Paul Singh live-streamed his candidacy for town council today (May 16) and vowed to offer a fresh perspective, build an inclusive future for all in Cochranites, and work towards sustainable growth through partnerships.
Held at the Cochrane Ranche, he spoke of his passion for the community and its people and his belief in what can be achieved by working together.
"If elected to the town council, I'll use the opportunity to make sure everyone's voice is heard, including women, youth, young kids, seniors, and minority communities. I will work actively with newcomers and others whose voice is often left out, ensuring their voices are heard at the council level, that they also receive the support of the community to establish that they are an essential part of this productive community of Cochrane."
He wants Cochrane to become one of the first communities to offer affordable housing for 25 to 30 per cent of gross household income.
"I will also initiate an action plan to build a facility for our youth, women, and seniors in need of alternate and transitional accommodations."
As a board member of the Cochrane Society for Housing Options, he points to the recently completed housing needs assessment that says the key to making more affordable housing available is to build strong partnerships between governments, nonprofits, and the private sector.
The push for affordable housing complements his concern for younger people being forced to leave the community because of housing costs and a lack of diverse employment opportunities. He calls them an important part of the community's future that can't be overlooked.
Singh believes the economic base of Cochrane can be further expanded without compromising our small-town, neighbourly feel. If anything, he believes a more inclusive community will encourage more people and companies to thrive here.
"My biggest reason for running is my commitment and dedication to my community," says Singh. "I think when we work together, we can make it more inclusive and accessible for people, and together in partnership and collaboration, we can upkeep the values of this town so people are encouraged to live, work and play here."
Once health restrictions ease, he looks forward to meeting with people in person. Until then, he and his well-rounded campaign team will largely rely upon social media to connect with residents.
Singh is well known as a driving force in helping organize countless volunteer efforts to lift the spirits of the community and as a promoter of inclusivity. He was named Cochrane's citizen of the year in 2018.