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61% of Endorsed Candidates Elected

A big thank you goes out to everyone who voted for the Better Choices candidates, and who worked so hard to encourage your fellow union members, family, and neighbours to do the same. We now have progressive Mayors of all three of our cities in Waterloo Region, and a progressive Regional Chair. Better Choices Waterloo Region played a big part in making that happen! We helped elect 23 out of the 38 (61%) candidates we endorsed. An additional three progressive people who sought but did not receive our endorsement were also elected.

See the table below to see how our endorsed candidates fared.

First Name Last Name Race/Position Elected? Margin % of Vote Rank
Donna Reid Cambridge 1

Y

1054

58%

Mike Devine Cambridge 2

Y

807

53%

Brian Santos Cambridge 3

N

-431

19%

3rd
Jan Liggett Cambridge 4

Y

516

37%

Pam Wolf Cambridge 5

Y

254

51%

Colin Slingsby Cambridge 6

N

-1187

8%

4th
Doug Craig Cambridge Mayor

Y

8928

53%

Grayson Zeilstra Kitchener 2

N

-1117

15%

3rd
Kelly Galloway-Sealock Kitchener 5

Y

1290

67%

Wanda Kampijan Kitchener 6

N

-1890

20%

2nd
Fauzia Mazhar Kitchener 7

N

-1833

19%

3rd
Margaret Johnston Kitchener 8

N

-307

43%

2nd
Sarah Marsh Kitchener 10

Y

1529

59%

Daniel Glenn-Graham Kitchener Mayor

N

-15025

27%

2nd
Ken Seiling Region Chair

Y

38270

59%

Tom Galloway Region Kitchener (4 to elect)

Y

8269

20%

2nd
Elizabeth Clarke Region Kitchener (4 to elect)

N

-416

13%

5th
Cameron Dearlove Region Kitchener (4 to elect)

N

-2552

11%

6th
Greg Burns Region Kitchener (4 to elect)

N

-8662

7%

7th
Jane Mitchell Region Waterloo (2 to elect)

Y

345

20%

2nd
Diane Freeman Waterloo 4

Y

2129

76%

Mark Whaley Waterloo 5

Y

2400

76%

Jeff Henry Waterloo 6

Y

2015

86%

Melissa Durrell

Y

Dave Jaworsky Waterloo Mayor

Y

7811

55%

Joyce Anderson WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)

Y

1392

19%

2nd
Amy Fee WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)

Y

811

17%

4th
Anthony Piscitelli WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)

N

-811

13%

5th
Janek Jagiellowicz WCDSB Waterloo/Wellesley/ Woolwich (2 to elect)

N

-628

19%

4th
Melanie Van Alphen WCDSB Waterloo/Wellesley /Woolwich (2 to elect)

Y

715

31%

1st
Lisa MacDonald Woolwich 3 (2 to elect)

N

-87

24%

3rd
Ted Martin WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)

Y

4394

14%

1st
Kathi Smith WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)

Y

3625

14%

2nd
Doug McKlusky WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)

N

-2332

9%

7th
Kathleen Woodcock WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)

Y

3172

21%

1st
Carol Millar WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)

Y

2850

21%

2nd
Shelly Reed WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)

N

-1960

13%

5th
Scott McMillan WRDSB Woolwich/Wellesley (1 to elect)

Y

1938

62%

Total:

23

61%

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Endorsements Finalized!

August 29, 2014 – Better Choices Waterloo Region has endorsed 38 candidates for the October 27th municipal and school board elections. The coalition of progressive individuals and organizations endorsed candidates for Regional and area municipal Councils and both school boards after 60 candidates filled out the group’s questionnaire.

candidates endorsed by Better Choices Waterloo Region at a meeting in Kitchener Wednesday night

candidates endorsed by Better Choices Waterloo Region at a meeting in Kitchener Wednesday night

“We are extremely excited about this diverse group of candidates,” said Nancy Hutcheson, spokesperson for the Better Choices Executive. “It contains a good mix of incumbents and new candidates from a variety of backgrounds and experience, and we are confident that a  good number of them will be successful in their election campaigns.”

