Lyla Miklos, Candidate for Ward 1 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameMiklos, Lyla
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 01
Email lyla4ward1@gmail.com
Website https://lyla4ward1.weebly.com/
BioWard 1 resident Lyla Miklos is an award winning activist, broadcast journalist, creative, education worker, lay chaplain, publicist, and special events organizer. Born in Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, North West Territories (now Iqaluit, Baffin Island, Nunavut) in 1974, Lyla has called Hamilton, Ontario her home since 1982.

Lyla is a graduate of Mohawk College's Media Studies program and a Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction. She has been working in the media and communications industry for over two decades. She is the Host and Producer of Centre Stage on 101.5 FM The Hawk and is the Owner of Lyla-The Publicist. Her wealth of broadcasting experience includes past roles with The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Bravo, Cable 14, CHML, Drive-In Classics, Showcase ACTION, Showcase DIVA, SPACE, Vision TV, and Y95. Lyla's radio show Centre Stage will be on hiatus during her election campaign.

Lyla was installed as a Lay Chaplain with The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton in November 2014. As a Canadian Unitarian Universalist Lay Chaplain Lyla is licensed to officiate weddings, funerals, child dedications and other rites of passage. Hamilton's Unitarian Universalist Lay Chaplains are trained to provide thoughtful ceremonies that mark the significant moments in people's lives while respecting a diversity of beliefs, heritages, identities, and relationships. Lyla was the 2016 Gold Medal Winner in The Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards under the category of Wedding Supplies and Services. In 2017 she was named one of the Top Ten providers of Wedding Supplies and Services in The Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards.

Lyla's theatrical talents have been showcased in front of and behind the footlights with The Confidential Musical Theatre Project, Daycar Productions, Drury Lane Theatricals, HammerTheatre, The HamilTEN Festival, Hamilton Theatre Inc., Mixed Theatre, The Peninsula Players, Piccadilly Circus, The Players' Guild of Hamilton, The Staircase, Stoney Creek Little Theatre, Theatre Ancaster, Theatre Aquarius, and Unveiled Productions. An accomplished vocalist, Lyla has belted out O Canada at sporting events, recorded in studio with local area musicians, performed numerous musical theatre roles, added her voice to several choirs, and showcased her unique vocal talents as a soloist in countless venues throughout Southern Ontario.

Lyla has self-identified as a sex positive, queer, feminist, activist for over two decades. She helped create and served as President of Mohawk Pride, Mohawk College's first official club for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, two spirit, and more (LGBTQI2S+) students. She was instrumental in forming the GLBT Advisory Committee for the City of Hamilton, later sitting on it as a member and Interim Chair. Lyla was a part of the organizing committee of Hamilton Pride for over a decade, chairing it in 2005 and 2002. She was a support group facilitator for the Toronto Bisexual Network, Bisexual Women of Toronto and the Hamilton Bisexual Network and a volunteer with the Toronto Women's Bathhouse Committee. Lyla was a co-staff advisor with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for Parkside High School's Gay-Straight Alliance Club and Westdale Secondary School's Positive Space Club. Lyla was a member of The Ontario Federation of Labour's Solidarity & Pride Committee representing OSSTF from 2011 to 2014.

Lyla has had a varied and diverse career. She has worked for numerous organizations in the public, private, and volunteer sectors. Along with her many experiences in media, arts, education, and LGBTQI2S+ activism she has also worked in administration, food service, hospitality, retail, finance, customer service, sales, fundraising, manufacturing, and event organizing. Lyla currently works for The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as a member of OSSTF D21 OCTU.

Lyla has volunteered her time as a board or committee member with Arts Hamilton's Theatre Arts Committee, CHUM Locals Council, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP Local 723M), Elect More Women, The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, Hamilton Theatre Incorporated, Hamilton Centre Federal NDP Riding Association, Hamilton West Provincial NDP Riding Association, Mohawk College Alumni Association, Mohawk Students' Association, Ontario Federation of Labour's Solidarity And Pride Committee, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF District 21), Status of Women Advisory Committee for The City of Hamilton, and Strengthening Hamilton's Community Initiative. Currently, Lyla sits on the Board of Directors of The Hamilton Independent Media Awards.

Lyla was actively involved for over two decades in Southern Ontario's science fiction fandom community supporting several fan clubs and conventions including: Ad Astra, Fan Expo, Filk Ontario, Gaylaxicon, Odyssey Trek, Polaris, Toronto Trek, The USS Venture, and Worldcon.

Lyla's writings have been published in or broadcast on 101.5 FM, Ain't It Cool News, CBC Radio, CHML, Entertainment Weekly, Fab, The Hamilton Spectator, Hard Core Nerdity, In Touch, Maclean's, Mayday, The National Post, QueerTelevison, Rabble, The Satellite, The Sentinel, spacecast.com, TV Guide, View, Wavelength, and XTRA!

