Brenda's Blog

 

Cycle Sunday at Ontario Park!

September 28th, 2014

I had such a great time at Lake Ontario Park this morning participating in Cycle Sunday.

It was a great reminder of the value of providing opportunity and education to increase cycling awareness. It also spurred my thinking to consider where else we should be doing this.

Congrats and thanks to all the participants for a job well done

 

The Active Community !

September 28th, 2014


I signed this pledge today. I believe cycling is a key to healthy and active communities as well as one of the main ways we can minimize our dependence on cars.

We must be intentional as we plan and develop cycling infrastructure that is networked for more ease of use.

Will you sign as well?

#ygk #Slomka4Mayor @STRCanada @KCATonthego #CycleSunday

 

Art After Dark

September 26th, 2014

We opened our doors to participate in Kingston's Art After Dark and featured local painter Shari Doseger's beautiful work. Thanks to everyone for coming by! We thoroughly enjoyed all the conversations about art, community and culture in this city.

To find out more information about Shari, visit http://www.sharidoseger.com/ or come by 286 Princess St to see her work!

Check out the photos from the event on our facebook page:


A Busy Media Day!

September 25th, 2014

Today was a busy media day, including filming at TVCogeco and articles in local news papers (check out the Heritage and Kingston This Week from Thursday, September 25, 2014).

I am grateful that we still have local outlets in Kingston.

Let's continue to support homegrown newspapers and radio stations as we build a more cooperative, creative and compassionate city.

 

Latest Press Release: Poverty and Homelessness

September 25th, 2014

 

I issued an press release yesterday on poverty and homelessness. I believe that anti-poverty success is key to sustainability as we work together for a cooperative, creative and compassionate city.

I encourage you to read more here:


Environment & Climate

September 21st, 2014

As we celebrate CRCA 50th anniversary here in Kingston and as many from our community walk in the climate march in NYC I am very mindful of how decision making needs to consider our impact on our environment and natural space and making this space as accessible to everyone.



Kingston Princess St Promenade

September 20th, 2014

Had a great time meeting everyone at the Kingston Princess St Promenade! Thanks to all the volunteers for helping out!

 

Thoughts on the News

September 18th, 2014

 

The Cost of Sprawl

There are hidden costs of sprawl. I have some ideas as how we can make sure we are doing our part so our Kingston is better off and I shared them yesterday.

"If we can reduce the cost of housing in established neighbourhoods with good transit and community facilities, and include the true costs of sprawl in the price of new housing, all Canadians will be better off"





 

Venture Capital Fundig

Yesterday in my policy platform release I spoke of our need to develop a Loyal Venture Capital fund that would support talent that starts here and stays here.

Here is a great article to give more perspective. Our City can do this. We can do this. We have the money. We have the ideas. We have the people. I am fully committed to working to see this come to fruition.


Platform Release

September 17th, 2014

Thank-you to our local media who came to our platform release today at the campaign office.

I emphasized the opportunities we have to be an entrepreneurial hub of local job creation while being a more cooperative, creative and compassionate city

If you couldn't make it you can read an overview of my policies here: http://www.brendaslomka.ca/pdf/17September2014-MayoralElectionPlatform.pdf

Now on to an exciting evening of volunteer training!


ArtsVote Community Launch

September 13th, 2014

I had such a great afternoon at the ArtsVote community launch talking with those of us passionate about arts and culture and making sure we continue to give it the space it's rightly due.

Celebrating My 35th!

September 12th, 2014

Thank-you to everyone who attended my Birthday & Fundraising Party last night. It was an excellent way to celebrate my 35th!

We had a wonderful time eating, listening to live music, taking pictures, making buttons and talking with and about our community.

As I said in my speech, we have so much diversity and so much opportunity to make Kingston a more cooperative, creative and compassionate city.

A particular thank-you to those who donated money to my campaign. A special mention to Shari Doseger whose art is and will be displayed in our office during the campaign - 286 Princess St. Stop by to see it (and say hi of course!). Her work is beautiful and I am honoured.

This picture is of the campaign team and volunteers just before the event began - more photo to come!

Let's Do This, Together!

September 12th, 2014

Usually on this day I would be planning of ways to bring people together and serve others through a comfortable house gathering or activity in the community. In many ways I am still doing this, this year but how I'm doing it isn't the traditional way.

I'm running for MAYOR OF KINGSTON because I want to serve others: because I want to build this city cooperative, creatively, compassionately.

Today - on my 35th birthday - would you be part of this vision by giving to the campaign?

Cheques are best (because we get every penny) but we also have PayPal. You have to live in Ontario. So if you want to give but don't and have family in Ontario, ask them on your behalf.

I'm thankful for everyone and everything that has brought me to today.

Let's do this, together!


 

September 9th, 2014

This Sunday afternoon was a fantastic reminder of the rich culture we have in this city. From Bollywood Dancing and Bagpipes to Drum Circle and Dragons, I was reminded of one of the many reasons I love Kingston - the amazing people!