Endorsement decisions were based on four key issues identified in public meetings:

  • Strengthening our Local Economy,
  • Building an Open and Inclusive Government,
  • Creating a Liveable and Sustainable Community, and
  • Addressing Poverty

Also considered were key candidate characteristics that the Coalition was looking for:

  • Knowledgeable and Seeks Information,
  • Electable, and
  • Shows Leadership.

“Ultimately, we were seeking candidates who align best with our four key issues, and who possess these characteristics,” Hutcheson explained.

The ten-person executive of Better Choices faced a number of difficult decisions in the endorsement process, as many races featured multiple candidates vying for a limited number of positions. Better Choices decided to endorse no more than the maximum number of candidates who could be elected in an any given race.

“Our hope is that progressive voters will unite behind endorsed candidates,” said Hutcheson. “I think those who look into it will see how thorough this endorsement process was.” To be considered for endorsement, candidates completed an in-depth questionnaire and participated in a face-to-face interview with members of the Better Choices executive. The Executive also considered candidates’ voting records and public statements in making its decisions.

Here is the list of endorsed candidates:

First Name Last Name Race/Position
Donna Reid Cambridge 1
Mike Devine Cambridge 2
Brian Santos Cambridge 3
Jan Liggett Cambridge 4
Pam Wolf Cambridge 5
Colin Slingsby Cambridge 6
Doug Craig Cambridge Mayor
Grayson Zeilstra Kitchener 2
Kelly Galloway-Sealock Kitchener 5
Wanda Kampijan Kitchener 6
Fauzia Mazhar Kitchener 7
Margaret Johnston Kitchener 8
Sarah Marsh Kitchener 10
Daniel Glenn-Graham Kitchener Mayor
Ken Seiling Region Chair
Cameron Dearlove Region Kitchener (4 to elect)
Elizabeth Clarke Region Kitchener (4 to elect)
Greg Burns Region Kitchener (4 to elect)
Tom Galloway Region Kitchener (4 to elect)
Jane Mitchell Region Waterloo (2 to elect)
Diane Freeman Waterloo 4
Mark Whaley Waterloo 5
Jeff Henry Waterloo 6
Melissa Durrell Waterloo 7
Dave Jaworsky Waterloo Mayor
Anthony Piscitelli WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)
Amy Fee WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)
Joyce Anderson WCDSB Kitchener/Wilmot (4 to elect)
Melanie Van Alphen WCDSB Waterloo/Wellesley/Woolwich (2 to elect)
Janek Jagiellowicz WCDSB Waterloo/Wellesley/Woolwich (2 to elect)
Lisa MacDonald Woolwich 3 (2 to elect)
Doug McKlusky WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)
Kathi Smith WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)
Ted Martin WRDSB Kitchener (4 to elect)
Carol Millar WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)
Shelly Reed WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)
Kathleen Woodcock WRDSB Waterloo/Wilmot (3 to elect)
Scott McMillan WRDSB Woolwich/Wellesley (1 to elect)
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Latest Candidate Endorsements

 

Ted_TalksTed Martin is a Better Choices endorsed candidate for Public School Board Trustee.

Ted Martin is currently the chairperson of the Waterloo Region District School Board. He is a consensus-builder and is well respected by other trustees, having been elected chairperson on four occasions. Ted is seeking a fifth term as a trustee in order to see the completion of several initiatives, including an improved community engagement strategy.

Ted has been a member of the local high tech business community for more than 25 years, as a software developer, technical communicator, instructional designer and trainer, continuous improvement champion, and manager of software development and customer support. After many years of working for a major corporation, he now operates his own business.

Ted and his wife, Tracy, have two children who have gone through the local school system.

For many years, Ted has volunteered his services to the youth of Waterloo Region raising funds to help children participate in community sports, coaching hockey and soccer, and dedication to girls’ hockey, for which he was recognized with the Tom Graham Award.

Ted has also been an executive member with the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, and the Society for Technical Communications.

Ted recently tweeted, “I am not seeking to be popular: I merely want to make what I feel is the best decision for the entire Region in all situations at the school board.”

 

anthony2014aAnthony Piscitelli  is a Better Choices endorsed candidate for Separate School Trustee.

