Melissa Durrell was elected in 2010 to the role of Uptown Waterloo Ward 7 City Councillor. Melissa has always been passionate about helping people and giving them a platform to communicate their concerns. She wants to make Waterloo one of the most liveable cities in the world, and is working hard to make that happen.
Beginning as an award-winning journalist, Melissa worked for nearly two decades reporting news from Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Sudbury, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Melissa is an active community volunteer and was named one of Waterloo Region’s Top 40 under 40 in 2012. Melissa is the President of Durrell Communications, and was nominated in 2013 as Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the KW Chamber of Commerce Excellence Awards. Voted Best City Councillor in Cord Community Best of Edition in 2013.
Melissa lives in uptown Waterloo with her husband and two children.
Boards, Committees and Volunteer:
Waterloo Library Board Member
Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) Board Member
Open Streets Uptown Waterloo Board Member – Chair
Uptown Waterloo BIA Board Member
Uptown Vision Committee Member
Waterloo Park Committee Member
Women’s Campaign School – Organizing Committee
Zonta KW Club Member
Zonta Film Festival Chair
Grand River Public Bike Share Board of Directors
Junior Achievement Volunteer Mentor
KW Startup Weekend Mentor
KW Field Hockey Assistant Coach
Excerpts from Melissa’s Better Choices Questionnaire
“Adding new businesses and retaining our current business enterprises is my primary focus. After extensive consultation with our current business owners, their employees and prospective investors in Waterloo, I’ve gained a meaningful understanding of what makes a sustainable, vibrant community to live, work and play. I have a three point plan for keeping Waterloo an economic success story.”
“As the city is always looking to responsibly maximize the use of taxpayer’s dollars, we also have an opportunity to “keep it local” – I support buy local and buy Canadian. Such a purchase ordinance should be included in the strategic plan for 2015-2019. This is an important focus for the next Council term.”
“As a business, the City has to make sure we keep and retain strong talent working for the city to keep us working on all cylinders. I will always vote for fair and affordable contracts for our labour unions and contract workers, at the same time, making sure that the City is getting the best value for dollar.”
“I feel is it vital that the city ensure that it is meeting the needs of persons with disabilities – both physical and mental. All of our urban planning efforts need to recognize the unique needs of persons living with physical disabilities.”
“I would encourage all city employees to undergo cultural competency training that will ensure that all minorities – aboriginal, ethnic minorities and those in the LGBTQ community feel they are getting public services in an open, safe and culturally sensitive manner. We will lead by example, and the effects should be pervasive.”
“I support a living wage. It makes economic sense – keeping our work force out of the “working poor” increases the overall prosperity of our community.”