Awards: Hamilton Arts Award Established Artist Nominee - Arts Management (2018), Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards - Diamond Level Winner - Public Relations (2017), Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards Top Ten - Wedding Supplies & Services (2017), Best Arts & Culture Journalist - Hamilton Independent Media Awards aka The Maggies (2016), Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards - Gold Medal Winner - Wedding Supplies and Services (2016), Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards Top Ten - Public Relations (2016 & 2015), Unique Contribution Award Co-Winner - HTI (2014), OCTU Award for Meritorious Service - OSSTF D21 (2014), 2nd Place - Westdale Idol (2007), Hamilton Pride Citizen of the Year (2007), Best Supporting Actress - HTI (2005), Hamilton Woman of The Year in Communications (2003), Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction – Creative Arts & Design (2003), Premier's Award Nominee - Creative Arts & Design (2003), Hamilton Community Foundation Award (1998), Judge William K. Warrender Award (1998), Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund Award (1998), Radiocorp Awards (1997 & 1998), Mohawk College Alumni Association Award (1997), Best Performance in a Cabaret - HTI (1994), Ontario Scholar (1993), OAC Art Award (1994), Hill Park Drama Award (1993), Hill Park Proficiency Awards (1989, 1990 & 1993), Laura Miller Public Speaking Awards (1991, 1992 & 1993), Sports Team Manager of The Year - Hill Park (1992), Bronze Medal - Ladies Shot Put (1987) and Kidz Quiz Finalist (1985).

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes The potential with any major new infrastructure project is for gentrification to run amok. It is our duty as elected officials who are entrusted to look after the well being of all our citizens to insure that capitalist forces are not what drive our decisions. We need to make sure that any new development along the corridor is centred with a commitment to affordable housing. We also need to help build up the businesses that are based in Hamilton and encourage small business owners to be anchor tenants along the line rather than outside international corporations who are not truly invested in the community or the city.
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes Implementation of the LRT. More buses with more frequency to some of the more outlying areas of our city. More connections to "sister" transit systems such as GO, Burlington Transit and more. Following through on the City of Hamilton's 10 year transit plan.
Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not? Yes Right now we have two four lane highways going through the centre of our city. They encourage speeding and unsafe driving. We have lost too many lives on these streets because their design is unsafe. Two way streets will help to calm down traffic and keep pedestrians and cyclists from becoming the next road fatality we hear about on the news. I don't want to attend a funeral for one more friend killed on the streets of our city due to unsafe road design.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate? Yes We can't delay on these changes any longer. Barriers to access for those with disabilities is unacceptable. We are legally and morally obligated to comply with the AODA. Any City of Hamilton property MUST be fully accessible ASAP. I recognize that some buildings which were built decades ago if not over a century ago will have difficulties in complying with AODA, so I would suggest tax incentives and/or bursaries for those businesses and community spaces that would like to be AODA compliant, but do not have available funds to be able to modify their spaces.
Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not? Yes Urban sprawl is an inefficient and costly way to build a city. It also destroys the environment by eliminating invaluable green space and adding even more carbon pollution into our atmosphere. Intensification in urban areas enables those areas to thrive and become more vibrant.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Yes As an education worker with the HWDSB I have often hit a barrier being a non-driver that takes public transit to get around the city. There are many work locations that I simply can not even consider a job placement at because there is no access to them as there is no public transit to that location. Phasing out area rating would be one solution to that problem.
Global warming is an existential challenge facing humanity. Do you think Hamilton should play a role in addressing climate change? If so, what should the city be doing? If not, why not? Yes Protecting our Tree Canopy and Urban Forests. Implementing LRT so we are not dependent on fossil fuels to power our public transit system.
Should Hamilton be trying to attract more young people to live, work and start businesses here, including the 60,000 students studying at Mohawk College, McMaster University and Redeemer University? If so, what should we be doing? If not, why not? Yes We should be making Hamilton a welcoming city for students NOW and not wait until they graduate. Some of things to improve the quality of life for students immediately include affordable housing, improved public transit, landlord licensing, job creation and community engagement. We need to ensure students have a voice and a seat at the table and need to be providing incentives for them to not only want to go to school hear, but to find work here, buy homes here and be a vital part of what makes Hamilton the city I love.
Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not? Yes If we want to be a world class city we need to have a world class transit system. We need to dream big and want to be the envy of other municipalities in this regard. The LRT isn't just an investment in some amazing new public transit infrastructure, it also an investment in our environment. The LRT will not be powered using fossil fuels. It will be run via renewable resources. This is making a commitment to the next generation and insures that our children and our children's children will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean earth to play and build in.
Do you support the "Vision Zero" goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Hamilton? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy? If not, why not? Yes We can only achieve this goal through education, enforcement and better street design. Right now pedestrians, cyclists and motorists seem to constantly be fighting with each other rather than working together. I have seen some amazing models of "safe street" designs that include LRT, but sadly it seems that every time we add a bike lane or another element to our streets it isn't done with any real consultation from those who will be using those spaces to get around the city. There is a lack of thoughtfulness and practicality to the addition and implementation. A holistic approach that looks at how we can collaboratively and safely share the roads collectively would be my dream.
Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not? Yes Capitalism has taken over Hamilton's housing market with a vengeance. 10 years ago I could have bought a cute little home in downtown Hamilton for about 100K. Right now homes in my Strathcona neighbourhood are being listed at half a million dollars or more. Rents have gone up exponentially too. 1 bedroom apartments in Hamilton are listed at $1000 a month or more. Hamilton has become unaffordable for Hamiltonians to continue living here. Landlord and homeowners are listing at these prices because they can and because there are people willing to pay for homes at these rates. So how can a Municipality keep Hamiltonians from being priced out of their own city? One way is to make developers who create multi-unit dwellings make a commitment to units that are subsidized and/or geared to income. Not market driven, because the market is what is driving housing prices up to levels that hardly anyone can reach. I had a conversation with someone who has several investment properties and I have to ask all of us to think long and hard about how much profit is truly enough for anyone. Just because you can ask for that amount, does it mean that you should. Making the profit motive be the driving force for our decisions leads to far too many of our most vulnerable citizens being left behind. If we truly value the lives of all Hamiltonians we have to see housing as a human right and your elected officials need to insure that your rights are protected.