Anthony Piscitelli brings extensive governance experience to the role of Waterloo Catholic District School Board Trustee. He has served on nine Boards of Directors over the past twelve years.  His experience includes developing new organizations, creating policies, approving budgets, setting strategic direction and overseeing organizational development in corporations. At present, he serves as a Director with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union and as a Trustee with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Anthony has also completed a Masters of Political Science Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is an Accredited Canadian Credit Union Director and a Level II Certified Municipal Manager.

If elected to a second term as Separate School Trustee, Anthony will fight for:

  • A viable business plan designed by Catholic families and Trustees
  • A redefined role for Trustees to encourage open communication with Catholic families
  • A meeting investigator position, so Catholic families can hold Trustees accountable

 

“Our dedicated teachers and support staff give our system tremendous potential” said Anthony Piscitelli. “We can only reach this potential if we have Trustees who will roll up their sleeves and get the work done.”

 

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Our August 1st Deadline Approaches!

Better Choices Waterloo Region would like to remind you that the deadline for submitting applications for our endorsement is August 1, 2014.

If you or someone you know would like to be endorsed as the best progressive candidate in your ward, city, township, or school board area, you will need to fill out our questionnaire and schedule an interview with members of our Executive.

For the candidates we endorse, we offer a large and progressive network of supporters, branding resources, strategic information, communication materials, and assistance with volunteer outreach.

We have endorsed six candidates for this Fall’s elections so far, and have another dozen applications awaiting our endorsement decisions. We set an early application deadline for our questionnaires because we want our endorsed candidates to run serious campaigns and to win.

If you or someone you know are considering running, but do not wish your candidacy to be made public until after our August 1st deadline, we are happy to keep your application for our endorsement confidential until you declare your candidacy. Just let us know.

So please, start filling out your questionnaire today!

Sincerely,

Better Choices Waterloo Region Executive

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Election Training this Weekend!

We don’t need to remind you that Municipalities Matter! So to help ensure our candidates are equipped with the right tools to run their campaign successfully, Better Choices Waterloo Region has teamed up with our friends from We Are Guelph to arrange a special training session for the Municipal elections, which will introduce a number of proven tools and techniques to make your campaign a success. The training will be held at Guelph City Hall in two parts, June 20 (6-9pm) and 21 (9am-1pm).

The training session will be invaluable to prospective Candidates, Campaign Managers, and Campaign Volunteers.

FREE to all participants
FREE food (dinner Friday and light breakfast Saturday from Brass Taps)

Free Parking available: in front of City Hall and in the lot off Wilson

To register for this (FREE!) training please visit
http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/municipalities-matter-tickets-11697867637?aff=mcivte 

Three Training Modules (3 Classrooms):

Campaign Manager – The campaign manager is a key player in any campaign. Whether it is managing a candidate’s campaign for elected office or running a campaign on a key community issue, this training is designed for those who want to put their organizing and leadership skills to the test and learn some of the fundamentals in developing strategic planning, organizing and outreach.

Candidate Training – Ever thought about being a candidate for your local school Board or municipal council? Are you going to be a candidate in the 2014 municipal elections? Do you know of a progressive or labour activist who is going to run? This training take you through the fundamentals of being a candidate in a municipal election: ­what is the scope and structure of city council or the school board, how to puttogether a campaign team, how to build a profile in your community, fundraising, how to reach out to voters. This workshop, based on the Candidate’s Toolbox, will help in the pre-­election phase, the formal election campaign and tips on how to deal with victory or survive defeat.

Campaign Volunteers – No election campaign can be successful without campaign volunteers. This course will build the skills you need to help elect a strong, progressive voice to city hall or to your school board. The training covers the basics of an election campaign, the structure of your council or school board, how to reach out to voters in your community and how to build support for a candidate. Whether you’ve never been involved in a campaign before, or whether you’re looking to learn campaigning skills specific to municipal elections, this course is for you.

SCHEDULE

Friday, June 20
Registration:  5:30 p.m. (full meal provided)
6:00 p.m. — Opening Remarks
Guest speakers — Guelph NDP Candidate James Gordon (with other speakers TBC)!
7:45 p.m. — Short Break
8:00 – 9:00 p.m. — Classroom Training

Saturday, June 21
(coffee and light breakfast provided)
9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. — Classroom Training
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. — Break
10:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. — Class Training

We encourage you to come along and take advantage of this great opportunity!

