As promised, I'll close off my posting about the municipal elections with a quick round of endorsements.
I won't try to cover all of the wards and races, nor will I suggest that any of the candidates share all of my personal views as to how our city should be run. Instead, but I'll focus on those where the difference between candidates seems most likely to have a meaningful impact on Regina's governance for the years to come.
Mayor - Marian Donnelly
It's difficult to stand out in a field of nine candidates, but Donnelly looks to me to be at the head of the pack for both electability and policy. And with the Wall government looking to drive cultural activity out of the province, Donnelly's strong ties to Regina's arts community should help to fight the tide.
Ward 1 Councillor - John Klein
I've had my differences of opinion with Klein through our respective blogs - largely where the political conversation has turned to partisanship rather than issues of values. But he's been working to foster both democratic discussion and sustainable policy choices for years, and both would make for important themes on council.
Ward 2 Councillor - Heather McIntyre
Even among the candidates discussed in this post, McIntyre stands out as a must-support addition to council. She's been consistently active in municipal and provincial politics over the past few years, and has managed to work effectively with longtime power brokers and new volunteers alike without losing her core values.
Ward 3 Councillor - Shawn Fraser
As usual, there are plenty of progressive candidates running in Ward 3 - and there are at least a couple of others who would earn my endorsement in most of the city's wards. But based on Fraser's personal experience working to address Regina's most glaring social needs, he looks to be far better positioned to chart a more progressive course for the entire council rather than being limited to a support role.
Ward 5 Councillor - Femi Ogunrinde
In a ward which otherwise features an uninspiring race between two past Councillors jockeying for position as the insider candidate, Ogunrinde has made a strong case based on both general accountability and specific policy concerns focused on housing, transportation, infrastructure and community development.
Ward 9 Councillor - Dawn Thomas
Any of the challengers would make for a huge improvement over the incumbent Terry Hincks. But Thomas stands out as a driving force behind the city-wide stadium petition - and that commitment to giving citizens a voice should make for a valuable addition to council.
Subdivision 1 Public School Board Trustee - Jane Ekong
Ekong's message of greater integration between the school system and post-school life offers a valuable template for educational development. And a stellar resume makes it all the more likely that the rest of the school board will work with the concept.
Subdivision 3 Public School Board Trustee - Heather Lau
In a division where the other three candidates are effectively running status-quo campaigns, Lau is rightly pointing out the problem with school closures which create a disconnect between neighbourhoods and schools, as well as promising to advocate for students who require extra help.
Subdivision 6 Public School Board Trustee - Lauren Numrich
Of course, older schools can only be kept open if they're properly maintained. And alongside a strong general platform, Numrich is rightly highlighting the need for ongoing investment in our existing schools.
Separate School Board Trustee - Kendra Strong-Garcia
Like many of the candidates, Strong-Garcia brings a strong education and work background of her own to the city-wide race for the separate school board. But Strong-Garcia supplements that with a noteworthy combination of inclusiveness toward marginalized students, and an emphasis on modernizing both the classroom and the board.
Separate School Board Trustee - Nicole Sarauer
Finally, Sarauer is a former work colleague of mine who has already stepped away from private-firm legal practice to work for Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, and is looking to add a place on the separate school board to that spirit of working toward the greater good.
Needless to say, I'll encourage all readers who haven't yet decided who to support to research Regina's candidates, then get out and vote. And hopefully, we'll see more than a few candidates from the above list joining a strong group of new city and school board representatives by this time tomorrow.