Lauren Greenlaw is running for a seat on Squamish Council on October 15. Long-time geologist Lauren Greenlaw operates on a 3-part platform of affordability, livability and the environment.
“I want to be part of a forward-looking decision-making process that puts the long-term best interests of the people, lands and waters of this place we are fortunate to call home first,” says -she.
“The lack of affordable housing is emptying our community,” says Greenlaw. “We are losing friends, family and essential workers to house prices and an untappable rental market.” While there is little that can be done at the municipal level to address the global problem of rising house prices, Greenlaw says it will be helpful to support development focused on low-cost units and rental units. She would like to see more units donated to the municipality as community contributions from developers:
“These units would be tangible revenue-generating assets for the municipality that we could set aside for essential workers and rent-controlled units,” says Greenlaw. She also points out that “affordability is not just about housing: it includes food security. I will be working with local groups, like SquamishCAN, to see what we can do to improve food security in our municipality.
Greenlaw is keen to prioritize livability in Squamish: “Livability is the extent to which a place meets the physical and emotional needs of its residents,” she says. As a mother, Greenlaw has first-hand experience of the child care crisis. “We have child care for about 20% of eligible children and multi-year waiting lists for child care. This disproportionately affects women who give up their careers to be stay-at-home parents out of necessity, not choice, and diminishes household earning potential, compounding the affordability crisis,” she says.
As an advisor, she will support measures to attract and support childcare workers. It also supports the promotion of public transit and active transportation to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce traffic downtown. “Sometimes we need to drive. I understand. But if we could reduce the number of cars going downtown and revise our municipal policy of paying in lieu of sufficient parking for residential units, I think that would make our downtown more accessible to everyone. “, she says.
As a geologist, Greenlaw has a lot to say about the environment. “The environment will be a primary consideration in my decision-making as an advisor. I’ve spent over 20 years studying the earth: I’m really concerned about where we are and where we’re going. Decisions at the municipal level can lead to big changes,” she says.
She supports streamlining Squamish’s recycling programs and educating the public about the impacts of mass consumption and waste generation. “As an advisor, I would prioritize keeping Squamish on track to meet or exceed our climate action plan targets. I will lobby provincial and federal governments to end oil and gas subsidization and expansion. Multi-billion dollar industries should not be receiving social assistance on the backs of taxpayers who struggle to access basic needs like housing, food and health care. It’s absurd,” she said.
When asked if there was anything else voters should know, Greenlaw replied, “I wish people knew that I’m just a local resident who cares about my community and fellow citizens. . I have no financial support. It’s just me and a few passionate people trying to facilitate change. I am compassionate and persistent and think I would do a good job listening to residents’ concerns and championing them on council.
Municipal elections are held on October 15, with several early votes as well as mail-in options. For more information on Lauren Greenlaw, please visit her website: www.squamishgreenlaw.ca