Geraldine McMullen, Candidate for Ward 9 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010

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Candidate Details (top)

NameMcMullen, Geraldine
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2010
AreaWard 09
Email geraldine.mcmullen@email.com
Website http://geraldinemcmullen.ca/
BioGeraldine was born and raised in Hamilton and has resided in upper Stoney Creek with her daughter Alannah Marzilli for 10 years. Geraldine graduated from Cathedral Girl’s Catholic Secondary School and later attended Brock University concentrating on sociology and psychology. Other educational endeavors for Geraldine include certificates geared towards community leadership at Mohawk College and joint labour studies at Mohawk College and McMaster University.

Working in the financial services industry for 20 years was rewarding for Geraldine. Her interaction with the public motivated her to take her commitment to the community in a new and exciting direction. Geraldine’s passion to advocate for others has motivated her to champion for the rights of others while utilizing her strong voice and stewardship.

Geraldine has deep roots in the community including her activity with the Hamilton and District Labour Council, where she received the Women’s Volunteer Activist Award in 2008 recognizing her commitment and contribution to our community. Her membership on the Women’s Committee with Hamilton and District Labour Council and the Political Action Committee within her own union, have allowed her to raise awareness to issues that directly affect our community.

Geraldine believes that education is an essential and basic human right. This belief inspired her to become involved with the Cantabal Health and Education Projects (CHE Projects) which is an initiative is to build a middle school in Guatemala. Refereeing soccer for almost 20 years in Hamilton and surrounding areas and coaching for Stoney Creek Soccer has enhanced Geraldine’s strong leadership and collaborative skills.

Volunteering has always been very important to Geraldine and she has used her singing ability to give back to her community. As a member of St. Patrick’s Folk Group she has been involved in sharing her voice to raise funds for food banks and various charitable organizations with 2 Christmas CDs. She has participated in Christmas concerts at multiple Long-Term Care facilities throughout the Greater Hamilton Community for many years. She has also participated with singing at memorial services and for multiple charitable organization’s fundraising functions.

Geraldine showed leadership skills at an early age in army cadets by becoming a cadet Captain and cadet commanding officer. Geraldine excelled as a leader and was recognized as one of the top army cadets in Canada and represented Canada as an ambassador in Germany as part of a youth exchange. She later joined the Cadet Instructor’s League (CIL) and achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant as a Training Officer.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Will your term change people's first impression of Hamilton, and make that first impression more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers? If so, how? Yes Yes. I have always been proud to be a resident of Hamilton, and Stoney Creek. I have and will continue to strive to change people's first impression of Hamilton. Much like anything else we need to educate people on the value that Hamilton has to offer to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers alike. Hamilton is not only rich in history and achievement; we have a wonderfully diverse population. We are well on our way to becoming an extremely well sought after community. There is so much to offer, such as our tourism and our fabulous educational institutions. The initiatives that are underway for the revitalization in all pockets of our community, must continue in order for them to be realized. This will only happen by ensuring that we inspire everyone to do their part to continue to promote our city as the jewel it is.
Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not? Yes Based on the many allocation goals and the mission statement of the Hamilton Future Fund, the Pan Am stadium would meet this criteria and I believe it will create a lasting legacy for current and future generations. The Hamilton Future Fund would assist with making the Pan Am stadium a project worth developing and completing for the economic prosperity, the enhancement of our community's social fabric, and community life.
Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this? Yes There is always room for improvement when it comes to respect and professionalism. It is time to change the conversation on City Council. With my experience as a Parliamentarian for one of the organizations I have been involved with and my participation on various Executive Boards, some of my duties and responsibilities included ensuring decorum was adhered to.

While it may be difficult at times, persistence will help. Concensus building an collaboration are key. I am up for the task. I will use my skills and knowledge and bring them to City Council.
Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan has Council approval. However, the implementation timeline is very long and ward councillors can block individual bike lane projects. Do you support accelerating the completion of a continuous bicycle network and other initiatives like a bike sharing program and better access up and down the Escarpment? Why or why not? Yes I do support Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan. My brother is an avid biker and he expressed concerns about the lack of walk ability and bike ability in and around the Red Hill Valley Expressway when it was first built. There are many advantages to the Cycling Master Plan, such as an excellent way to get exercise and the reduction of our carbon footprint.

It is difficult for some to accept change and while the benefits of the plan outweigh the disadvantages, it is understandable for individual ward councillors to consider their wards particular wants. I will however, assist in any way possible to support accelerating the process.
For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes While I understand the position of those who support the elimination of corporate and union donations from the municipal election process, I invite and require further discussion to support this position. Contributions are made by the public with a maximum amount allowable and a reporting mechanism for all contributions. Labour or corporations need to be able to give money to whomever they support. The community and all who contribute to it should be engaged in elections. I am currently, accepting donations from individuals, labour and corporations.
The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it? Yes I support doubling transit ridership by 2020. There are many considerations that need to be addressed to ensure that this commitment is realized. These include ensuring that budgetary funding is properly in place; programmes that assists those with reduced and fixed incomes are continued; and collaboration with stakeholder partners to address any potential problems is completed. Proper analysis of the of routes and the resources required will need to be assessed as well as ensuring that resources and services are improved to ensure everyone receives timely transit service.
Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not? No Not at this time. I require more information regarding the Airport Employment Growth District. After attending one of the public information meetings, and speaking to several key people with regard to AEGD, I have still have questions surrounding the financial impact it may have on the residents of Hamilton.
Do you support Hamilton's LRT proposal? If so, what will you do to ensure Hamilton's success in building LRT? If not, why do you oppose it? Yes While I support Hamilton's Light Rail Transit Proposal it will be important to ensure that the capital costs are funded by the Ontario government. I will advocate for the LRT while it remains to be a benefit for economic development and urban revitalization and as long as funding comes through.
Do you believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today? If so, please outline your solutions. If not, please explain your reasons. Yes Yes. In order for our community to continue its legacy of proud history and achievement we need to address poverty more actively. One way we can do this is to work with our community partners to ensure that our residents are receiving a living wage so that each and every one of us can meet out basic needs, including shelter, clothing and nutrition. This leads to another area in dire need of addressing, affordable housing. Advocating for more funding is required in order to improve the provision of affordable housing. This can only be achieved if we are persistent in lobbying the provincial government to make the changes necessary to address poverty. Poverty is not just a local issue, all levels of government need to be engaged to eliminate poverty. We must collaborate together to achieve this.
Some cities have committed recently to publishing their public data in an open format that citizens can directly access. Should Hamilton pledge to become an "open source city"? Why or why not? Yes Anything that promotes transparency is worth considering; however, it must be handled properly and there should be some basic guidelines in order to prevent inconsistencies and any negative implications.
Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing? No While Hamilton has some good financial incentive programs that assist with development and property improvements - like the Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program (CPIG), Hamilton Downtown Property Improvement Grant Program, Hamilton Downtown Multi-Residential Property Investment Program, and the Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program - it is important to ensure that the City continues to improve upon these incentives and perhaps create more to entice new investment in our older neighbourhoods.

Working on continuing to make the older neighbourhoods walkable and rideable would assist in making these areas attractive for people to want to work, live and play, thus promoting new investment.