Vicky Smallman
Shaping Kitchissippi With You

2006 Ottawa Municipal Election
Ottawa Council • Ward 15

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'Progressive' candidate gears up campaign

NewsWest, Pg. 25 - Aug 31st 2006
Maureen Keenan

Self-described political wonk Vicky Smallman made an early decision to run for city council, having declared her candidacy for Kitchissippi ward in January. The outcome of the last election where incumbent Shawn Little won with 27 per cent of the vote convinced her to join the race this time round. "I think everybody was quite disappointed with the outcome of the last election, and I feel strongly that it was because there wasn't a clear alternative among the candidates who presented themselves."

Smallman, who states the ward clearly needs a change in representation, says what she has to offer voters is commitment to building strong communities, dedication to neighbourhoods and smart development and a lot of experience in public policy.

Smallman credits her current job with the Canadian Association of University Teachers as well as involvement in various non-profit groups as suitable training ground for political office. She is active in Creative Neighbourhoods (an organization dedicated to improving the use of public space), as well as Equal Voice (a national advocacy group addressing women's under-representation in government) and the Hintonburg Community Association.

Reluctant to place herself on a political scale, Smallman describes herself as progressive. "I hate to boil things down to left and right especially when it comes to municipal politics because the issues are so specific and localized and they don't always boil down to those terms."

Based on what residents are telling her at the door, the prominent issues of this campaign are development, traffic and transportation and issues relating to the environment, sustainability and the protection of greenspace. However, she thinks the deciding factor for many voters this election will go beyond the issues to the kind of councillor they want. "I think people are looking for somebody dynamic, somebody who will work hard for the ward and somebody who will listen."

Smallman says it was difficult in the early days of the campaign to get people to realize that the election is happening, but once she gets people talking, they get "pretty fired up." She has been getting her campaign in gear by going door-to-door, attending a lot of neighbourhood coffee parties (where people invite their neighbours over to meet the candidate) as well as attending community events and holding fundraisers to ensure she has her infrastructure "ready to go" in September.

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