Meet Mary Lalji, independent

Name Mary Lalji

Twitter @MaryLaljiNW

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QUESTIONS (in 50 words or less unless specified)

Tell us about yourself. (100 words)

I'm a wife and mother to two young children. I have been a resident of New Westminster for more than 15 years. I am passionate about the city, its services and programs and believe everyone can make a positive difference where they live. I'm proud to be engaged in the community through my role as a School Board trustee, volunteer with my kids' elementary school and the Hyack Football program. As the public relations and event coordinator at Key West Ford, I have had the pleasure of working on many events that contribute to making this city great.

What are the top 3 issues facing the New Westminster school board?

The district is facing overcrowding and lack of funds which, in turn, creates an untenable situation for students around safe portables, adequate green space and extra-curricular activities.

As a Board, we need to take the politics out of our structure and priorities and ensure unbiased accountability to parents and students.

What do you think you’ve done well as a school board? What needs improvement?

The Food Program and Student Trustee initiative. The Student Trustee initiative ensures we are hearing directly from those we serve and empowers students to get involved and know their voices are being heard.

In terms of improvement – giving parents access to all meetings online and encourage them to provide input.

What is your position on the school district’s involvement in May Day?

May Day is a long-standing tradition in New Westminster. We should build on this and provide resources to teachers so they can integrate the history of this event into their curriculum and activities to make it more relevant. We need to engage all stakeholders and encourage all students to participate.

What three people would you invite to a dinner party? (alive or dead)

Terry Fox: embodies inspiration, strength and proof that every single person can make a difference.

Viola Davis: one of the most important equal rights activists in Canada who paved the way for change in our country.

My dad: though he's passed and his legacy lives on, I miss him and …

Editor's note: Candidates were given specific word count guidelines and were cut off if they went over the count.

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