Introducing Laura Farr, Hamilton City Councillor Candidate. Laura grew up in the East End of Hamilton and graduated high school from Hill Park Secondary after many moves around the city. Her father worked for a time at Stelco, and her mother was a member of the CUPE Local 1797.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run because for 10 years as an assistant to various elected officials, my focus has been on helping every resident that contacted those offices. Our community deserves to have someone that genuinely cares about ensuring that our City Services are delivered, and looked after. I keep saying it’s about what matters. In 172 years of being a city, this past term saw Hamilton's highest amount of female Elected Officials - 5. A man who wanted to run approached me and told me I couldn’t run because I was supposed to run his campaign and be “the secretary”. We can do better, and that is why I'm running to go from Assistant to Councillor.
What is your favourite thing to do in your community?
I love going to our parks with my son. We’ve done a lot of work on the community side to improve our area parks, and it makes my heart happy to see them being used and enjoyed.
Tell us about the greatest challenges your community faces?
One of the highest priorities for Ward 3 in Hamilton is to be flexible and innovative in finding solutions for our neighbours who are facing growing insecurity and being “priced out” of the neighbourhood. City-wide (and everywhere in North America) we need to make the roads safe for everyone - driver, cyclist, pedestrian, no matter if you are 8 or 80. The other day my son and I were nearly hit by a distracted driver. We all deserve to be safe.
What would you do to improve women's health in your community?
I have supported a local initiative called FemCare Community Health Initiative. They are wonderful women who collect donations of feminine hygiene products for those that cannot afford them. They are also asking the next Council to fund menstrual hygiene products for homeless women and trans persons
What would you do to improve women's economic security in your community?
In recent years, Hamilton changed the way that the childcare subsidy list is managed. I will be advocating for this change to our Housing wait list as well as taking my experience helping small business open in our city. We know many women that are entrepreneurs and we need to make it easier, not harder, for them to own, operate, and maintain their businesses.
What would you do to improve women's safety in your community?
We know from many planning studies it is important to make planning and infrastructure decisions from a women’s safety perspective. Once we do that, women feel safe, then neighbourhoods become more prosperous, livable and vibrant. Traffic safety in Hamilton speaks directly to this, as many of our roads are designed to make people want to drive faster.