Last year, a friend approached me with great frustration and fear. The business he built to provide for his family was under threat. Customers of his car repair shop, located within meters of Tent City, were being accosted and harassed. Cars were being vandalized and broken into and anything not bolted down was stolen. I stepped up and built a coalition of downtown businesses suffering from similar issues. We approached the municipal government and presented our delegation to Mayor and Council. For over a year, I regularly attended council meetings and workshops and took a keen interest in educating myself on the workings of local government. With a degree in Political Science and a resume that includes postings with several governments, I felt at home. Seeing this as the government level that most directly affects the lives of residents, it was easy to picture myself adapting my skill set, knowledge and experience to the decision-making process at city hall. I also knew my way around the city from an earlier contract assignment with the Economic Development office. Quickly I became consumed with how I could contribute. I did a lot of listening and learned that the issues that matter to people are those that impact them right here at home: homelessness, crime, no jobs, lack of shopping, poor transit. I was ready to go to work.