Here we go!

Here we go, folks!

I’m grateful to announce today that I’ll be seeking a second term on Oak Bay council. It’s an amazing time and I find myself just as excited as last campaign to be out on the campaign trail, hearing from our residents about their vision for the next four years. 

Why am I running again? First and foremost, I love doing this job on your behalf. I love hearing from the community about their priorities and nothing feels better than getting positive feedback that people feel we’re going in the right direction. I hear a whole range of viewpoints out there, but I’m always impressed at no matter where folks land in their viewpoint, they’re universally well informed, engaged and interested. 

When I ran for my first term, I let you know that I wanted to meet the challenge of an evolving community while maintaining those unique qualities that make Oak Bay great. And every time that I’ve represented you at the council table, I’ve applied that lens to my decision making. There’s so much more to do, and we’re not moving fast enough on the topics that are important to the community. I want to continue to be your voice for action.

During the campaign I’m going to be focusing on the most pressing need in our region: Housing. I’m known in the community as a councillor who takes the most action-oriented approach to the role, and you’ll have heard me pushing throughout my term for quicker decisions on access to housing, including fighting delays in the secondary suites process and speeding up moving the infill housing strategy out into the community. You will have heard me speaking up for the provision of more housing and the preservation of affordable options in the district, and I hear the same interest from the community members I’ve been talking to. We can and must take significant steps to move the needle on housing availability and affordability in Oak Bay, we just have to be bold and move forward together. This said, let’s be honest- we’re behind on providing the housing this community needs. I want to spend my next term ensuring that we confront that fact and address it. 

Sustainability is both a big part of my professional life and a top priority for me on council. Citizens know that they can count on me to speak up for action on environmental topics whether it be tree protection, shoreline developments or preservation of greenspace. My proudest accomplishment this term was proposing, developing and leading Oak Bay’s Community Climate Action Working Group and seeing its recommendations come to fruition. We need to continue to be innovative on sustainability and in Oak Bay one of the best ways to do this is to support complete streets and active transportation infrastructure. I’ve been the strongest voice on council on this subject over this term; moving forward I intend to ensure that a minimum network of active transportation infrastructure is built in the upcoming term.  

Citizens also know me as a great proponent of good public space and all the great benefits that come along with it. We had a chance to try some new ideas out over the COVID-19 pandemic (one of the few bright lights in a tough time for our community). Moving forward, I want to see us roll out our village plan process – and not just as a study but implementing in the upcoming term.

I’ll be updating this blog with more info and responding to questions from the community that I hear over the course of the campaign! If you have comments, feedback, or anything else you’d like to share with me please don’t hesitate to send me an email at andrew@appleton4oakbay.ca or call me at 778-533-4604. Look forward to seeing you out there!

Here we go!

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