Posted by DemocracyKit on 04/23/2017

Marianne Wilkinson, City Councillor | How I got started

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaExplore-Candidate,
GroupsWomen in politics,

Marianne Wilkinson, City Councillor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1. How did you get involved in politics?

I'm Marianne Wilkinson, I'm a City Councillor for Kanata North now, formerly Mayor of the City of Kanata and I've had it it's been my 28th year in municipal office. I first got involved because I got involved with my community and I had young children and I asked somebody if he was going to run for council and he said "No, how about you?" I thought maybe I could run. I had a two month old baby at the time and my kids are five, two and a half and four months on election day but it was a township then we [inaudible] at night so it worked out all right. I think the key of that was that I had been involved in working with the community association in the community, so I, I knew that people there they knew me even though I had only lived there just over a year. And really important when you're running that you've been involved in the community and you have some knowledge about what's going on there and that people know you as well. As a woman I got into that one all right but I was the first woman that had ever run there. I work with women many times to encourage them to run and uh more recently with the Head Start for Young Women that I did for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities where we had 15 young women from 16 to 24 at the beginning were not interested at all and by the end they had put to order, put together a booklet of things to work on to help get people involved and many of them are still being involved and it really is something that we have to encourage because what they said they were afraid to run. They didn't feel they had the confidence, they didn't feel they were good enough, all the types of things family didn't come into it much at all. The other big thing was the media, the way the media portrayed women in politics and so differently from men and that's still true today and that they just fell didn't want to put themselves in that kind of position so we do need to encourage people they've got lots of ability. Uh women are make better [inaudible] councillors frankly than men because they often work with the families and all the community things and municipal governments all about community and so I really say you really have a responsibility to get there and be a part of that.

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