Dear The Oshow, Cable 14, Loren Lieberman, Laura Babcock,
I apologize for my delayed response to your Hamilton Ward 7 segment on January 12, 2016. I was in attendance at a Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association Community Advisory Panel (HIEA CAP) for a presentation on Ontario’s planned Green House Gas (GHG) Emission CAP & TRADE program. The importance of this presentation was to gain a preliminary understanding of the cost/benefit impacts for Hamilton businesses and ultimately Hamiltonians.
As a long-time fan of your show, I regretted missing this airing but caught-up on Cable14Now. I greatly appreciate the coverage you provide on political issues and wish to take this opportunity personally thank you and introduce myself as a 'legitimate' Ward 7 candidate.
My name is Damin Starr and my Hamilton civic engagement dates back to the early 1990’s (Citizen's Expressway Committee) where my primary role was to assist in educating residents and the public at large on the processes and impacts during the construction phases of the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP). As many of us may remember this was a tireless effort that was stalled many times by conflicting political mandates, until it opened in 2007.
Since then my municipal and provincial engagement has been in the areas of social advocacy (inclusiveness & accessibility for the disabled), electoral reform (municipal, provincial, and federal), multi-modality (mobility options & integration), and community development, all of which, I have provided delegation and facilitated discussion on. My decision to put my name forward is representative of my capacity to contribute in a meaningful way for the betterment of others and our surroundings.
I am an active participant in many community liaison committees and can often be found providing input, listening to, observing, and engaging in progressive discussion on key issues. I am motivated by a desire for all residents to achieve their full potential through opportunity and participation, building on unique strengths and collectively moving forward.
Leading by example…
-Active member of WWTP CLC (Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant Community Liaison Committee)
-Participant in the HIEA CAP (Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association, Community Advisory Panel)
-Active participant and pending member of AMD CLC (Arcelor Mittal Dofasco Community Liaison Committee)
-Active member of Hamilton LRT
-Active participant in Hamilton’s 20K Homes Campaign
-Active member of Autism Ontario
-Active member and lead facilitator to 123Hamilton Ranked Ballot Initiative
-Active supporter of The Canadian Nation Autism Foundation
-Active supporter of the Sunset Cultural Garden in Hamilton
-Active supporter of Hero’s of Autism Niagara
-Former volunteer of the Bridge program (providing reintegration support to offenders re-entering the community).
-Former volunteer educational support provider at the Barton Street Jail facility Correctional Services
-Have provided council and committee delegations on issues of Social Equity and Public Transit.
-Actively attend various workshops on city building, affordability, and community development.
While applying a ‘healthy community approach’ to overcoming traditional issues surrounding the development and delivery of quality ‘municipal services’, I commit to continuing efforts in facing citywide challenges such as ‘affordability’, ‘tax-base imbalance’, ‘a rising infrastructure deficit’, and ‘inadequate mobility options’.
Reflecting on my commitment to citizen engagement and 20+ years experience in business, operating a parts manufacturing firm in Lincoln, Ontario … Pre-Line Processing, providing raw component parts for locomotive and mass transit --- including manufacturing for environmental controls associated with the steel, oil, water, and gas industries. I confidently offer my abilities to effectively represent the residents of Ward 7, delivering a balanced approach to social and fiscal responsibilities as an elected councillor at City Hall.
As an entrepreneur for virtually all of my adult life, I have supplemented my real world experiences with post secondary studies that have been helpful in gaining the capacity to be successful.
With my wife, Debra, we proudly raise our 6 children (including 2 children with developmental disabilities) in East Hamilton.
Over time, I would hope the 'outsider' label I am presently carrying may translate into a willingness for us to step outside of our comfort zones and grow into an opportunity for refreshing dialog. My experience has taught me that we are not just 'Wards' made up of constituents divided by imaginary lines, but integrated communities of people connected by a desire for livability.
I live with a belief that ‘City Building’ is a responsibility we all share. It is ‘simply’ not enough to cast a ballot every 4 years, because ‘the truth is’ developing desirable communities requires both interest and engagement from all residents, regardless of affluence. I am excited about Hamilton’s future, but always mindful of the importance of living in a fair and equitable society. My hope is that YOU feel the same.
Throughout this campaign I will strive to earn the support of Ward 7 residents and would be honoured to serve as their Central Mountain councillor … working diligently beyond March 21, 2016.
Ward 7 (Central Mountain) Candidate