Ward 4

Name: Rachel Gannonimage1.JPG

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a second year student at King’s University College studying Catholic Studies and an active member of the London community. Although originally from Niagara Falls, I have called London for the past three years. When I’m not studying on campus you can find me at one of London’s locally based restaurants or cafes or taking walks getting to know my new home.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

Since moving to London I’ve been looking to help out in my city as an advocate for youth voices. I have experience as a Youth Advisor to the mayor of Niagara Falls and now that I have called London my home I want to stand up for minority groups, those with disabilities and the youth in our city.

Identify three community issues you find important:

1) Mental Health: Located in Ward 4 is the CMHA Crisis Centre. I believe that a youth voice advocating for this great community resource is a necessity and can assist in expanding programs and making mental wellness resources more accessible to the entire city.

2) Community Resource Awareness: As someone who has used many community resources whether that be the welfare system or employments agencies I know many youth do not know where to go in times of monetary or physical distress. I want the youth of the city to know that there are resources for where they can spend a Friday night or find employment.

3) Immigrant and Refugee Support: Ward 4 is home to many immigrants and refugees and I want London to be welcoming and available to those who have recently come to Canada. I believe the youth of our city have much to offer to the newcomer.

You can find Rachel on:

IMG_7173.JPGName: James Fletcher-Dean

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is James Fletcher-Dean and I’m currently a 9th grade student at Montcalm Secondary School. At school I take mostly academic courses, and I also participated on the school volleyball team and the basketball team. I spent a lot of free time during the 2015 federal election working with the MP for London North Centre, Peter Fragiskatos. I enjoy many different types of politics and have knowledge on both the Canadian and American government. Leadership and speech come easily to me as I’ve learned core values through the Canadian Cadet Program since 2014, working my way to the rank of Master Corporal.

Why do you want to be a Youth Councillor?

I have always enjoyed politics and have previously volunteered with our local MP representing The Liberal Party of Canada, where both my interest level and knowledge of politics grew. I am familiar with policy in Canada and issues in London, and would love nothing more than to volunteer my free time for the betterment of the city. As a young high school student in London I see kids my age completely unaware of government and our city, and I feel that by running to join the LYAC, I could not only give back to the community, but give back to my generation.

Identify three community issues you find important:

1) Unemployment: Unemployment in London is an issue with citizens of all ages, and many citizens struggle with employment or job security. Every year many people are laid off from jobs and lack experience in other work areas to secure another job, ultimately leaving them unemployed. A large fraction of London has struggled with employment at some point in time, some more than others, but London should be a city focusing on employment opportunities for people of all ages, including youth.

2) Mental Health: Most people in our society will struggle with mental health at some point in their life. With that being said, help for mental health is a lot harder to acquire than it should be. There are waiting lists upon waiting lists that you have to struggle through in order to get the help that you might need, and there’s a positive trend that shows that typically the more severe the condition, the longer the wait. For people with those severe conditions, 30 days can appear much longer than it actually is, and it would be beneficial for the city to lean towards making mental health programs more accessible and to make it so that those who need help are able to get it when they need it.

3) School System and Bullying: In my time at school I have been witness and victim to bullying that I feel could be prevented. In school these days there are attitudes and behaviours that are unacceptable at the work place, and therefore should be unacceptable in a place of education. I am a huge anti-bullying advocate and would like to make a difference to people who get bullied. It simply shouldn’t happen. Human rights are there for EVERY person, no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, background etc. We need to treat each other with respect and kindness. Unfortunately, bullying in the school system continues to occur regularly.

*Click here to see the map of Ward 4