George Anderson, one of the youngest politicians ever elected to Nanaimo city council, has announced he won’t seek re-election this year.
Anderson, 23, told the News Bulletin he’s briefly stepping away from municipal politics to consider other opportunities, including law school.
He is the first city councillor to officially announce he’s stepping away from this year’s election race.
“There is a variety of options in front of me, they are political and they also are in regards to my education,” he said. “The main goal is to go back into private life and continue to volunteer in the community and help in the ways I can without being in political office.”
Anderson won the fourth highest number of votes in the last election to become one of two new faces around the council table and among the youngest ever elected to office. Since 2011, the councillor has introduced the idea of e-Town hall meetings and a youth advisory council, as well as headed the transportation committee behind the city’s first transportation master plan. He’s also been involved in controversial motions, including opposition of the waste-to-energy incinerator and spoke out about age discrimination in politics earlier this year.
Anderson said he had a genuine desire to make the community a better place and hopes he brought new ideas and perspectives.
His advice to election candidates? Be willing to make tough decisions.
“Populist voting hurts our local governments and hurts the decision-making process in general,” he said. “Sometimes there are going to be difficult decisions that … need to be made, but those decisions are going to be things that make our community a better place at the end of the day.”