As a neighbour and community advocate, I sit on the Fernwood, North Park, and Quadra Village Neighbourhood Planning Group. As a member of this group, I advocate for more affordable housing for our neighbourhoods, better active transportation for healthy communities and climate action, and opportunities for creative use of public spaces. I’ve also been actively engaged in increasing and improving community consultation and engagement. The voices of folks who are insecurely housed, have care responsibilities, language or accessibility barriers, or are experiencing marginalization in our communities matter. They are experts in their lived experiences and their participation is key to developing good social and public policy. Engaging our community means meeting people where they are at, connecting on the things they care about, and making sure that the diverse voices of our neighbourhood are heard.
As a Fernwood resident, I have organized with my neighbours to support the development of non-market and affordable housing in our community. Our group, Affordable Fernwood, engaged and informed our neighbours, successfully helped the BCGEU deliver 100s of letters to the School Board in support of the project, collaborated with the Victoria Labour Council, and spoke to the media. Fernwood is an incredible, walkable, bikeable neighbourhood with deep community connections – more neighbours should have the opportunity to live near school, work, friends and family. We are YIMBYs!
Community is also at the core of my family’s day to day life. Neighbourhood family dinners at the Fernwood Community Centre, shared childcare, exchanging books and toys with neighbours, and supporting local businesses. COVID has changed many of the ways we have built and nurtured our community relationships, but it has also highlighted the need to be in it all together. So we developed new strategies – Going to the grocery store? Send a few notes to see if anyone needs anything.And then, of course, add some chocolate or cookies or other pandemic treat to their order. One way we’ve tried to practice kindness and maintain connection at the same time is to drop off toys and books at the doorsteps of our friends. Give your hands a wash and your toys a clean, get some fresh air, and do a drop off. Toys are for the kids and the two-minutes of peace are for the parents.
Participating in a community-supported agriculture (CSA )with my neighbours has helped us build friendships, take action on climate, support a local farmer, and do our part for our local food security. The CSA also inspired our own garden – our very first! The garden itself was made possible with a combination of dirt, knowledge, and seedlings from neighbours.
Since 2008, I have been an active board member and volunteer with I am a board member at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre. I have done everything from fundraising, to presenting to police boards and local governments and answering middle of the night pages on the emergency response team. Since 2019 I have also served as a member of the national advisory panel for Canadian Women’s Foundation Rebuilding Lives program.
Connect With Grace
The best way to connect with me is via Social Media. I'm active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.