Geraldine McMullen, Candidate for Ward 9 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2014

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Candidate Details (top)

NameMcMullen, Geraldine   
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2014
AreaWard 09
Email votemcmullen@gmail.com
Website http://www.votemcmullen.ca
BioLet me introduce myself.

I’m Geraldine . . .

I am a proud Hamiltonian. Born in Stoney Creek, I worked and raised a family in this community. I have fond memories of this close knit, caring city where I learned important life skills. And enjoyed Sunday afternoon trips to the Stoney Creek Dairy that I still miss. A large portion of my adulthood has been actively dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for folks who live, work and take delight in Stoney Creek and Hamilton.

Many of you talked to me during my previous run for Ward 9 Councillor. That experience re-enforced my desire to continue working on behalf of my fellow citizens. It is clear that the future of this ward and 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 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 worked for 21 years in the banking and financial services sector. More recently, I’ve been advising on labour relations issues.

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 and provincial 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 its Community Impact 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
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 the concerns of Ward 9 will be heard. I want that too.

Stoney Creek 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.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this? Yes Yes, citizen engagement is very important. Where does it say that people have to come to City Hall, let’s take City Hall to the people? I think that small tours with and education on how to become more engaged should be offered on a monthly basis, so that more residents will understand how to access their elected officials, city staff and city departments.
The Province plans to allow municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections. If so, will you vote to adopt ranked ballots in Hamilton? Maybe I am interested in finding out more information regarding ranked ballots. I would like to see how it turns out in Toronto and make a more informed decision to see if this something Hamilton should adopt.
Do you believe Hamilton should do more to protect and enhance its built heritage? Yes Yes, we have a number of fantastic examples of old architecture in Hamilton and it is necessary to maintain our heritage at every opportunity.
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 Yes on two conditions. Only if it is fully funded by the Province and if it is supported by consistent, convenient and timely transit service connections from all points of the City. It is important to recognize that there is a cost to sustaining such a service; however, we need to be courageous and forward thinking as we move into a greater vision for an inclusive Hamilton.
Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? Yes Yes, I do support Hamilton having an expanded role. Having worked in an MPP’s office, I heard many devastating stories of extremely long wait lists and people who slip through the cracks dealing with bureaucratic red tape. Advocacy at the provincial and federal levels needs to be continuous so the residents in the Greater Hamilton Area can live in dignity in safe, accessible housing.
Do you support converting more of Hamilton's one-way thoroughfares into complete, two-way streets that support walking, cycling and transit? Yes Yes, I support complete streets and I believe that two-way streets make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It will also make transit connection to transit more accessible and convenient for riders.
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 No, I would have liked the mid-peninsula highway to be built to take the heavy truck traffic away from our streets and parkways and reduce the congestion on the Red Hill Parkway and the LINC.
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 Yes, the timely installation of the complete streets policy which is looking for the same results as Vision Zero is paramount in making our streets safe for everyone. This couldn’t more apparent in Stoney Creek where the pedestrian infrastructure needs are not keeping up with the increased population growth. The protection of human life and health are responsibilities of both the system designer and the user.
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? Yes Yes I do. Safer cycling opportunities in Greater Hamilton should not only provide safe recreation; protected cycle infrastructure should also provide a safe and economical means of transport for many residents. For many, it’s a means of getting to and from their employment.
Do you support the use of participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to propose and vote on local capital projects? Yes Yes, citizen engagement is key to vibrant, sustainable communities. Only through consultation with citizens will we have wards all across the City that work for the people who live in the communities within their boundaries.