Chinu Das

for New Westminster City Council

Platform

I’m a candidate for city council in the upcoming municipal election on October 20, 2018.

I am a longtime resident of New Westminster. I’ve lived, worked and volunteered here for 29 years, and bring a fresh and informed voice. Much has been accomplished; there is much more to do.

I want New Westminster to be a livable, vibrant and inclusive community.

For our city to be livable, we need to ensure that the basic needs of all residents are addressed. This includes housing, transportation, employment and basic amenities.

To make New Westminster a vibrant city we need to improve quality of life through improved and expanded civic amenities, through Parks and Recreation facilities and services, and through community events in partnership with city-based organizations.  

Finally, to build an inclusive city, every strategy, every policy, every program has to be seen through an "inclusive" lens. There should be a deliberate attempt to include a range of human differences including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, religious beliefs, and physical abilities.

My platform considers all who live in New Westminster, and will also delve deeper into the issues that seniors, immigrants and families face, with special attention to housing, transportation, employment and city facilities/recreation.

Housing

  • Create a spectrum of housing affordability choices and housing size options to meet the needs of all residents, such as larger, affordable housing units for those with large or extended families.
  • Cultivate a process to better support social service organizations providing housing support.
  • Develop an awareness campaign of housing resources, especially for those who are homeless, hidden, unaware of or unable to use housing supports.
  • Provide ongoing support to the Rent Bank.
  • Continue to inform landlords and renters on tenants' rights.
  • Advocate strongly with the province to address issues of renoviction and demovicton, especially as it concerns low-income residents.
  • Create an age-friendly city and ensure equal and affordable access to in-home services for older residents, and suitable and affordable housing options to suit those who cannot or do not wish to live on their own.

Transportation

  • Ensure better mobility throughout New Westminster with longer pedestrian crossing lights and sidewalks which are cut for accessibility to make it easier for seniors, people with mobility challenges, and parents with children, to safely cross our busy roads.
  • Add more seating and benches, water fountains and washrooms in key places around the city.
  • Address transit strategies to affect affordability, connectivity between bus networks, and ease of use for day to day practices such as traveling with children or for seniors.
  • Upgrade transit stations.
  • Develop strategies to address barriers to accessing work opportunities both within and outside New Westminster, including cost and early morning/ late night schedules of transit, and traffic issues.
  • Establish parking stalls near all facilities used by elderly residents.

Employment

  • Practice neutral hiring practices that will not identify gender, ethnicity or age.
  • Work with Regulated Professions to simplify credential recognition for newcomer professionals searching for work.
  • Create opportunities for Canadian work experience for newcomers through volunteering and internships.
  • Work with city staff, community agencies and organizations to build mentorship opportunities.
  • Work with community agencies to provide appropriate child care options.

City Facilities

  • Make city facilities more welcoming through signage, staff training and by creating welcoming spaces.
  • Enhance signage and brochures by using universally understood pictures and multiple languages for the visually impaired or hard of hearing, and those with limited English.
  • Apply the diversity lens to the use of recreational facilities being built or upgraded to create barrier-free buildings with easy access to programs.
  • Provide city staff training in cultural sensitivity and address barriers and specific needs to using city amenities, such as holding a women only swim time.
  • Pave the way for a Welcome Centre – a one-stop shop of services and information in a centralized to help newcomers find community supports.
  • Create or upgrade greenspaces to ensure all children have safe outside places to play.
  • Create neighbourhood Hubs where families and seniors can meet.
  • Create an inter-generational approach to programs and city events.
  • Develop community awareness of tax credits, income supplements and other supports available to eligible residents.
  • Conduct Loonie Days for Parks and Recreation programs for all residents – seniors, families, youth and children.