September 24, 2014 - 10:30 AM
VERNON - A passionate newcomer determined to put some personality in local politics has announced she’s running for a seat on Vernon city council.
Dalvir Nahal, 38, is a first time councillor candidate. Born in India and raised in Vernon, she’s called the city home for the last 36 years. The energetic and candid breast cancer survivor admits she has no experience in politics, but says she’s got something else to offer: passion.
“If I ask any of my friends to name one city councillor, I honestly don’t think they could name one. What does that say about our community? I want to bring out new votes, I want people to know who our councillors are,” Nahal says.
If elected, she would be out in the community as much as possible, opening a dialogue with residents, listening to their thoughts and trying to mend the disconnect between local politics and local people.
“I’m Indian, I have no reluctancy when it comes to asking open-ended questions,” she says with a chuckle. “That’s something I’m known for; I connect with people. I genuinely want to hear their story. I would have an open door policy; I want to know what people are thinking and feeling.”
Talking to residents, going to committee meetings and attending community events is a lifestyle she already knows well: she sits on the Vernon Jubilee Hospital board, has organized a fundraiser called the Bollywood Bang, volunteers with the Upper Room Mission, and supports a variety of charities. She’s constantly stopping to have conversations with people in the community—cashiers, gas station attendants, even passersby. One group in particular she wants to advocate for is youth and young adults.
“I’m out there interacting with people in that age group, I’m listening to what they’re saying about Vernon, its pros and cons,” Nahal says.
She’s particularly interested in exploring ways to boost the economy, keep young people here, and attract others to the city.
“Why are people not investing here? How do we make people want to come here? What can we do to keep youth here? I don’t have all the answers but I’m willing to ask the questions and hopefully find a solution,” she says.
Another area she’s looking to promote is health and wellbeing in the community.
“Getting cancer changed my life,” she says. “In the sense that I met so many amazing people, but it also made me realize there’s so much work to do within the hospital and the community.”
She wanted to run for a councillor position in the last election, but was too sick to do so. Now she’s in a place to take on the role of a city councillor and says she’s seizing the opportunity and following her heart.
“This is my shot and I’m going to take it.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014