotiation, and health & safety. I have also have been a long time member of the executive team for a local chapter of Ontario Nurses Association. In short, I was a dedicated, passionate, and honest advocate for health care workers for the last 20 years.
I am certain that the skill-set acquired from this long-term leadership role will transfer to my work as a city councillor. I will apply my demonstrated leadership experience, and bring the same passion and drive for my previous role to this one. I will use my knowledge of municipal government to effectively speak out for my constituents, in the hopes that I may help my fellow Ward 6ers enjoy and benefit from living here as much as I do. I hope that our youth, as well, are inspired to vote for a vision of a future community that they would like be a part of.
For these reasons, I respectfully ask for your vote this October 22nd.
THE PLATFORM: As a long-time resident, I understand the challenges presently facing a modern and expanding Ward 6. Many of these challenges did not exist a few years ago, and meeting them will require new ideas and new leadership.
Guelph is a growing, diverse, and vibrant city. As our city grows at a rapid rate, I will focus on ensuring that council decisions accurately reflect the desires of our community. I will listen to all community members, from all walks of life. It is vitally important to include as many perspectives as possible in the decision making process. I hope that this in turn increases public participation in city initiatives.
I will be guided by principles of accountability, transparency, truthfulness in governance. I will be responsible for my choices and support democratic decisions made by council.
A priority of mine will be strong fiscal management. I will ensure that our city spends our municipal tax dollars wisely by making decisions with a view to long-term sustainability (both financial and environmental).
I will advocate for a reliable, user-friendly and safe public-transit and active-transit (i.e. bicycles, pedestrians) system for all.
I will advocate for affordable and accessible housing for students, new Canadians settling in Guelph, and seniors.
I will support leash-free parks for dogs that simultaneously ensure the safety of all park-goers.
I will commit to review outdated city bylaws and policies which have been stagnant for decades.
I believe in protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the city.
I will ensure that the South End Recreation Centre gets built, stays within budget, and has space and programming for seniors, similar to the Evergreen Centre.
I will support the reintroduction of online and telephone voting for our municipal elections to help those with accessibility issues participate.
I will take care of all issues brought to me, openly and honestly.
I believe in diversity and integrity.
I will advocate for the safety and the well-being of the community as whole.
An inclusive vision for the future.
Speaking out for Guelph.
Speaking out for citizens of ward 6.
On October 22nd, elect Usha Arora: your voice for effective change on Guelph city council.