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Hope Jamieson

1617
13

I’m a 28-year-old independent entrepreneur, mother, and community activist. My background is in skilled trades, the culinary arts, and tourism. I grew up in Swift Current helping my parents with the business they built from the ground up and relocated to St. John’s for the first time 14 years ago. I live, work, and volunteer in Ward 2 and am passionate about this community and its unique gifts. After the birth of my daughter, I started my own business and in a short time have succeeded in building a flourishing yoga teaching career; I understand how important it is for small businesses to adapt to the challenges of this economy. I’m a feminist and believe everyone should enjoy inclusion, agency and self-determination in their daily lives.

Contact Information

Survey Responses

What is your full name?
Hope Jamieson
 
What role are you running for? If it's a ward councillor position, please specify which ward.
Ward 2 Councillor
 
If you are currently on council, or have served previously, how many years in total have you served?
0- Fresh blood!
 
Why did you decide to run for office?
I felt a real hunger for change from myself and my neighbours. I wasn’t seeing our lived experiences reflected in any of the available candidates on Council and I felt it was time to stop complaining and step up, and offer myself as a strong voice for this community.
 
What do you think makes St. John's unique or special?
Our arts community, our built heritage, our unrivaled natural beauty, our unparalleled character. We punch so far above our weight in all these arenas and they deserve to be supported and celebrated. But above all, our greatest asset, the most special thing, is our people, whose passion about this place and willingness to welcome one another as well as those from away is so wonderful and lends this place its worldwide reputation for incredible friendliness.
 
If you were elected, do you plan to hold another paid job while serving on Council? If so, what would it be and how will you divide your time?
I will continue to work part-time at my yoga business a few hours per week.
 
What changes or initiatives would you advocate for at Council?
A grants or low-interest loans program to encourage small business into empty downtown storefronts; creation of a downtown community centre and library; sustainable development to preserve built heritage and create walkable, healthy, connected communities; accountabulity and transparency in government.
 
What, to you, is the most important kind of decision City Council makes?
A well-considered, forward-thinking, people-centred municipal plan has the power to shape life in the city for years to come.
 
Questions for ward councillors...
Do you live in the Ward?
My family and I live in the heart of Ward 2 in the West part of downtown.
 
If you had a whole day off to spend in your ward relaxing, what would you do?
Walk to the Georgetown cafe with my daughter for delicious treats and good coffee, a visit to Bannerman Park for splash pad fun, head downtown and peruse the stacks at Fred’s Records, chill on the grass by the War Memorial and chat with the friends we’d inevitable see there, lunch at Asa Sushi, walk back up the hill to the Eric Street Community garden to weed our plot there, spend the evening relaxing in the yard and visiting with friends. If I’m lucky and have a sitter in the evening I’d head back downtown after bedtime to have a dance at the Ship!
 
What could Council do to make your ward a better place?
Revitalize downtown. Empty storefronts are an enormous missed economic opportunity and contribute to our city feeling less safe. A downtown community centre on Water Street west is a great start, as well as incentivizing young entrepreneurs to occupy those downtown buildings. Preserve our cultural capital by protecting heritage buildings and investing in the arts. Consider bold solutions to the opiod crisis, harm reduction strategies that have been proven to work in other cities. Proper snowclearing to ensure that all residents, including those with disabilities or small children, can move freely and safely through life in the Ward in all season.
 
Have you been out canvassing in the ward? If so, what are the priorities you’re hearing most loudly?
Built heritage preservation, breaks for small businesses, safer streets, accountable governance.
 
Increasing density and mixed uses are priorities in the new municipal plan. Where would you like to see more density in your ward?
Yes, in an intelligent and mindful way- we need to preserve our heritage. The revitalization of Pleasantville is a great example of revamping a heritage area in a way that respects its history and the residents currently living in that part of the Ward. It’s also entirely appropriate to put medium-density housing in the eastern parts of the ward that are not heritage areas as long as we pair this with commercial zoning that ensure services are within walking distance and we don’t further stress an already over-congested road system.
 
How do you think your ward will change during the next Council term?
With careful planning and the right incentives, I hope downtown will come back alive; there is momentum to fill those spaces with arts hubs and business that will add to the vibrancy of that area, making it safer and making the Ward as whole more appealing as a place to raise a young family.
 
What would you like to see included in the new Regional Plan?
Greater co-operation on environmental issues, transit. We need to work together on a sustainable, region-wide plan to protect our watersheds and encourage commuters to get out of their cars and stop stressing our roadways. Our tax dollars pay for parking spaces and roads driven by commuters from bedroom communities; it would distribute the cost burden more equitably to have excellent, timely, reliable transit from outside the city, perhaps a park-and-ride option, to decrease stress on our roads, parking congestion, as well as our collective carbon footprint.
 
What, if anything, would you want done to establish better communications between citizens and developers before development is proposed?
Transparency in council meeting is critical, as well as an up-to-date and widely available municipal plan. Greater engagement through social and traditional media as regards the public consultation process- people need to know these things are happening if they are to participate.
 
How would you use the Engage! process and system?
Engage is a great tool but there are not a few barriers to using it. We need to consider this when taking our data from this source and remember that further discussion with residents is required to get a truly representative sample.
 
In your opinion, what are the three best decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
Park revitalization has done excellent things for the day-to-day experience of living in the city; investment in the expansion of the St. John’s Farmer’s Market has the twofold benefit of providing a venue for more small businesses to thrive and solving our pressing food security problem; creating the Heritage Experts Panel to help preserve our irreplaceable built heritage.
 
In your opinion, what are the three worst decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
The enormous hike of business taxes in 2015, which has led to the closure of not a few small businesses in our community and directly effected the lives of folks who worked at those places and availed of their services; slashing arts funding in that same budget and suspending the City’s Art Procurement Program; allowing heritage structures to be demolished or fall to ruin (Qunnipac and Richmond Cottage, for example)
 
Quick response questions! In 100 characters or less, what is your position on...
Creating a regional government
Closer collaboration would be more efficient and a better use of taxpayer money.
Amalgamation with surrounding municipalities
Again, closer collaboration would be more preferable.
Making City Council a full-time job
Serving constituents is a round-the-clock obligation.
The mail-in ballot system
Presents barriers to underrepresented communities
The new Municipal Plan
Overdue and already in need of updating
Grants to community and arts organizations
The arts can be a powerful economic engine if we harness them with proper funding.
City employee salaries
Greater transparency in this process is desperately needed.
Creating more bicycle infrastructure
In the context of holistic planning, in consultation with communities, built into new developments.
Increasing public transit service
More & different types of services- smaller busses, more routes, greater attention to accessiblity.
Corporate and union donations to candidates
People need to know their Councillors are working for them, not corporate interests.
 
How often do you use the following ways to get to work or errands?
Walking: Almost everyday
Riding the bus: Never
Biking: More than half the days in a month
Driving: Almost everyday
 
Please rank the level of attention you think council should pay to each of these transportation modes in the coming term (1 = most important, 5 = least).
1. Walking
2. Driving
3. Public transit
4. Cycling
 
What could the City government do to make St. John’s a healthier place to live?
Improve sidewalks, snowclearing and bicycle infrastructure to encourage people to include exercise in their daily routines. Improve access to green space. Support initiatives that promote food security to lower the cost of healthy food. From a mental health standpoint, reduce poverty and create livable communities that foster connections between people. Insist on proper accessibility for business and city services.
 
What changes need to happen to have more diversity in age, gender, race, and life experience on Council?
Greater engagement! If you want to see change happen, find candidates who reflect that and support the heck out of them with your time, your money and most critically, your votes!