The runner-up in last year’s by-election in Castlegar is running again for city council.
Sandy Bojechko is the president of the West Kootenay Labour Council and a wife, mother, and grandmother.
She says affordable housing is a “huge” issue, but while she has some ideas on the subject, it’s not the sole concern facing the city.
“You won’t hear a lot about helping people that have disabilities or seniors. I’ve talked to quite a few of them and there seems to be a real disconnect between the councillors and the people seeking a little bit of help,” she says.
Bojechko says her reasons for running for council are similar to when she sought the position previously although her thoughts are “a little more refined now.”
“I have some ideas about sustainable and energy efficient job creation. It’s a really big project. But there’s so many other things we need to do and we need to be able to listen better. That’s what I’m passionate about. Just listening to people.”
In preparing to run for the position, she says she had talked to current and former mayors and councillors, read a lot on the city’s website and followed social media posts.
Unlike those who dismiss criticism of local government on social media, she takes it seriously.
“There seems to be a lot of displeasure,” she says. “I’m hoping to make a bit of a difference and talk to the people who don’t want to speak in public.”
She feels council hasn’t been engaged enough with its residents.
Bojechko, who has lived in Castlegar most of her life, says although she is proud of her labour affiliation, and is likely the only labour activist among the candidates, she is not running only to represent union members.
She started her career was a paralegal with a private company and owned her own business, “so I understand both sides of it … I understand legislation, I worked with multi-million dollar contracts in another position and I’ve worked in the income assistance field dealing with poverty and mental illness, drug addiction. I think I’m pretty well rounded.
“I want to try to figure out how we can make people proud of our city and happy to live there.”