The future is something we build together.
Brighton, thank you for investing your trust in me! I’m thrilled to represent you on Council for the next four years. Thank you especially to those of you who invested your time, resources, and lawn space during the campaign, I can’t thank you enough.
This page is no longer a campaign space; now, I hope it can be a place where I can hear from you about current issues and concerns, and where I can communicate to you about municipal issues and processes, in accordance with my values.
Municipal politics is about how we deal with change in our community. That takes vision, communication, and collaboration.
Images of Brighton by L. Turner
What kind of community do we want to create? What kind of Brighton will our kids inherit? Having a clear vision allows us to respond consistently to change, but more importantly, it allows us to work proactively to shape our community. In practice, that looks like:
Community visioning sessions, where we imagine our future together and find ways to make it happen.
Strategic planning and participatory budgeting, where our vision is translated into policies and investments.
Approaching all of this through the lens of sustainability: how will our actions today impact future Brightonians?
We can get along and accomplish more if we can improve communications with residents, staff, and other jurisdictions. In practice, that looks like:
Having a clearly identified staff member responsible for providing information, directing inquiries, and receiving complaints; and encouraging all councillors, staff, and the public to refer to official channels of communication
Printing official notices in plain language in addition to the provincially mandated official communications, so everyone can read and understand public notices
Striving to ensure that public meetings happen at times and in formats that make them accessible to people with day jobs, kids, and disabilities
Like any team, Council’s ability to accomplish its aims depends on its ability to work together – between councillors, the Council and the public, and with other jurisdictions. If politics is about what we can accomplish together, then collaboration is the heart of politics. In practice, collaboration in politics looks like:
Councillors maintain professional and congenial relationships despite disagreements
Recognizing the limits of our roles, knowing when to defer to staff, and finding ways to engage and empower the public to contribute to our community outside the purview of municipal government
Mapping the community’s assets, issues, and efforts so that every department, nonprofit, association, and individual can see where good work is being done, how they can contribute, and where there are points of overlap, conflict, or synergy in their efforts
I’ve been engaged in politics and social action at every level for almost a decade, including:
Volunteering with local nonprofits and serving on Boards and Committees
Founding and chairing Brighton’s Sustainability Advisory Working Committee
Running for office and contributing to policy discussions at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels
Serving on the Shadow Cabinet for a major federal political party for 5 years, including as an International Affairs Critic
I believe that knowledge is power and that power belongs to the people, so I value communicating expertise to the public. That’s why I’ve spent my career translating complex ideas and jargon into plain language.
I hold a Master of Arts degree and engage in academic circles, but I also write regularly in popular media such as the Brighton Beacon. I’ve taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and most recently collaborated on a new course for eCampus Ontario called Managing Complexity in the 21st Century. I like to bring theory and practice together and make it accessible to everyone.
I believe that we have everything we need to solve our problems, but only if we work together and share our skills and perspectives. I want to hear yours!
I’m happily married and the father of two lovely children. I believe that the future is something we make today, and I’m committed to making the best future we can offer to our kids and theirs.
I want to hear from you
This is where we connect. I’d love to hear from you, and work together to build the future we want for Brighton. Let me know if you’d like to join my newsletter, I hope to continue to write about current events and topics of interest throughout the term.