Drina Omazic, Candidate for Ward 3 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2014
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Election||Hamilton Municipal Election 2014|
|Bio||Drina has lived in Ward 3 for nearly 20 years, and believes in a dynamic and livable city for all Hamiltonians. She grew up in the east-end, attending St. John’s, St. Eugene’s and Bishop Ryan High School. She pursued postsecondary studies at McMaster University, later transferring to Carleton University where she earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science.
She is a political enthusiast who holds the motto “never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t ” and has been a Hamilton booster all her life.
Drina understands how to get things done. A strong advocate for city residents, Drina has extensive experience in Canadian politics, having worked at all three levels of government, for the past 15 years:
· Two years as Chief of Staff to former Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger
· Five years as Chief of Staff to Marie Bountrogianni, MPP Hamilton Mountain, former Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Democratic Renewal
· Eight years working in community outreach for former MP Sheila Copps, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Environment and Minister of Canadian Heritage
Drina has been actively involved in the development and execution of major programs to improve the quality of life for Hamiltonians, including:
· Opening of harbour lands to the public
· Introducing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
· Helping people and groups navigate government in accessing programs, benefits, permits and funding
A strong believer in the power of people and government working together, Drina’s significant achievements include:
• Helping bring much-needed provincial and federal funding for the arts, downtown renewal and the environment, and upload costs downloaded to the city in the 1990s
• Drafting a collaborative, consensus approach to area rating; the Citizen’s Forum
• Establishing relationships and networks with community members in all sectors to help move projects forward
Known as the “go-to gal,” Drina has tirelessly supported numerous community causes including acting as United Way 2013 Cabinet Member and CYO Celebrity Dinner Executive Committee Member.
She and her husband Alex both enjoy the blues, jogging through Gage Park, and tending to their garden and 90-year-old home.
Responses to Questions (top)
|Question||Brief Response||Full Response|
|Do you believe Hamilton should do more to protect and enhance its built heritage?||Yes||Hamilton’s built and natural heritage require both stewardship and continuous maintenance. We can always do better to conserve and enhance the City’s built and natural heritage resources.|
|Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this?||Yes||The City can and must do a better job of communicating with residents. With the technology available to us today there is no excuse for residents to not have access to timely information from the municipality.|
|The Province plans to allow municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections. If so, will you vote to adopt ranked ballots in Hamilton?||Yes||The ranked ballot for future municipal elections is an interesting plan for democratic reform. With no party affiliations at the municipal level, ranked balloting would elect the candidate with the broadest community support. Based on this, I would support ranked balloting in the next City election.|
|Do you support the city's plan to build an east-west light rail transit (LRT) line with full capital funding from the Province?||Yes||I’m a progressive on transit – as I am on most issues.
I support the City’s plans and am concerned if we don’t plan carefully – to be a vibrant city – that is attractive to people – we will fall behind other cities that are moving ahead on urban transit. For me, it’s a qualified yes. I am for transit that is affordable and efficient.
|The Province has shelved a proposal to build a mid-peninsula highway from Niagara Falls or Fort Erie around Hamilton to connect with Hwy 401 or 407 north of Burlington. Do you agree with the Province's decision to put its development on hold?||No||Generally, I am not a proponent of more highways and roads however; there is a congestion problem to the Niagara Region that needs to be addressed. Any mid-peninsula proposal needs to be combined with a plan to manage and protect green belt agricultural lands.|
|Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do?||Yes||In addition to supporting the Housing and Homelessness action plan, I would welcome Hamilton to explore redevelopment opportunities, and would look at working on new financing strategies to encourage private development, exploring private-public partnerships, and looking at inclusionary zoning models to increase the number of units being created overall.
The province also recently announced funding that could be applied to support the building and renovation of affordable housing, as well as the provision of rental and homeownership assistance to low and moderate income households.
|Do you support converting more of Hamilton's one-way thoroughfares into complete, two-way streets that support walking, cycling and transit?||Yes||I’m for making Hamilton streets friendlier and safer for all users. On nearly every block -- in every part of the Ward 3 – safe streets is the issue I consistently hear about.
In addition to planning strategies and conversions, we need to change behaviour and raise awareness that City streets belong to all of us -- we need to learn how to share them.
|Do you support the use of participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to propose and vote on local capital projects?||Yes||Yes. I support all initiatives that involve, promote and encourage community engagement and the participation of residents.|
|Do you support implementing a Vision Zero for Hamilton, with a goal of eliminating all pedestrian and cyclist deaths on our streets? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy, and if not, why?||Yes||Improved road safety is a priority in every neighbourhood. With pedestrians and cyclists in Hamilton at greater risk of being hit by a car than the provincial average, a Vision Zero strategy to end traffic deaths and injuries on our streets is a goal I fully support.
Action I would favour include:
* Using best engineering practices in street design and configuration
* Include all Hamiltonians in a public conversation on street safety.
* Ultimately, it will take individual actions to make our streets safer. Hamilton needs an education campaign on the consequences of careless and dangerous behaviour.
* Expanded enforcement against dangerous moving violations like speeding and failing to yield
|The City's Cycling Master Plan is up for review. Do you support improving the plan to speed the installation of cycling facilities and provide more high-quality protected infrastructure like the new Cannon Street cycle track?||Maybe||Launched in 2009, the City is making progress on the 20 year Cycling Master plan to create commuter bike trails across Hamilton. Any future decisions to change and update the plan will largely depend on the results and recommendations of the review, including budgetary considerations.|