After a runner-up finish in last summer’s byelection, Sacia Burton wants to go one better.
Burton announced Friday that she will be running for Nanaimo city council in the local government election in October.
In last July’s byelection, Sheryl Armstrong won in a landslide, but Burton’s vote count put her ahead of the other 11 candidates in the race. Ever since and “every day,” she’s been asked if she will run again.
“It’s something that’s definitely been on my mind since then and I think more than anything, it’s something that has been encouraged to me by a lot of people,” she said, adding that she needed to give it a lot of thought, because with “the amount of enthusiasm and momentum behind that already, I wanted to make sure that I could honour that.”
Burton said a lot of the same issues are still facing Nanaimo that came up during the byelection campaign, including governance.
“I think that we want accountable government, we want people that are kind and compassionate, but also smart and savvy leading us,” she said.
Affordable housing was one of the first priorities Burton mentioned Friday, saying that as a young person she’s faced first-hand the challenges of precarious housing situations. She’s also passionate about food security, saying it helps bring an “holistic perspective to making sure that people have a full and healthy life” and adding that it comes with other economic and environmental benefits. She favours transportation master plan goals to boost cycling, walking and public transit and suggested improvements to cycling signage and education would be a good start, along with more sidewalks.
Burton said she’ll release more of her platform as the campaign continues, and said she’s got a lot of learning ahead of her this summer.
She hopes that by announcing her candidacy relatively early, she can help engage people in the process, as she hopes citizens will support her and then start thinking about who else they might wish to support.
Burton said the mindset going into her second campaign is a little bit different because this time she doesn’t know who else would be joining her on council if she’s elected.
“I hope to see a wonderful selection of people that are willing to show up to work and listen to their coworkers, even if they don’t agree with them, and to be diligent and thoughtful and critical,” she said. “So that’s the best I can hope for.”
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