13.5 C
Ontario
Monday, October 18, 2021

Decision Lethbridge 2021: Municipal election opportunity for more diverse city council – Lethbridge


With four city councillors and Mayor Chris Spearman not seeking re-election this fall, Lethbridge city council will look very different after the polls close on Oct. 18.

For some, the hope is that the new-look council will better represent an increasingly diverse Lethbridge.

Read more:
Finalized candidate lists released for Lethbridge municipal election

Diversity consultant Tymmarah Mackie says she hopes voters examine their own biases ahead of election day and set them aside when exercising their democratic right.

“We’re not going to actually have democracy — it’s not going to do what it’s supposed to do — if we don’t actually represent the community,” Mackie said.

“If we could actually look at our own biases and set them aside, and vote for more diversity, then we would see councils truly representing the community and impacting change that would be very meaningful for those diverse populations.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mackie says in many cases, biases are unconscious, and the typical voter doesn’t realize what’s impacting their choices.

“When we look at who should be or could be representing our community on council, there’s a tendency to allow our biases to choose who we’re voting for,” she said. “So most people in Canada will look to the privileged person, and that is white, middle-class men.”

Read more:
Lethbridge city council holds final meeting before municipal election

Rob Miyashiro was the only visible minority sitting around the horseshoe in the two terms he served on council and most recently had just one female colleague.

Not seeking re-election, Miyashiro hopes the community does their homework and elects a council that represents their interests.

“You want to see yourself reflected in government, you want to see people like you that are making decisions for you,” Miyashiro said.

“If we only have middle-class, Caucasian people on council, what does that say to everybody else? If you only have straight people what does that say? If you only have men on council, what does that say to all the women in the city? So I think that’s what people need to understand when they’re casting their vote.”

Story continues below advertisement

Miyashiro says he grew up in the area and didn’t face any overt racism during his time on city council, but says for immigrants and other minority members of the community the idea of running can be a daunting one.

University of Lethbridge associate professor of history and Asian studies coordinator Gideon Fujiwara says the systemic issues that deter people from getting into politics need to be addressed.

“People with senior voices need to speak our against that and provide equitable support,” said Fujiwara. “Leadership is something that’s fostered, so if there are young BIPOC candidates, women going into politics, they need good mentorship.”

Read more:
What to know about school board trustees ahead of 2021 Lethbridge election

Fujiwara said mentorship will lead to the breaking down of more barriers.

“Ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability and ability, I think we want all voices at the table to be able to speak for the community and make decisions. Otherwise, if it’s a small demographic speaking for everybody, a lot of perspectives get lost.”

He says that educating voters is another key to moving the needle in a more diverse direction.

“I think that if you have a council that’s not as diverse, it probably reflects who came out to vote. So that’s a key part of it. We have to inform the electorate,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

In the 2017 municipal election, just 27 per cent of eligible voters in Lethbridge cast ballots. A full list of 2021 candidates can be found here.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

Latest news

Govinda ने Kapil Show मे चार चाँद लगाए | The Kapil Sharma Show | Most Viewed

Click here to Subscribe to SET India: Click here to watch the special clips from your favorite show: We bring to you the 'Most...

Jacqueline Fernandez skips third ED summons in PMLA case involving Sukesh Chandrashekar

Actor Jacqueline Fernandez again skipped on Monday her appearance before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a probe into an...

Xam Idea CBSE MCQs Chapterwise For Term I, Class 10 Mathematics Standard (With massive Question Bank and OMR Sheets for real-time practise)

Price: (as of - Details) Xamidea presents MCQ books exclusively for Term-I Examinations. Compiled under the guidance of stellar expertise, these books contain...

India-Pak T20 World Cup match ‘should be reconsidered’, says Giriraj Singh

Union Minister Giriraj Singh has said that the cricket match between India and Pakistan in the...
Related news

Govinda ने Kapil Show मे चार चाँद लगाए | The Kapil Sharma Show | Most Viewed

Click here to Subscribe to SET India: Click here to watch the special clips from your favorite show: We bring to you the 'Most...

Jacqueline Fernandez skips third ED summons in PMLA case involving Sukesh Chandrashekar

Actor Jacqueline Fernandez again skipped on Monday her appearance before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a probe into an...

Xam Idea CBSE MCQs Chapterwise For Term I, Class 10 Mathematics Standard (With massive Question Bank and OMR Sheets for real-time practise)

Price: (as of - Details) Xamidea presents MCQ books exclusively for Term-I Examinations. Compiled under the guidance of stellar expertise, these books contain...

India-Pak T20 World Cup match ‘should be reconsidered’, says Giriraj Singh

Union Minister Giriraj Singh has said that the cricket match between India and Pakistan in the...