Geraldine McMullen, Candidate for Ward 7 in Ward 7 By-Election 2016

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Candidate Details (top)

NameMcMullen, Geraldine
ElectionWard 7 By-Election 2016
AreaWard 07
Email votemcmullen@gmail.com,geraldine.mcmullen@gmail.com
Website http://www.votemcmullen.ca/
BioLet me introduce myself.

I’m Geraldine . . .

I am a proud Hamiltonian. I was born at the Henderson Hospital 49 years ago and I reside on the Hamilton Mountain. My parents who are Irish and English immigrants to Hamilton taught me how to be a proud Canadian. I come from a family of five and my immediate family is my spouse Trent Jarvis, my daughter, Alannah and my step-children, Ryan and Daniel.

A large portion of my life has been actively dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for the folks who live and work in our community. It is clear that the future of Hamilton depends on a powerful vision and strong leadership; the kind of bold thinking and action that I can provide.

I am a servant leader.

I began to develop leadership skills in my teenage years when I joined army cadets, eventually rising to the rank of Captain and Cadet Commanding Officer. Recognized as one of the top army cadets in Canada, I proudly represented our country as an ambassador with a youth exchange program. I later joined the Cadet Instructor’s League (CIL) and achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant as a Training Officer. Discipline, teamwork and high personal expectations – the type of skills instilled in my work as a cadet – would serve me well at the council table.

I attended Cathedral Girl’s High School and, later on, Brock University, concentrating on psychology and sociology. I received Community Leadership training at Mohawk College. Through a Mohawk/McMaster program, I also got a solid grounding in Labour Studies. I recently completed a financial literacy facilitators’ certificate from Prosper Canada fulfilling the first step of one my passions, to educate youth about their future financial wellness.

I worked for 22 years in the banking and financial services sector and have many years of experience advising on labour relations issues. Currently, I work for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario building relationships in the community as an outreach coordinator.

I am a passionate advocate for others.

I was appointed to the Employment Insurance Board of Referees that heard appeals from those denied EI. Sometimes the cases were heart wrenching. I learned empathy and compassion, even when the law was clear and nothing could be done. And I got a different, real life picture of employment in Hamilton. In practical terms, I gained valuable experience reading and applying legislation and case law.

I was the Hamilton area lead for a countrywide “Retirement Security for All” campaign. I, and others, proactively worked to get commitments from the federal, provincial and municipal governments to make changes to the Canada Pension Plan and the Guaranteed Income Supplement that provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) recipients who have a low income. A secure income for our retirees and pensioners is very important to the economic future of this city.

Volunteering has always been very important to me. It has expanded my horizons, broadened my contacts across the city, and provided space to work collaboratively on some major issues. My active involvement includes service as:

* Board member with the United Way of Burlington & Greater Hamilton and sitting on the Stakeholder Engagement Committee and the Organizational Performance & Audit Committee;
* Board member with Workforce Planning Hamilton (formerly Hamilton Training Advisory Board);
* Vice President, Hamilton & District Labour Council
* Member of the Governing Council of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI);
* Executive member with the Cantabal Health and Education (CHE) Projects, an initiative to provide middle school aged children access to education in Guatemala;
* Soccer referee and coach for almost 20 years in Stoney Creek, Hamilton and surrounding areas;
* Treasurer for the Hamilton Soccer Referees’ Association;
* Auditor and Director on the Ontario Referees’ Association
* First woman to serve on the Executive of the Canadian Soccer Referees’ Association

More recently, I started Food for Families, an initiative to hold food drives during the summer months. Our first food drive was a success and benefited Neighbour 2 Neighbour. Plans for next summer are already in the works.

I also sing with the St. Patrick’s Folk Group. My voice can be heard on two Christmas CDs produced to raise funds for food banks and various charitable organizations. I have participated in Christmas concerts and community fund-raising activities at multiple community venues and Long-Term Care facilities.

My sincere desire is to earn your trust.

Whether you are a homeowner, tenant, or business proprietor, you need to know that through your representative at City Hall your concerns will be heard. I want that too.

Hamilton is a growing community and it is an exciting time to be here. You want an inviting place, great place to do business, a great place to live and a great place to have fun. So do I.

I’m Geraldine.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geraldine.d.mcmullen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/geraldinemcm

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Will you push for increased transit investment on the Mountain? If so, how will you pay for it? Yes Yes. There is an opportunity for the City of Hamilton to emulate other city's successful campaigns for transit investment. We need to look at what works and what does not work and hold the provincial government accountable for its financial investment promises for transit dollars.
Will you push for a safe, continuous cycling network in Ward 7 with better connections to the rest of the mountain and the lower city? Yes Yes. Cycling is recreation to some but a commute to others. The trend towards increased cycling is universal and an asset in our efforts to control climate change. I would like to see our expansion of safe routes proceed in accordance with a complete plan rather than piecemeal. Cyclists have the right to expect well-planned, safe corridors.
Will you encourage the creation and growth of more neighbourhood associations in your ward? Yes Yes. They enable consultation amongst residents at the grassroots level. We have seen the success of community hubs in many neighbourhoods.
Will you encourage the city to shift new development away from car-dependant sprawl? Yes Yes. I support well-planned intensification.
Income inequality is a serious problem in Hamilton, and poverty is increasing in mountain neighbourhoods. What will you do to reduce inequality in Ward 7 and across the city? Yes I am a "living wage" supporter - this concept can increase the standard of living allowing many Ward 7 citizens to participate fully in our community. I will work to reduce the income gap by giving a hand up to those in need; by working with small business to hire and provide proper training for more young workers and by ensuring access to programs and services for seniors. Current social assistance rates are woefully inadequate.
Do you support a more vibrant neighbourhood retail destination on Upper Wellington? If so, what do you propose to achieve this? Maybe I would require more information regarding an initiative for another retail destination on Upper Wellington. An in-depth discussion with constituents, business owners and any other stakeholders who might be affected is required.
How important is it for Council to work with specific goals and targets for each City Department at the beginning of each year? How would you ensure this happened? Yes It is important for any organization to have a strategic action plan with goals to serve as the basis for day to day work and City Council is no different. First you must establish the criteria by which progress is measured. City Staff must be tasked with quarterly reports to Council.
In your view, what's not happening now in the City of Hamilton that you'd like to see happen? Why? What's not happening now in Ward 7 that you'd like to see happen? Why? What's not happening now at City Hall that you'd like to see happen? Why? Yes The era of downloading must come to an end, and uploading must begin.
The provincial and federal governments are continuously downloading costs of services onto the municipalities.
There is a lot of time and energy put into downtown, and there seems to be a gap between what's done up in Ward 7. I would like to see more effort made to provide new opportunities on the mountain.
I would like to see a genuine spirit of co-operation between councillors.
How will you help to break down barriers between Councillors and the Wards they represent to ensure a more cohesive Council and more balanced decision making? Yes I would advocate for a vision of Hamilton, where Council works together to:

* Increase public participation
* Improve accountability
* Promote equity