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More endorsements from Better Choices

Donna ReidDonna Reid is the Better Choices endorsed candidate in Ward 1 in Cambridge.  Donna was first elected in 2010 and has served on a variety of committees at the city, including Vice Chair of Budget, Human Resources Advisory Committee, the Archives Board, Hespeler BIA and the Fire Master Plan.

Donna’s involvement in community life in Cambridge is extensive and she is always willing to lend an ear, or a helping hand.  Her work in equity issues as Executive Director of the teachers’ Federation continues in the political arena with her work on a council of Aging, recognizing outstanding women, initiating a Cambridge Celebration of Women and a committee member of the Women’s Municipal Campaign School to encourage women to run for political office.

Quotes from Donna’s questionnaire give a strong sense of why municipal government is important to her and what she brings as a councillor:

  • Citizen participation is essential to democracy. It may be messy, awkward and sometimes gives us a solution we don’t want but it still remains better than any other method of governance.
  • I want to encourage more inclusive events for ethnic minorities and religions in our “Christmas in Cambridge” events.
  • Our citizens realize that city building takes investment in buildings, services and infrastructure. The Dunfield Theatre is an example of how an investment pays off. The city has seen a $39 million return as a direct result of the theatre.
  • Innovations such as on-line voting, telephone voting, and voting at any poll in the city will allow voters to participate more easily and in greater numbers than in the past.

 

Pam Wolf photo compressed and cropped

Pam Wolf is the Better Choices endorsed candidate in Ward 5 in Cambridge, where she is the incumbent candidate.  Pam has dedicated years of service to the city of Cambridge and its people.

Pam has been a strong voice for the citizens of Cambridge, especially on issues like strengthening the local economy, and building an open and equitable municipal government.

Pam works to encourage Council to meet citizens where they live, work or play to make sure municipal government is not simply hearing from those who can show up at a council meeting. She suggests going to different locations to hear a cross section of opinions.

Pam states, “I strongly believe in buying local and have tried to pass motions at council which would favour local tenders with a fixed percent advantage. When we do any events through city hall we use local businesses for catering and all gifts given are from local artists and stores. I have encouraged Mayor’s Night at the movies to feature Canadian movies or artists and, wherever possible, to showcase local talent.

 

Elizabeth Clarke resized

Elizabeth Clarke is endorsed by Better Choices as a Kitchener Councillor at Large candidate for Regional Council.

Elizabeth Clarke is the CEO of YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo, and a part-time Practicum Professor with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Master of Social Work program.  Elizabeth has over 25 years’ experience as a social worker and social work administrator in the not-for-profit sector.  Elizabeth has a master’s degree in social work, with a focus on social policy and administration.  She has completed Wilfrid Laurier University’s post-graduate Management and Leadership certificate.  Elizabeth has served on a number of voluntary committees and boards in our region, and currently sits on the City of Kitchener’s Safe and Healthy Community Advisory Committee and the Region of Waterloo’s Housing Stability System Advisory Committee.

Elizabeth is a recipient of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Excellence in Social Work Teaching award, the Region of Waterloo’s Community Housing Champion award, and the Queen’s Jubilee Award for her work advancing the rights of women and girls.

As Elizabeth says, “My masters degree in social work and my twenty-five years’ experience in direct, policy and administrative work have equipped me with an advanced understanding of social issues and realistic solutions. I’ve worked alongside Waterloo’s regional government – as a partner, an advocate and an advisor – for almost fifteen years.  I know how it works, I know its strengths, and I know its challenges.  I believe that I have the knowledge and the experience and the skills to work effectively within regional government, as a Councillor representing Kitchener.

“It’s at the regional level that we have the freedom to make decisions, unencumbered by partisan politics, which will make lasting improvements in our citizens’ lives.  And it’s at the regional level that we have the ability to engage the diverse communities that make up Waterloo to create meaningful conversations to envision a better place for us all to live.”

 

Colin SlingsbyColin Slingsby is the Better Choices endorsed candidate in Ward 6 in Cambridge.

Colin is committed to building strong communities. He is a father of three children, an electrical worker, a past reserve soldier for the Canadian Forces  and an individual who is very involved in and proud of the Cambridge community.

