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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Amy Cox is running for Fort St. John’s city council because she hopes to connect the community back to its leadership.
The spark, she said, that started her thinking about running for council was the byelection last year. It was then, she said, she realized that “I want to do this.”
“I live here, I work here, my family’s here, and I’m a part of this community.”
But the drive to become a councillor in this election was born from research into city council and the region’s political history. “I noticed some statistics that kind of shocked me,” she said.
Her concern was voter turnout. In 2005, she explained, 25 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.
“But going forward to a byelection in 2017, only 7.3 per cent of voters turned out, and that shocked me,” she said.
As someone who values communication and community, she realized that there was space for her to help change that turnout from a seat on city council.
“I want to be the go-between, between city council and the community. I want to be the person who can go out and talk to the community—because everyone in the community has opinions,” she said.
“But not, obviously due to the statistics, not everybody is voicing them. I would like to help get more community engagement between the city council and Fort St. John,” the candidate said.
Cox, also a local entrepreneur who owns both a landscaping company and a custom rug company, knows the creativity evidenced in those fields can set her apart on council.
She also considers herself “a quite diverse person” as a status-holding Indigenous person and a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“I would love to represent their voices,” she said about the minority groups of which she is a part, “but I am open for everyone to have my contact information and talk to me about anything.”
Whether those conversations are about something good, something hard, or a problem someone has, she says, she welcomes them all.
“I would like to be the person to say, ‘Hey, what kind of coffee do you drink? I’ll bring you one. Let’s talk about it,” she said.
The local government election, in which residents and property owners in Fort St. John will elect one mayor and six councillors, will be held on October 15th. Advance polling days are also available.
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