A "powerful voice" for female and millennial leadership.
That's what Paige Petriw hopes to bring to Port Coquitlam's next city council, if elected, after the 2022 municipal election — set for Oct. 15.
This is the first time the 33-year-old wife and mother of two has run for a seat, but believes her experience as a small business owner can provide a big impact on future decisions and projects.
In a release sent to the Tri-City News, Petriw said Port Coquitlam has lacked diverse representation at city hall when it comes to gender, age and demographic.
"Millennial women — specifically business owners, mothers and leaders — have a powerful voice in our community," she added.
"The perspective we bring to the table is substantial, and our stake in this community’s future is deep-rooted. It's time that voice be represented on Port Coquitlam's city council."
Petriw explained she wants to see a downtown that's "vibrant and welcoming" to all residents, as well as more affordability for young families, seniors and students.
But above all, the life-long Tri-Cities resident believes community leaders should exemplify respect for all, "while exercising all due diligence in decision-making through asking questions, engaging in discussions, applying critical thinking, and challenging biases."
According to her platform, she said she also wants to protect PoCo’s parks, green spaces and surrounding environment and enhance their accessibility to everyone.
Petriw noted her decision to run for city council was encouraged by Mayor Brad West, who was acclaimed after no challengers came forward by the nomination deadline on Sept. 9.
She's also been a member of the Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Roundtable since 2018.
By day, Petriw is the founder, CEO and principal event planner of Spotlight Events, and has worked alongside several non-profits, including SHARE Family and Community Services, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam Firefighters Charitable Societies, Crossroads Hospice Society and the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.
She's one of 18 candidates campaigning for six spots around the Port Coquitlam horseshoe.
The others are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Dawn Becker
- Cindy Carkner
- Ivanka Culjak
- Steve Darling (incumbent)
- Sarah Harbord
- Derek Jeffrey
- Mithila Karnik
- Nancy McCurrach (incumbent)
- Erik Minty
- Kevin Misera
- Darin Nielsen
- Darrell Penner (incumbent)
- Glenn Pollock (incumbent)
- Justin Alexander Smith
- Dean Washington (incumbent)
- Jami Watson
- Jenny Zhou
For more information on Petriw and her platform, you can visit her campaign website.
The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has also scheduled a series of all-candidates debates for local 2022 civic elections.
Port Coquitlam council nominees will get the chance to speak to the issues that matter to them, and take questions from the public, at Riverside Community Church on Oct. 3.