Ken Bennett running for Nanaimo City Council

Ken Brnnett

Over the past several weeks since I tossed my hat into the political ring for a seat on Nanaimo City Council, people have been asking me questions ... who is this Ken Bennett? What is his platform? Why should we vote for Ken Bennett. all good questions that deserve an answer. So I'm going to try to answer them now.
 
My name is Ken Bennett. I happily acknowledge that I live work and play on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people, affectionately known as Nanaimo.
 
I am not officially teamed with any other candidates as a slate. However, that being said, I am a labour activist, who believes in a living wage for all workers and the respectful treatment of workers. I believe working together as a team to build this into becoming a reality is crucial, so I naturally find myself drawn to likeminded people. I have loved and lived in Nanaimo for just over 25 ys. For the past 15+ yrs I have worked as a Care-aide working in a Group home w/ persons with disabilities, prior to that I worked with youth in care.
 
Over the past 15 plus years, I have participated and led several goodwill campaigns. From what I call my 'Warm up Nanaimo' campaign/s to my annual Loaves & Fishes /or Cops4Cancer fundraisers. I enjoy involving my local Hospital Employees' Union members as well as my local community in building this awareness to our city's homeless and economically challenged. Community involvement is a key to making things better.
 
I was elected and held a position on the Provincial Executive of the Hospital Employees' Union as a Trustee /Sr Trustee, serving several years, prior to making this run for the position of Nanaimo City Council, so i have some related experience politically speaking.
 
Over the past many years I've had it on my heart to be part of the solution, not sitting idly by, watching things break down around me. Grumbling isn't going to get the answers we need, so I decided to put my heart in gear and step up to see if I can help. My motivation is simply put, 'I care' about seeing my city remain vital and thriving for all its' citizens. I believe all people should be treated with fairness & dignity.
 
My Platform:
1) I am very concerned about accessibility for those with mobility concerns. This needs to be addressed in our local infrastructure projects, with more care and consideration at the starting stage, not as an afterthought.
 
2) Homelessness and Mental illness needs to be addressed by all levels of government, but community involvement is crucial in its success. Sadly put, many are only a couple paychecks away from living on the streets. We need to address the high cost of housing. Tent cities & fenced-in trailer compounds are simply put, just bandages.
 
3) Our environment is crucial to maintain a healthy and sustainable way of life in Nanaimo. Proper harvesting and handling of our resources are important to understand. If we can clean up the fallen trees in our forests, allowing some to be left for maintaining a healthy forest environment while removing the potential fire accelerants of the excess tinder dry wood would be a more positive action.
 
The more we use what we've already harvested the less we will need to harvest. I see our once beautiful beaches now cluttered with viable resources that are just left to pile up and rot. Yes, some say their rotting is helping to stabilize our beaches and maintain its structure & providing habitat for all manner of living things slowly decomposing back into the environment. Argument noted, but too much of a good thing isn't healthy. Nanaimo citizens need to be able to enjoy their beaches for their own mental wellness. Tourism is another crucial factor why we should be maintaining a good and healthy balance in our care and upkeep of Nanaimo's beautiful parks, forests and beaches.
 
My vision: 
I would love to see more of our paths, parks and beaches made accessible for all our citizens. Our parks & pathways created with mobility & accessibility will be in all the starting plans of new work & upgrades as they need to be done. Nanaimo can work in harmony with agencies and organizations throughout the city to help it heal. Community input coming alongside safe & inclusive driven drop-in centers will help those people struggling, supporting organizations and ideas like 'Stone Soup' and 'Foodshare'. Good ideas need to be nurtured into great solutions.
I hope this answers all those questions of .. who is Ken Bennett.
 
On Election night if not home (chewing my finger nails to the bone), my wife and I will most likely attend the downtown election event.