Many, many emails and messages have come in over the last few weeks asking for my position on a particular matter or issue. I’ve been happy to have conversations with residents and business owners to explain what my approach might be to a problem they’re having within the Township. These topics would be familiar to any one who has attended an All-Candidates’ meeting. However, I’ve also received a couple of questions that I found concerning in a different way:

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EXCERPT: Running for council in Langley Township

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

STACEY WAKELIN: Volunteer and retail advocate, 42

Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No

Candidate provided bio: Stacey has lived and worked in the Langley area for almost 13 years.

  • She is the former co-owner of Langley’s Clipper Street Scrapbook Co.; founder of BC Parents for Inclusivity Facebook group; and organizer of community events designed to provide opportunities for neighbours to connect.
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“At a certain point, buying books from the store you love is not going to be enough to keep it open… the bigger problem lies in the relationship between capitalism, the commercial real estate market, and the toxic marriage between the two for low-margin businesses…” - Lexi Beach in Why Buying Books Will Not Save Our Beloved Bookstores

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VOTERS: It's Time

On October 13, 2018 three local environmental preservation groups sent an Open Letter to Township of Langley Council. This recent letter was an updated version of a letter sent just prior to the 2014 election. In it is a request to view a staff report about selling surplus property to pay for future infrastructure costs. The report was expected to have been completed in 2014.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Preparation for the Campaign Trail

Last night I attended the Willoughby Residents Association’s All Candidates Meeting. And, like the others I’ve been a part of, it turned out to be a great evening of questions from engaged residents. This question was asked of candidates, and I paraphrase: How did you prepare for the campaign and, potentially, a seat on Langley Township Council? I think the answer is worth sharing.

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EXCERPT: We asked, they answered...

Mayoral and Council Candidates for the Township of Langley were asked which of the many concerns voiced by residents would they treat as top priorities. Their responses were published in the Oct. 3, 2018 edition of the Langley Times.

STACEY WAKELIN's reply as follows:

Infrastructure — I would like to see this be a focal part of the conversation going forward. I am not against development, but I am against irresponsible development.

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING - PART 2: What’s in the Municipal Toolbox?

“I wish every member of the community, and especially members of government, would walk the streets and meet the people living on them. It would cure the misconception that homeless people are addicts and criminals. Several of the people we met work five days a week and due to circumstances are without a home.” - Stacey Wakelin, Langley Advance December 17, 2016

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING – PART 1: What’s in a House?

There are 7,265 Renter Households in Langley Township (LINK):

  • The median income of a renter household is $54,868;
  • 39% of renter households are spending over 30% of before tax income on shelter costs (rent + utilities);
  • 20% of renter households are spending over 50% of before tax income on shelter costs.

NOTE: These numbers do not include people experiencing homelessness who may be couch surfing with family or friends, or living in their vehicles, on the streets or in tent cities.

Why do these numbers matter? How does affordable housing contribute to an individual’s or a family’s quality of life?

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Yes, Poverty Exists in Langley Township

“Social issues have been ignored for too long and that is why we are committing this government, and future governments, to break the cycle of poverty and improve people’s lives.” - Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

It’s no secret that the Township of Langley is home to low-income residents and to residents experiencing homelessness. The evidence is all around us, and as predisposed as many residents are to respond to solutions with “not-in-my-backyard,” it’s beyond time to work out a strategy because poverty is in our backyard. Agencies and non-profits have been active in both the Township and the City for a long while, working hard to help individuals and families in a variety of ways:

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Have you been left out of the Conversation?

“… the Township of Langley is home to more than 121,000 residents… There are over 63,000 people in the Township’s labour force… nearly a 67% participation rate, 62% aged 55 or younger” and “51% of the population having some form of higher education.” – Township of Langley

This is how the Township of Langley currently promotes itself, with more of the same on the Trade and Invest BC website. It’s a great story to tell the world, and it’s true – as far as it goes. But let’s talk about Township residents who are not included in the description above.

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