Name: Marlisa Power
Party affiliation (if any): n/a
Education: Honours Bachelors of Arts – History/English, Course work for Master’s in Public History, Bachelors of Education – Primary/Junior
Occupation: Consultant – Power House Consulting – Project and Event Coordinator/Social Media Marketer and Actress
Previous political experience: Student Council member in high school, Student Union member in University, member of the Liberal Party of Canada
Residency (city/neighbourhood): Blue Jay Street, Abbotsford
Community involvement: Abbotsford Farm & Country Market Volunteer, Canadian Cancer Society Office Volunteer, Canadian Kidney Foundation Walk committee member, Informally help at The Warm Zone – collecting clothing and food to drop off – providing rides to the ladies, member of Grace Church and part of their Kitchen Committee, Abbotsford Hospice Society volunteer
Marital status/children: Separated – 2 children who attend South Poplar school
Social media: Facebook – personal = Marlisa Power and political = Elect Marlisa Power for Abbotsford City Council November 15th
Twitter = Marlisa4Difference
What do you feel are the three key issues Abbotsford voters should be considering in this civic election?
1. Homelessness – Immediate shelter & longer-term multi-tiered solutions
2. Fiscal responsibility/accountability/transparency of City Hall
3. Ease/Attractiveness of doing business in Abbotsford = business tax revenue/job creation
What’s your plan to deal with homelessness in Abbotsford?
I believe a solution modeled on the City of Nanaimo’s approach which worked well in that city – 46 were housed and housing for 160 more is underway – could be implemented in Abbotsford. The stakeholders involved (City, Community Services, Police, Health Care, Salvation Army, Churches/Outreach etc.) worked with each homeless person one on one to come up with individualized plans and solutions to get the person the help they needed.
The Homeless – is made up of unique individuals who have individual needs and challenges which have to be addressed in order to successfully get them off the streets. A band aid solution or telling the homeless this is the one solution we are offering and you better like or we won’t help – will not work and does not demonstrate compassion.
The one on one approach made the homeless feel included and part of the community and because they had a say in determining their own solution; the success rate was higher. The homeless who did not care for the attention because of their criminal activity; left town.
How would you make city hall more accountable and transparent?
I would ask that salaries and expenses of each employee be reviewed and reduced where ever possible. That redundant or duplicates be eliminated. That certain job’s such as City Council/Mayor/City Manager be limited to 3 terms. That citizens be allowed more input and involvement in Advisory Committees. That In-Camera/behind closed door Council Meetings not be allowed.
Are changes required in local municipal spending? If so, what are they and how would you address them?
Yes changes in spending are required. Spending needs to be fiscally responsible and balanced. Property tax increase is not an option. We need to stop property tax increases which if higher than inflation will affect quality of life. The % amount of money spent on services has to be readjusted. I believe more funds need to be spent on the arts and culture, promoting all things local, community events, transportation and helping the homeless and less in other areas.