Posted by DemocracyKit on 04/23/2017

Catherine McKenney, City Councillor | How I got started

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaExplore-Candidate,
Catherine McKenney, City Councillor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1. How did you get involved in politics?

Hi I'm Catherine McKinney, the city councillor for Somerset ward here in Ottawa. I got involved in politics very quickly about three and a half years ago when I decided to leave my job at the city and become my boss's boss. I was working for the Deputy City Manager at the time and the councillor who represented our ward, umm I kinda had a notion that she might be leaving soon so I decided that I would take a run for it. And the reason I did that was I had often lamented the fact that we didn't have a lot of strong progressive, especially women, in politics, at least those numbers were decreasing and I decided one day that I needed to step up to the plate. So off I went and the biggest barrier for me was really getting people to know who I was. It's very interesting whenever you run all your friends know who you are, they encourage you to run. The day I announced I felt very popular, you know, Twitter kind of exploded a little bit, the news, and it was a bit newsworthy because somebody was leaving who had been there for 32 years. I was a city staff but the next day when I walk my daughter to school nobody knew who I was, so I knew then that I had months ahead of me of knocking doors getting to know people behind those doors and getting them to know who I was and what I stood for because without a party structure we really are individuals and it's really difficult to know. I mean nobody would say that they're against parks or they're against affordable housing or they're against you know great city building but you really have to get into people's doors and really encourage them to listen to what you you stand for and how you differentiate yourself.
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