St. John’s is a diverse city containing people of all ages, genders, races, religions, family structures, nationalities, abilities and disabilities, gender expressions, and so on.
This diversity is intrinsically valuable and worth celebrating. It’s also important to building a new and vibrant economy. And we can’t make good policy unless we start with an accurate perception of who we are.
I am committed to build a city that’s fully inclusive and reflects the perspectives of everyone who lives here:
- I will push for City committees and panels to include people with a broad range of life experiences. City Council and its committees should look like the City they represent.
- I will remember the limits of my own experience, and seek out and listen to people with different experiences.
- One way to build a more inclusive City in the future is to remember the City’s past mistakes: legal discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community; the expulsion of the Beothuk and the death of Shawnadithit; sexual abuse in schools, churches and orphanages; etc. We have some good models for remembering these productively: Pride Week and the Chinese Head Tax Memorial on New Gower Street are both good models to emulate.
- Newfoundlanders often portray ourselves as a fairly homogeneous group of white anglophones. That’s neither true nor helpful. We are diverse now, we have always been diverse, we become more diverse every day, and we should celebrate our diversity. The City has a real role in articulating our community identity: it commissions art, it plans public spaces, it commemorates our past, it advertises. We should take every opportunity to promote an inclusive vision of who we are.