Colin Slingsby believes that good municipal government takes care of the younger generation. For example, allowing employment opportunities for young people seeking post secondary education gives them the work experience they need and a chance to pay for education that will one day be reinvested back into our community.

As Colin explains, “Economic prosperity begins at home. Local investment is a great way to create local jobs, and bring in outside revenue. Investment in building local sports complexes and retail outlets makes the city a desirable location to hold events and a desirable location to shop and live. Then, increasing advertisement of our area throughout the province truly shows “It’s all right here in Cambridge.”

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 6.29.25 PMSarah Marsh is the Better Choices endorsed candidate in Ward 10 in Kitchener.

Sarah, her husband and three active boys have lived in Ward 10 since 2001.  Sarah is a business owner and operates a small consulting firm that offers social research, program evaluation and organizational development to non-profit organizations. She has a Masters of Education, and previously taught English for the Waterloo Region District School Board.  Sarah is passionate about community development and works with various non-profit organizations, including The Working Centre and Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health, leading collaborative, innovative initiatives designed to meet the needs of the people of Kitchener.

Sarah has strong views on what Kitchener Council should do to improve economic prosperity for everyone.  “Council needs to support development of businesses in Kitchener which pay reasonable wages and benefits; to take a public stand on support for increases toward a minimum wage that brings families above the poverty line; to reconsider its decision and support a living wage policy; to raise more awareness and increase the budget for the Leisure Access Card; and to support those organizations which work toward the alleviation of poverty. We can and should make the full inclusion of all citizens in our economic development a priority for this community.”

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Come to an Evening with Better Choices!

Better Choices Waterloo Region is holding a public meeting on April 30th, and we’re inviting Waterloo Region – and its prospective municipal and school board candidates – to come learn more about our campaign and its goals.

We want to let more people and organizations now about this campaign, so that when we have our slate of candidates in the Fall municipal elections, you can be confident that an endorsement from Better Choices can help inform your voting – and help bring about the better choices that we believe our endorsed candidates will make if elected.

Please plan to join us, and please spread the word to your friends and networks.

Wednesday, April 30th, 7-9pm
Unifor Meeting Hall
600 Wabanaki Dr, Kitchener

Sincerely,

The Executive of Better Choices Waterloo Region

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Our First Endorsement: Cameron Dearlove!

Cameron DearloveBetter Choices Waterloo Region is proud to announce our first endorsed candidate of the 2014 elections: Cameron Dearlove!

Cameron is running for Regional Council in Kitchener. Four people will be elected to Regional Council from Kitchener, and it will be tough for anyone to beat any of the four incumbents, assuming they all run again (as of this writing, none of the incumbents have declared their candidacy). But the Better Choices Executive were very impressed with Cameron’s questionnaire and our interview with him. He is an articulate, knowledgeable candidate with solid progressive credentials and a dedicated campaign team already in place. We think he has a shot at winning! Read more about him at www.camerondearlove.ca.

As of this writing, we have received four more candidate questionnaires, which we will review at our April meeting. Do you have opinions on who we should or should not endorse? Please drop us a line at info@betterchoiceswr.ca or use one of our forms to give us a full review of a candidate.

 

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Now Accepting Applications for Endorsement!

February 18, 2014 – Better Choices Waterloo Region sent out letters to all incumbents and declared candidates in this Fall’s municipal elections today, inviting them to apply for Better Choices’ endorsement.

To the candidates that we endorse, we offer a large and progressive network of supporters, branding resources, strategic information, communication materials, and assistance with volunteer outreach.

Candidates interested in our endorsement must fill out our questionnaire, which is based on the issues and candidate characteristics that emerged from our well-attended public meetings last September.

If you would like to be endorsed as the best progressive candidate in your ward, city, township, or school board area, please visit our website (www.betterchoiceswr.ca) for more information about our process and the benefits of our endorsement.

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Introducing: The Better Choices Executive!

Better Choices Executive members

December 2013 – These are the ten people who will be making the decisions on which candidates best meet the criteria to be Better Choices for this Fall’s municipal elections in Waterloo Region.

Together, they represent a diverse cross-section of backgrounds and interests in Better Choices’ key issues.

Read more about them here.

 

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