Volunteer profile: Jessica Stroebel | Get Out The Vote Strategist
All this work we’ve been doing has been amazing, but I can’t follow through on making your voices heard as your Ward 5 councillor if I’m not elected! Luckily for me, I have Jessica on my team as my Get Out The Vote Strategist!
Get out the Vote Strategist
Name: Jessica Stroebel
Role: Get Out The Vote Strategist
Why did you decide to get involved in a municipal election campaign?
Politics was an arena in which I previously felt intimidated and uninformed, but I credit my Social Work internship at Waterloo Regional Crime Prevention Council for helping to demystify politics and making me feel not only welcome, but valued in the political process. The experience highlighted the power of bringing people of all ages, orientations, abilities, backgrounds and levels of experience ‘into the fold’ so that their voices could be represented in decisions that affect them.
Why do you think Jen will make a great councillor?
When Jen told me that she would be running for city council, I was thrilled to support someone whose core values reflect political inclusion. I first came to know Jen as a teacher at Laurier. She is gifted at drawing out the diversity of opinions, experiences and feelings in the class while maintaining an environment of profound respect and openness. This skill would translate well in the political arena.
Jen is a capable listener, who absolutely believes in the worth and goodness of others. From her work with youth who are furthest from opportunity, to her research into equity in education, to her sense of responsibility for contributing to the greater good of her community, Jen wears her heart on her sleeve. Taking action on any issue requires courage, and Jen’s constituents will have a brave advocate in their corner who listens before she speaks and provides skilled counsel.
What is your favourite thing about the City of Waterloo?
My favourite thing about the City of Waterloo is its rich, layered history of First Nations, Mennonite, German and international settlement, and also its sense of cutting-edge and modern advancement in the universities and tech sector. It makes for a unique intersection of cultures and values.
I love that there is always a familiar face to be seen at public festivals, but also that our city welcomes people from every corner of the world, and that I never know who I might meet and how their story might intersect with mine.
What do you think is the biggest issue residents in the City of Waterloo are dealing with?
I think that getting around town (by all means of transportation) is one of the biggest issues on residents’ minds. I love the addition of the Spurline Trail and I look forward to LRT in the near future. I’m also so pleased to see the bike lanes running up and down King St. in Uptown Waterloo, but there is still much work to be done in other areas of the city to safely connect cyclists and pedestrians to trails. When it comes to driving, I think that traffic volume, speeding on residential streets and construction along major routes are ongoing issues of concern.
Why should residents care about municipal elections?
Residents should care about municipal elections because this is the level of politics in which they can see and feel the most direct impact of their vote. Municipal politics covers water, parks and recreation, waste removal, sewage, electricity and gas supply, city roads and storm water drainage and snow removal - all factors that have a direct impact on us each and every day. It’s a privilege to be able to get to know our municipal candidates on a personal level and to see their impact on their community for ourselves. It’s also amazing how much transformational change can start right in our own back yards.