Women & Politics invited all women candidates to answer a few questions so that Londoners can get to know them better. We will be posting the answers as we receive them.
Tricia Lystar, Candidate for Ward 4
What would you like Londoners to know about you?
I’m 38, a small business owner and a mother. I’ve been dedicated to community service most of my adult life and an active member of the London Central Lions Club serving on their Board of Directors the past four of five years. I see myself as an advocate and am interested in continually working with and for the best interests of ward 4 within city hall. I have respect for all ideas and am ready to work hard to engage the constituents of the ward with a focus on community.
What most influenced your decision to run?
I’m tempted to say it was one candidate running unopposed that had initially influenced my decision to run, but after careful consideration of what it would mean to me to be an effective councillor in ward 4, I decided it would be a privilege to run to represent Londoners. I want to find a solution to the BRT that better serves all areas of the city. I’d like to have a voice representing the ward in tackling our homelessness, addictions and affordable housing crisis and I truly believe that council should be assisting their constituents through the red tape of city hall rather than pointing them to various departments. In addition, I’ve always found East of Adelaide to be lacking when it comes to some city services compared to other areas of the city. I’d like to be a voice advocating for more in ward 4, after all, we are all tax payers.
What do you think is the most urgent issue the City is facing?
Our most urgent issue is lack of mental health services and gaps in community funded groups and services which are affecting our ability to work to combat our huge addiction problem as well as a growing number of homeless in our city. London is the third highest (of the big cities) in the country of child poverty rates. We must do better for our citizens.
What experience do you bring to your role?
I’m an engaged listener with vision and motivation alongside the empathy and respect to consider all points of views when making a decision. My time on the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has given me some valued information as to the inner workings of City Hall, committees and how decisions are made. I’m a small business leader in my field and look forward to using that experience in managing relationships both with city staff and other councillors and my passion for community can be found in my years of volunteer work with varied organizations and service clubs.
What is your vision for the ward you wish to represent?
I’d like to see the following for the constituents of ward 4:
While compromise is important, are there any issues you wold not compromise on?
Collaboration is key to all parties feeling satisfied at the end of the day. The only issues I would not compromise on were any which denied or withdrew services from vulnerable or marginalized citizens or violated human rights.
How do you balance the challenges of your ward while addressing the priorities of the City as a whole?
I will look to disagreement in ideas as a learning opportunity in both managing challenges within the ward and being an effective representative for the City as a whole. I believe that with respect for all ideas, issues and concerns, most challenges can be met with some satisfaction on both sides of the table. If there was an issue I felt strongly about but the majority of my ward felt otherwise, I would vote in their interests.
London’s social housing program houses 5000+ people and women are more likely to be living in poverty. In 2015, a Facilities Commission Analysis was completed. The findings determined in excess of $200 million is needed by 2020 to keep the current stock in fair condition. What will you do to ensure this work is completed?
We need to be mindful in our budgeting for all municipal projects over the next four years and beyond to ensure we have enough to manage our social services. Municipal housing is in dire need of maintenance and more stock. We need more accessible units for people of varied abilities and impairments. Exploring ground-breaking ideas and successful pilot projects in other cities within the province as well as Canada wide can help us create a vision to constantly improve our social housing.
Our organization aims to promote the importance of equal representation of women in the political arena. Could you share your perspective on this issue?
Women & Politics is an asset to all Londoners. It is not only important to see equal representation of women in our council seats, but to work towards parity amongst immigrants and visible minorities as well. We are a city where one in five is an immigrant to our country. It is time to ensure representation for all including Indigenous Peoples.
For more information to volunteer and donate, please go to : www.lystar.ca