Friday, August 31, 2007

Door knocking 127 Street

I was out the night before last testing the water. It was great fun, actually. I met a woman who went to Westglen when it was a high school and then sent her daughter there years later. It turned out the daughter, now aged 27, had the same fantastic teacher (Linda Hut) that my daughter had in grade two. People were very surprised to have a Trustee candidate at their doorstep, but very pleased and supportive.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Door Knocking with David Eggen

Yesterday I went door-knocking with MLA David Eggen in Prince Charles. I really enjoyed it and see why David does so much of it. He quickly finds a way to connect with people and put them at ease. He is an excellent example of a politician who truly represents his constituents and a great role model for me.

For the next 6 weeks, I'll be doing a lot of door-knocking, so I really appreciated my time with the "master".

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mature Neighbourhoods

I've been receiving updates from the Mature Neighbourhoods group (MNAG). It's interesting to see that some people see schools as an essential part of revitalising and maintaining mature neighbourhoods and some don't. I believe neighbourhoods and communities are created and sustained in many ways. Schools are a vital ingredient in community building. There are many studies that show once a school is closed in a community, the effects are measurable and very determental. As we all strive to find solutions to global warming, an obvious one is to walk to school. As soon as we get out of our cars, we find more opportunities to talk to our neighbours, notice changes in our community and increase our investment in our area and each other. In short, we start to build community.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The New Dog


This is completely unrelated to the campaign, but here's a photo of our new puppy, Jag. We've always been a cat family, so the addition of a dog (a Boxer/Standard Poodle cross) is newsworthy! I'm looking forward to lots of walks with Jag.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Faith

I will need between 75 and 100 volunteers to drop my 20,000 leaflets in mailboxes. There will need to be a tremendous amount of coordination to plan the routes and make sure we don't overlap. It's a huge undertaking, but I'm hopeful that I will have enough people to help out. I've ordered the signs and leaflets on faith that the contributions to the campaign will come in. Running a campaign seems to require a lot of faith!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Trustees in the driver's seat

I have been learning a thing or two about how things are done in the Blue Building. Currently, the administration sets the agenda for every meeting. Most of the meetings are behind closed doors and Trustees don't meet "on their own". Consequently, there's little or no opportunity for the Trustees to spearhead new ideas, discuss problems or brainstorm. I am fully in support of working meetings for Trustees, where real discussions can take place about issues the Trustees bring forward. As it stands now, the administration is driving the boat and the Trustees are simply passengers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Coffee with seniors

I'm booking appointments with various seniors lodges, residences and nursing homes in Ward C. My plan is to briefly introduce myself and explain why I would like to be the next Trustee. I have some ideas of how schools and seniors might work together well. I am also looking forward to chatting with people informally to hear their ideas about education. If you know a senior's group that I should connect with, please let me know.

Fringe Show

True Grid is previewing tonight at Theatre Network, 107 Ave and 124 Street, 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10 at the door. Fringe dates start Sat, August 18, at the Telephone Museum Venue. All tickets $14 and remember, all tickets sold in advance this year. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Reaching communities

Ads for my campaign will be appearing in the Westmount, Crestwood, North Glenora and Woodcroft newsletters. I am still waiting to hear back from some other newsletters.

Other pieces of the puzzle are coming together. I'll be at the Westmount Community Picnic on Saturday, August 18 from noon to 2 PM. MLA David Eggen and I are going to start door-knocking together in Prince Charles the following week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Inner City High Question

I wonder why the Inner City High is separate from the Public system? What obstacles stopped the Oilers charity from working with the School Board to develop this innovative high school with on-site housing? Why did the idea come from outside? How is the system failing these kids, making this school necessary in the first place?

I applaud the commitment shown by the community to help these kids and I wish them every success.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

4 Heavy Hitters in my corner

Three politicians have agreed to support my campaign by handing out my leaflets in the areas where our districts overlap: MLA Bruce Miller, MLA David Eggen and city councillor candidate Ben Henderson. I'm so lucky to have their support.

My fourth heavy hitter is the (fabulous) former Trustee Lynn Odynski. Lynn has been acting as my advisor throughout this process and her expertise is invaluable. She had incredible support from Ward C and is connecting me with her network.

With people like these in my corner, I feel very optimistic.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Newsletter feature

David (Emergence by Design) and I are planning to add a feature to my website if I get elected: a monthly newsletter mailout.

I would send the newsletter to all the Parent Council chairs, the schools in Ward C and any individual parents who signed up to receive it. The newsletter would keep people informed about the activities of the Board, new policies that are being discussed, upcoming meetings and things I'm working on. I could also provide a shorthand guide to navigating the EPSB website, so people can pinpoint the information they need quickly and easily.

My hope is to create a more direct link between the Board and the parents.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My website is crawled by Google

I met with Dave yesterday (Emergence by Design) and we're going to add a mailing list form to the website. I told him the positive feedback I've heard already and thanked him again for donating his expertise.

He showed me how I can track how many hits the website has had. It's amazing- I can see the date, how many pages have been opened, which pages have the most hits, and how people found the website. We also saw that Googlebot has discovered my website (Dave referred to it as google crawling my page). I found this all very fascinating.

www.suehuff.ca now shows up if you google "Sue Huff for trustee." I also tried "Sue Huff + kids" and it found it, although my film for the NFB came up first. If I get more hits, it will move up in ranking with google and show up more readily.. So visit that website!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Money, money, money

The next campaign meeting is set for Tues, Aug. 7 at the Westmount Community Hall. The most pressing thing is probably fund-raising...to buy signs, leaflets and ads in local newsletter. Being a campaign-newbie, it's quite an eye-opener how much money (and volunteer hours) are involved even in a small-scale campaign like this one. Nothing happens without it. Cassandra has agreed to handle all the contributions for me, with David overseeing everything as a chartered accountant. In this way, I won't know who the contributors are or how much they have given and I won't be beholden to anyone.

So, to all my unknown contributors--- THANKS! I really do appreciate your support.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Working with the city

I've reached out to city councillors Linda Sloan and Jane Batty and candidate Ben Henderson to talk about ways that schools and the city can work together. Currently, there is very little communication between the Board and the city councillors, each maintaining their own "jurisdiction". I would like to create a more cooperative relationship as our decisions have great impacts on both sides.

Front and centre for the city is the homeless situation. I think about the children who living in tent city or in the river valley- without the basics, how will they fare at school? Saying "it's not my problem" is short-sighted and irresponsible. It is our problem.