New Westminster Citizen of the Year to run for city council

New Westminster’s 2017 Citizen of the Year is hoping to continue her community service by serving on city council.

Nadine Nakagawa has announced she will seek a seat on city council in the Oct. 20 municipal election. Nakagawa has advocated on a variety of issues such as affordable housing, accessible and welcoming public spaces and reconciliation.

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“I have been engaged in the community for a long time on a lot of different initiatives. I really like the direction the city is going and I want to be part of moving it in that direction,” she said. “Certainly, housing is one of the top issues. I think we need to be really creative in solutions to the housing crisis.”

Having served on the mayor’s task force on community engagement, Nakagawa is also interested in increasing public engagement and looking at better ways to hear voices that aren’t always included in city processes. Nakagawa, who has been involved in some public space projects, including the creation of community murals, is also interested in improving the livability and walkability of some of the city’s public spaces.

“I’m passionate about New Westminster and I enjoy being able to make a difference in the community,” she said in a press release. “It’s rewarding to work on projects and issues that make people’s lives better – whether it’s creating welcoming public spaces or addressing the housing crisis.”

A former constituency assistant to New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy, Nakagawa is currently working as a communications officer with the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. She will be seeking an endorsement from the New Westminster and District Labour Council.

“I am just looking forward to getting out to speak to people and continuing to speak to people and hear from them about what is at the top of their minds,” she said.

Nakagawa has been president to the Brow of the Hill Residents’ Association, has served on the city’s multiculturalism, community and social issues, and environmental advisory committees. Currently a member of the city’s advisory committee for transit, bicycles and pedestrians (ACTBiPed), Nakagawa has led events on reconciliation, housing, diversity and inclusion, has volunteered at many community events and festivals and helped spearhead events such as Women on Wednesdays.

Nakagawa is launching her campaign with a meet and greet at Wild Rice restaurant in River Market on Sunday, May 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. Space is limited so anyone wishing to attend should contact Nakagawa via her soon-to-be unveiled website (votenadine.ca) or her Facebook page.

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