Ward 4 Candidate: Kristen Siapas

Kristen Siapas Photo via Kristen Siapas Kristen Siapas Photo via Kristen Siapas

Kristen Siapas

830 Giles Boulevard East, Windsor, Ontario, N9A 4E6
Phone: 519-982-7765
Email: siapas4windsor@gmail.com
Website: www.siapas4windsor.ca 
Twitter: twitter.com/Siapas4Windsor 
Instagram: instagram.com/siapas4windsor

2022 Windsor Election Rose City Politics Candidate Questionnaire answers:

1. What is your prior political experience?

I have lots of community involvement, but none as an elected official.

2. Why are you running?

My involvement in the community has led me to understand that there are issues that the City Council has yet to address effectively, and that we benefit from having broader perspectives as a part of our decision making process. I’m running because I don’t see the perspective of people like me reflected at the table. I know that what I offer can help us to make decisions that are measured not only by the financial impact on our bottom line, but by the human impact on our residents and neighbourhoods. Furthermore, I am proud to serve as a role model to my daughters, three young women who deserve to see themselves reflected in our governance. My background in education and the arts, along with my connection with families who experience barriers in the community, is a perspective that is much needed when applied to the decisions that take place at council.

3. What do you do currently for a living?

I am the Marketing and Box Office Coordinator for University Players and the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor.

4. What is the biggest issue affecting the ward you are running for?

There are three main issues – homelessness, active transportation and affordable housing. They are the primary concerns of our Ward but they are a priority across the entire city as well. If I had to narrow it down to one, it would be the homelessness issue. We need to support people in our community with better use of our resources, whether that is deploying outreach workers, connecting folks with housing , mental health supports, or addiction services. I am in support of evidence-based solutions like safe injection sites, and against anti-human solutions like outlawing panhandling.

5. What is the biggest issue affecting the city of Windsor?

The city’s biggest issue over the next 4 years will be how to balance affordability of everyday life with the investment and growth we are seeing coming to the city. The city will need to build infrastructure to support the new mega hospital, and housing to support the new jobs created around the new battery plant. We’re entering a new era for the city – we have to ask ourselves who we are and who we want to be. We need to use this opportunity to build in a way that aligns our priorities with our resources and considers not just the economic impact, but the human impact and the environmental impact as well. Our decisions have to be measured by the triple bottom line: people, planet, prosperity.

6. Are you seeking any endorsements?

I am seeking endorsements from CUPE 1393 and the Windsor District Labour Council.

7. Have you received any endorsements?

I have been personally endorsed by Irene Moore Davis and Chantal Vallée, my kids…

8. Will you continue the “hold the line on taxes” policy?

Low taxes sound great, but great municipal services sound better. I’m about making smart decisions with our money, but I’m not committed to zero tax increase.

9. Do you support the mega-hospital location?

I believe the committee that chose the site made the decision they had to make. We need 24 hour urgent care in the core, and we need transportation options that get us to that new hospital site. If we can satisfy those two concerns, my next question would be what happens to these existing hospital sites? Met hospital is a hub for the South Walkerville community. If it goes, we need to have a plan for what we build in its place.

10. Do you support strong mayor legislation?

I’m wary of legislation that bypasses proper process. Strong mayor legislation that cuts out public discourse is concerning.

11. Should the city use taxpayers dollars to bring jobs to the area?

Depends on what those jobs are. Fundamentally I’m not opposed to it, but there are variables to consider. We need to think about how we are diversifying or reinforcing the existing workforce, and whether or not we are just investing more into manufacturing without thinking about diversification of industry.

12. If you are running in a ward with an incumbent who is also running, why is change necessary, and why are you the person to deliver it?

I am not running against an incumbent, but there sure are a lot of Walkerville men running. It’s time for Ward 4 to get our first female councillor. Beyond that though, I think council has suffered from a lot of the same old thinking and I think we need fresh faces with new ideas.

13. How many hours per week do you plan to allocate towards council business if elected?

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to take a leave of absence from my position at the University if I am elected. Ward 4 will get a full time councillor for the first time in 8 years. I’m happy to be available to devote my full time to the position.

14. Do you live in the ward you are running for?

Yes. I have been a proud resident of Ward 4 for all of my adult life.

15. What agencies, boards, or committees do/have you served on, and in what capacity?

I have served as a member and chair of the Parent Involvement Committee for the Greater Essex County District School Board for the last 5 years, a ministry-mandated committee which serves to identify and break down barriers that parents face in engaging with their children’s education. I have served as a voice for parents on several committees in the board, including the school naming committee for James L. Dunn Public School and the Covid Communication Strategy for the board.

I have been a co-facilitator and board member for the Connections Early Years Family Centre, where I assisted families in gaining parenting skills and connected with parents from diverse backgrounds who experienced challenges in their family life.

I am a past board member with Windsor Light Music Theatre where I helped to steer the group through financial challenges and strategic planning for 5 years.

I served as the producer for the Easter Seals Telethon for many years, working with families of children with disabilities.

I have been an active member of the Arts Community and integral to the formation of the Windsor Essex Theatre Alliance, a group which serves to support, promote and advocate for the live performance and theatre community in Windsor.

I worked with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce as the show producer for the annual Business Excellence Awards, two years in a row.

16. What person, animal or fictional character should be Windsor’s unofficial mascot?

The beehive/the bee:

A symbol of industry, collaboration and working together

Bees are hardworking, cooperative

Respect for women (the queen bee)

Hexagon is a symbol of symmetry, balance, efficiency

Honey = The sweet life

Natural evolution of the “City of Roses” moniker

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