BEAVER BANK: Lisa Blackburn is hoping her “fresh perspective” will win over residents in District 14 Upper/Middle Sackville, Lucasville, and Beaver Bank.
Blackburn, who has taken a leave of absence from her current employment, has always been an active community volunteer. She saw running as a natural extension.
“A number of residents in the community have been encouraging me to run for a number of years,” said Blackburn in an interview shortly after announcing she would be running.
“After some serious discussions with family and supporters I started seriously thinking about it just after Christmas.”
Blackburn has lived in the district since 1979. She attended Sackville High School and graduated from the University of King’s College with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) degree. Her career has included jobs in radio, television and newspaper reporting.
She sees District 14 as a growing and vibrant community with a number of real concerns, including a lack of public transportation, especially in Lucasville, and rapid residential development without the infrastructure to support it. Also of concern is crosswalk safety, specifically a lack of crosswalks on busy community streets.
“Many constituents in the district have real concerns about their children crossing the busy Beaver Bank Road with no crosswalks or sidewalks,” she said. “I want to be the voice at the table to tell the city what is important in our community.”
Accessibility, accountability, and representation are the three cornerstones of her platform.
“Nothing changes, if nothing changes,” she said. “If we want better for our community, help me drive the change.”
For the past six years, Blackburn has served on the Board of Directors of the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, the last two as Chair. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.
As a volunteer, she has served with the Cobequid Community Health Centre; Crimestoppers; the MS Society; Muscular Dystrophy Canada; Metro United Way; Beaver Bank Monarch Drive Elementary; Northwood Foundation and the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers Union.
She received the 2015 HRM Volunteer Award and was chosen to participate in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, running through Sackville as a representative of the community and as a catalyst for positive change.
Blackburn is the third candidate to announce. Incumbent Brad Johns has said he will re-offer, while Kevin Copley has put his name forward as well.
“I may be delayed in announcing my candidacy, but I’ve been actively working in the community and seriously discussing issues with residents for quite some time,” she said.
She said she offers an extensive history in both the community and with council.
“My journalism career has allowed me to cover the issues at the regional council table for the last three decades,” she said. “I know the back story to many of the issues our district is facing now.”
Blackburn said campaigning will be her full-time job in August and September leading up to the Oct. 15 municipal election.
“When people meet me they will realize I bring a fresh perspective to the position,” said Blackburn. “I hope to get out to every doorstep and listen to what residents of District 14 are passionate about.”
She said being a councillor is a full-time job, and she’s ready to accept that. She’s also ready to keep residents in the riding in the loop.
“Through social media, constituents will know my schedule every day,” said Blackburn.
“Accessibility is extremely important as well, so I will be available. I will make sure District 14 is represented at every council meeting.”