What Hamilton Hive member Ryan Moran looks for in a politician
The first in a series of Q&A features with Hamilton’s young professionals – members of Hamilton Hive – in the lead-up to the 2014 Municipal Election.
- Name: Ryan Moran
- Age: 30
- Employed as: Marketing Communication Specialist- FACTOR[e] Design Initiative
- Where do you live? Ward 2 officially, but on the border of Ward 1 and 2
Have you ever voted before? Every municipal, provincial, and federal election since I was able to.
Why do you vote? I wouldn’t even think not too, it validates the society that we live in, and is each a right, a privilege, and a necessity.
What are the civic issues most important to you? A healthy, sustainable economy, that allows for citizens to pursue both personal and professional lives that are highly engaging, positive, and fulfilling.
Moreover, a city that takes on a “Triple Bottom-Line” approach to development, concerning itself with the good economic (creation of career-focused jobs, a diversity of industries, intact and inspiring infrastructure), good social (addressing crucial issues of poverty, health, education and skill development, and diverse and emerging communities), and good environment (preservation and conservation of key environmental civic features, addressing inner city environmental concerns, and effective wast management). Most important, a smart city that looks forward.
What are the most important issues to you in the upcoming election?
I am very concerned with smart growth in the city. That is, economic and urban development that bucks the destructive trends of the past number of decades, including putting all of Hamilton’s economic “eggs” into one industry’s basket, and laying out a city that is automobile first and people second.
I want to see candidates who look to support a diverse economy ranging from small/medium sized independent businesses, to the re-attraction of corporate offices and headquarters of large multinationals. As well as a focus on restoring and improving existing infrastructure, properties, and transit. A city that is people first.
What issues are not getting the attention they deserve?
Complete streets are prominent in lower city agendas, but seem to fade out as a big issue in the rest of the city. Detractors of complete-street initiatives tend to view them as anything from a “tree-hugger” agenda, to not being “business-friendly.” The irony of this is that everywhere else in the world where complete streets exist either naturally, or as recent initiatives, they are resoundingly successful.
Education is needed on the bigger picture of what complete-streets means, as it is not simply two-way streets and bike-lanes, but rather the creation of communities, and conduits in a city where people want to live, work, and play. It is about establishing districts and nodes in a city, like a connect-the-dots of economic and social power centres.
What do you think is Hamilton’s biggest problem?
Complacency, hesitation, self deprecation, and an underlying inferiority complex. We hold ourselves back because we think we are modest old Hamilton. If we want to be among the best cities in Canada, or even the world, then we need to compete on their level, not ours.
What does the current council do well?
Council is highly responsive to immediate and daily citizen needs, which is very much to their credit. As well, Council itself has been very good at working as a cohesive whole, particularly this past term, and even when individual Councillors may respectfully disagree with each other.
What does the current council do poorly?
Aggressively working towards a strategic, big picture vision. The day-to-day needs of citizens, unfortunately, do not always or easily align with a strategic vision of the future. And Councillors who focus too intently on the daily can lose sight of that bigger picture, and even decidedly stand in its way. It is a balancing act that doesn’t always tip the right way.
What qualities do you look for in your elected municipal officials?
Global perspective married with local insight, innovative ideas, highly personable, and either very well educated, or very well experienced. Progressive, selfless, and with integrity intact.
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SpecVotes will publish more young professional profiles in the coming weeks.
To see more stories on the October municipal election, go to thespec.com