Thank you to the hard working team that put this event together. What a fantastic witness to vision and ideas that are cultivated and grow each year.

Knit-a-Thon

September 6th, 2014

I had a great afternoon at the Royale for their first (and hopefully inaugural) knit-a-thon. All the hats made are being donated to the hospital for those children in the neonatal unit.

 

Queen's Sidewalk Sale

September 5th, 2014

I enjoyed connecting more with the student community on Queen's campus today at the annual Sidewalk Sale.

The Sidewalk Sale is a great way to - indirectly - support Cystic Fibrosis research: all money raised from the event (through the renting of booth space) goes to Shinerama.

 

Pictured here: Campaign Manager, Roxanne getting materials in order.

 

Labour Day Weekend

September 4th, 2014

It's been a busy few days on the campaign trail for Mayor!

My appreciation goes out to the organizers and participants at the annual Labour Day festivities in Skeleton Park on Monday. I was pleased to meet with so many engaged citizens to talk about building for a more cooperative city council.

I appreciate too the time I spent with community organizations on the United Way "Seeing is Believing" tour (on Wednesday). How refreshing to be reminded of the intentional dedication to serve clients with compassion and the creative problem solving that is required in order to meet their needs: pillars of my campaign already in action. Let's now bring them to City Hall.

On Wednesday I also meet with student groups and campus clubs at Queen's University "Day in the Park". I love that a new generation of Kingstonians are already engaging so thoroughly in their community.

Finally, I'm grateful for the new volunteers we have on board! We're gaining great momentum and hope you'll join us!

Email info@brendaslomka.ca for more information.

See you soon.



United Way: Seeing is Believing

The “Seeing is Believing” bus tour provides volunteers with an opportunity to see first hand where their donations go as they visit local agencies and programs, and meet the front line workers and recipients of services.

Labour Day in Kingston

Brenda met with many engaged citizens to talk about building for a more cooperative city council.

Queen's Day in the Park

Brenda meets with a new generation of Kingstonians engaging in their community.

Welcome Home

September 2nd, 2014

Each September for the last 15 years working at post-secondary institutions, I've helped welcome college and university students to their new communities. One of the best parts of this job is seeking to include and involve all students in their home away from home. In doing so I hope they will engage, contribute and, perhaps, put down roots in the cities where they study.

I manage Residence Life at St Lawrence College. “Move-in day” 2014 went very well as our dorms filled up with 600 new residents: Kingstonians. After a day of moving boxes, shaking hands, and new beginnings, I was left thinking about inclusion as it relates to building a more cooperative, creative and compassionate city together.

These thoughts are particularly pertinent as I run for Mayor.

The idea of including everyone in Kingston was challenged last year - by the office I seek to hold and hope to reform - when the city’s electoral districts were reviewed, revised, and revised again after an Ontario Municipal Board ruling, in preparation for the 2014 municipal election.

The district boundaries are important because they determine councilor-to-resident representation ratios. Ideally, all districts should have roughly the same number of residents so councilors can effectively respond to the needs of their constituents in a balanced manner.

As I watched the process unfold, I was bothered that Mayor Gerretsen and certain councilors chose not to enumerate (count) students. Certain councilors, I might add, who now are vying for Mayor and who undoubtedly will try to seek support of students they just months ago dismissed.

Indeed, around the horseshoe at City Hall votes to discourage students from participating easily in local politics proliferated; unfortunately, solutions to engage students did not. By a familiar, and often lamentable, 7-6 split, council voted to exclude students in the district populations: a decision the OMB later reversed at the expense of taxpayers.

The proposed exclusion of students from the district population count made me consider how other (typically) shorter term residents - for example, military families and contract workers who move to and from a place regularly - might perceive the value given to their voice by council. How do we show members of these groups that their voice matters? Because their voices, like students voices, do matter.

The time, breath and money lost on the debate to under-represent such a large portion of our community should have been spent coming up with ways to involve students in civic life and increase voter turnout. Rather than discounting post-secondary students’ contributions to our creative capital and economy, council could have focused on motivating our bright and accomplished students to stay in Kingston, spurring our social, environmental, and economic vitality.

Council’s decision on this issue and others over the last four years illustrates a concerning trend. A lack collaborative culture leads to poor decision-making that has a harmful impact on vulnerable populations and/or less politically engaged members of the population.

From accepting a Kingston Casino “in principle;” posturing around district representation; denying dental care for those who need it most; shutting down drop-in centres that provide thousands of meals to the materially impoverished; and displaying antics in the Council Chamber that I wouldn’t want my college students to see (unless I wanted an example of how not to behave); it’s clear that we need a change on Council.

We have a chance to make change when we cast our votes on October 27 to elect our municipal political representatives.

So, to those students who have just moved into R.M.C., St. Lawrence, and Queen’s, and those who are moving back to continue studies, I say, welcome home. I say your voice is valued. I say you do count. As Kingstonians we look to you contribute, to engage, and to vote as we build a more cooperative, creative and compassionate city together.

Sincerely,