Candidate profile: Emily Whelan

Emily Whelan
Emily Whelan

Name: Emily Whelan

Age: 29

Immediate Family members: Respondent skipped this question.

Town: Waterloo

Office seeking: Ward 2 Alderman

Occupation: Health Coach, Substitute Teacher and Laborer out of Labor Local 196

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None

Why are you running? I want to utilize my leadership skills and diverse experiences to build a stronger city physically and economically in order to keep its growth headed in a positive direction. My visions include several topics. I’d like to gear our downtown renovations to embrace Waterloo’s historic charm in order to build appeal to our business district as well as utilize our local theater to include more fine arts to boost our economy. I’d like to encourage citizens to become more mindful of their personal health and build avenues toward an active city to include more bike paths, better pedestrian options, and the return of a public swimming facility. I would also like to do what we can to support the educators and children in our school systems who are building our future.

What is the most important issue facing the City of Waterloo? How would you approach it? I believe the biggest problem is the lack of trust in our government. Many can relate to contacting the government with a problem and never hearing back from them, or being told their problem will be resolved but then time passes by without any action to back up those words. I would address everyone's issues no differently despite the size of their problem, and make it a point to get the problems resolved efficiently and on a timely manner so people know that they matter and they can rely on their government.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Helen Keller once remarked, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” It is not the job of the Alderman to build a great city, it is the job of the Alderman to lead the people in building a great city together. I approach the position of Alderman not as a politician, but as a humble leader. I will do my best to unite and motivate us to strive toward positive, common goals by listening to what is important to the people and working together to discover the best way to accomplish the task as a whole.

How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? The best way to keep the costs down for the city is to decrease our unnecessary expenditures and focus our spending on things that we need first. I would address unnecessary expenditures by slowing the aggressive pay raises in our government and researching all of our options to make sure we're not spending money on services or equipment we may not need when the issue could be resolved with more financially responsible solutions.

Why should people vote for you? The people’s agenda is my agenda. I feel too often the people aren’t heard or their opinions and ideas are dismissed with little thought. I cannot promise that everyone will get the answers they want, but I can promise that everyone will have a voice that will be heard and their matters will be fully investigated and discussed. I would like to empower the citizens in having a larger part of what is happening and what they can do in their own city. Also, I am the only candidate in my 20’s and who is female. Being new to the city government, I hope to add some diversity which is important in ensuring all perspectives are represented in matters addressed in the council.