Bonnie Cleland said she had been thinking about running for city council for the past five or six years.
The dance teacher and new mom said she would bring her life experience, enthusiasm and energy to city hall.
“What is really inspiring and motivating me in this exact moment is some of the challenges the community is facing, in particular housing,”
she said. “In my exact circumstance, the house that I’m living in is being put on the market and I currently don’t have housing for the foreseeable future. I’m still looking for housing.”
Cleland, 35, has been renting from her parents, but they are selling the house and it is out of her price range. Cleland said innovative housing solutions — such as intergenerational housing, tiny houses and sustainable housing design — should be used in Kamloops.
Cleland said she wants to learn about the existing housing situation and be part of a team to make housing more accessible for everyone.
Asked why someone should vote for her, Cleland cited her energy.
“I’m not someone who has the perfect five-point action plan that will solve all of the problems, but I am someone who can listen, to hear what the issue is, identify where the solutions are, gather together the people that can solve that problem and stimulate the energy to get the issue addressed,” she said.
Cleland grew up in Kamloops and travelled in her 20s, living in Mexico, Nicaragua and Australia before returning to Kamloops. She has studied biology and psychology and worked in marketing, as well as with special needs adults. She is now teaching dance and coaching judo and diving. Cleland runs a swing dance company, Lindy in the Loops, and gave birth to her son six months ago.
Other issues top of mind for Cleland include community safety, sustainable living and childcare.
“Because I’m a new mom, now I’m acutely aware of access to childcare,” she said. “So that’s another issue that I’m passionate about.”