Play like a girl

Play like a girl

i Feb 21st No Comments by

Today a nation sat on the edge of its seat, and dared not breathe until collectively we cheered – that moment Poulin scored in overtime after a thrilling 2-0 comeback. And then we all collectively exhaled.

Yesterday, social media feeds were peppered with “play like a girl” memes, and in the days and weeks to come young girls will dream of scoring that goal in 2018, 2022 and beyond.

Today, in this moment in time “Play like a Girl” is seen as a compliment, but it hasn’t always been that way. We got here thanks to the women that came before, who demanded the right to play on the international stage – just like the boys. It wasn’t easy for the pioneers of this sport but they kept skating, they never lost sight of the goal, and they held tightly to the knowledge they had the fundamental right to play. These women will be celebrated, and rewarded as their legacy continues to grow as more and more girls realize: “I can do that”.

The hope of the Women & Politics London members is that someday we will see women’s presence and possibilities valued and reflected in the political arena. That as a community, we will nurture a hunger in girls and women for civic involvement, inspiring young women to think of political participation as something they can do – and do well. I hope we remember to celebrate the amazing women leaders we do have, those that came before them, knowing someday, thanks to their tireless work and amazing qualities, we will say with pride: “lead like a women”.

Congratulations to the Olympic champion women from Canada – you made us proud.

Q&A with Virginia Ridley, Ward 10 Candidate

i Feb 14th No Comments by

virginia-campaign-photos-2-744x1024-e1392394881649Q: Would you share how you have participated in your community?

A: Absolutely! I love living in Ward 10. It’s a great community! I was born and raised in London and grew up in what is now called ‘SoHo’. I was an active community member through school and recreational activities during my youth. I volunteered at the City Pools and the City run neighbourhood day camps.  Once my husband and I had children our family moved to Westmount, in 2009.  Once we moved here we were immediately welcomed by the community.

I have been on the Board of Directors for Forest Edge Community Club for 3 years and am now in my second term as president.  Through this role, I have expanded programming to include more recreation opportunities and worked hard to break down the financial barriers which prevented some families and children from enjoying the facilities. I have led community events such as a blanket drive last year.

This year, I brought forward the idea of a community non-faith based youth group, which I am happy to say will be starting in February. This group will be open to all youth in Grades 6 – 10 and will focus on community activism, volunteerisvm, sports, and recreation. We are working with community partners to expand the programming in the area for youth and families.

I am also leading a community project in Village Green Park which will benefit all residents in the area. I can’t quite share a lot of details on this yet, but what I can share is that I have met with city officials a number of times and that we have secured most of the funding to make this community project a reality by the fall of this year. I will share more details as soon as I can on my blog. This project will benefit the community as a whole for many years to come and will fill a gap that has been missing in our area.

I am involved with the home and school committee at W. Sherwood Fox and am the co-chair of the School Council. My membership on these two committees allows me to get in touch with many of the parents and families in the community and helps me better serve their needs. I have also built positive relationships with many of the local businesses and organizations which service Ward 10.

Q: What do you believe is the role is of a city councillor/mayor?

The role of a city councillor, to me, is to represent the interests of those that one serves.  I am not asking Ward 10 to elect me because I have all of the answers or will make the right decisions one hundred percent of the time. I am asking them to elect me to represent their best interest. In order to represent the constituents of Ward 10 I must be constantly engaged with them. I must have open communication, listen to their feedback, and work to create the change they want to see.

Q: What qualities do you exhibit that make you a good fit for the role?

A: I am authentic and honest as well as technology and social media savvy. I work well with others and believe in committees. I believe that when people work together they bring many different perspectives to the issues at the table which allow for the best decision to be made. I am young and energetic and consider myself a fast learner. I am approachable and progressive in attitude. I’m creative, a great multitasker, and completely committed to doing my best.

Q:    What is your vision for London?

A: London is a beautiful city with so much to offer.  I would like to see more cultural events and increased tourism. We also need to support our small and local businesses. The way to build this city is not necessarily by subsidizing large corporations to entice them to bring jobs here. It’s about making London a destination city. There are a number of examples in other cities where tourism has brought big money into the economy. When cities become a destination, business opportunities and economic advantages increase and unemployment decreases.

Q: While compromise is important, are there any issues that you would not compromise on?

A: I cannot see myself being able to compromise on supporting incentives for large corporations that will supply low wage jobs. Any development which has only short term implications both economically and community wise, yet long term ramifications on the environment would not be something I would work towards.

Q: There has been a lot of talk in the press lately about the importance of equal representation of women in politics. Could you speak to this issue from your perspective?

 A: I have addressed this issue many times on my blog.  I would encourage people to take a look at the several posts I have written on this topic here.

Contact Virginia: