“Lives Here” is a core message of our campaign, and to me, it’s more than just a campaign slogan.
In fact “Where do you live?” is the most common question I am asked by the residents of the new Ward 8 at their doors (and people who don’t ask usually just assume candidates are required to live in the Ward they’re running for).
I am happy that I can give voters an honest answer: I live in the new Ward 8 where my wife and I chose to buy our house and raise our family – near Upper James and Inverness.
The reason “lives here” is such a critical issue for voters is because the residents of the new Ward 8 clearly value candidates who are personally invested in the same neighbourhoods they are; who understand the context of issues and opportunities in the Ward, who share their values and vision for their community and who are often dealing with the same challenges on their street as other Ward 8 residents.
If a candidate doesn’t actually live in the ward they are running to represent, I think voters are automatically suspicious of their motives: if they don’t live here, why are they running here?
If it’s important to you, here is where the Ward 8 candidates actually live:
John-Paul Danko – lives in Ward 8 (Upper James & Inverness)
Eve Adams – lives in Ancaster (recently moved from Toronto area)
Steve Ruddick – lives in Ward 14 (Magnolia Drive & Mohawk)
Colleen Wicken – lives in Ward 8 (West 3rd & McElroy)
Anthony Simpson – lives in Ward 8 (West 5th & Rymal)
Why Am I Running In Ward 8 Where I Live?
When my wife Dawn Danko (currently acclaimed as Ward 7 public school trustee) and I were thinking of entering the 2018 municipal election, we faced an interesting decision.
Dawn was elected as the Ward 7 trustee in 2014. In 2016 I ran for city council in Ward 7, finishing a close second to Donna Skelly.
Since then, the boundary between Ward 7 and Ward 8 was shifted from Upper James to Upper Wellington with approximately 50% overlap between the old Ward 7 and new Ward 8.
For Dawn, the decision was simple.
Dawn was elected in Ward 7 and the majority of her schools where she has spent the last four years building relationships are still in Ward 7.
Further, Wards 8 and 14 are combined for trustees, so if she were to move over to Ward 8 & 14 she would be taking on a much larger new area.
I think the fact that Dawn was acclaimed for a second term speaks to her effectiveness as the Ward 7 trustee and shows that she made the right choice.
For me, the decision between running in Ward 7 or 8 was a little more complicated.
Looking at the results of the 2016 by-election, our analysis showed that strategically, I would have a better chance of winning in 2018 if I ran in the new Ward 7 – however, with the boundary re-alignment, we now live in the new Ward 8.
At the time, both Wards promised to be an open race (no incumbent Councillor) so we were faced with the decision between where I live and where I would likely have the best chance of winning.
If was running simply to get elected, I would have run in the new Ward 7 – but my motivation has never been to simply get elected – I’m engineer not a politician.
Like Dawn, it came down to a personal sense of connection to the community: my kids go to school in Ward 8, my son plays house-league at Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena, we swim and play basketball at Westmount, my kids played tee-ball at Gourley Park, we go to the splash pad at Buchanan Park, Dawn works at Mohawk College, and I am a founding member of the Centremount Neighbourhood Association, I volunteer in the neighbourhood, most of my close friends live here … clearly my personal connection to community runs deepest in the new Ward 8.
Thank You for Your Support!
With two weeks left in the campaign, I am so happy that I’m running where I live, in the new Ward 8.
I have met so many wonderful residents who care deeply about their neighbourhoods and the future of our City.
Whether I win or not on election day (October 22nd) in the new Ward 8, this campaign has been a wonderful opportunity to meet so many new people and further explore the many unique neighbourhoods throughout the ward.
I feel more connected to the new Ward 8 now than I ever have – and for that I am truly thankful.
If you agree that your Ward 8 candidate should actually live in the Ward they are running to represent – I would love to hear from you! Please email me at VoteDanko@gmail.com use the contact form below or leave a comment:
John-Paul Danko, P. Eng.
John-Paul Danko Hamilton City Council Candidate
Ward 8 – West Central Mountain
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