CORA HOEKSTRA

Cora Hoekstra is in the running for City council this fall

“I was drawn to this community to raise my family - and I know that a lot of my clients have said exactly the same thing.”

A Lacombe woman is hoping that her wealth of community experience will land her at the City council table in this fall’s municipal election.

“I was born and raised in Central Alberta, moved away and went to university. I have a family studies degree, so my passion and interest is in supporting families,” she explained. “That’s my primary goal.”

She and her family moved to Lacombe about 25 years ago.

“I’ve always been inclined to participate in boards and committees. I’m not afraid of meetings – I’m one of those people who kind of likes them,” she added with a laugh.

“I love Lacombe, and I’ve had the privilege of working closely with families with young children through the Lacombe Parent Link Centre for 12 years,” she said, adding she has also served on a private school board for two terms. “I’m also very active in my neighbourhood and I’m very active in my church community,” she said.

“I was drawn to this community to raise my family – and I know that a lot of my clients have said exactly the same thing. They were drawn to Lacombe because it’s a great community to live in, to raise a family in and to work in and participate in as well,” she explained.

Over the years, Hoekstra has also been an avid volunteer as well, which reflects her commitment to bolstering a sense of community spirit as well.

As to opting to run in this year’s municipal election, she said she saw it as a great opportunity to be more directly involved with the City. She added these days, she has a bit more time and the opportunity lined up right in terms of timing. She’s also like to see more diversity on council as well.

“I have no criticism against the current council – I’m not here to say that something is wrong. I just felt that sometimes the voice of your average citizen wasn’t being heard.

“With my passion for families, I just feel that all decisions that are made should be looked at through the lens of how this will the quality of life for families who live in Lacombe,” she said, adding that ultimately, it’s really about maintaining the quality of life that does exist across the City.

“We’ve lived here for 25 years and we love Lacombe. And we can honestly say that it’s always been good,” she said. That said, it’s also about being creative in terms of looking at new ways to serve families in Lacombe as well, she added.

“I really, really love people and I love to be part of a group that makes decisions that will improve things for everyone, and does that with integrity,” she said.

“I’ve been told that I have leadership skills and I do know that through my work – so I just feel it is time,” she explained of what is also behind her decision to run for council.

“I really feel that I will have the voice of your average person at the table,” she emphasized, adding that one of the pieces that she wants to focus on is local residents’ continued passion for calling Lacombe home.

“Why do people choose Lacombe? Let’s make sure that we keep those things. I want people to share with me what they like about Lacombe – the small town feel. People do love the small town feel, and they love the relationship and community building efforts through the different events that happen in the City with (events like) the Wednesday night market and Music in the Park,” she said. “A lot of the efforts of FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) are loved by this town, too.

“I’ve also been personally involved with the Community Christmas Dinner for 10 years – 200 people show up to have Christmas dinner in the LMC (Lacombe Memorial Centre),” she said, adding that part of that stems from local residents who love to get together and who also love the people who live beside them.

Looking ahead, Hoekstra wants to see these kinds of community ties strengthened further. “At the end of the day, that’s why people like living here.

“It’s when they know their neighbours, and they know that they will meet someone they can connect with at a community event,” she added.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with so many families in Lacombe in a positive setting where we share about what we value. And many of them have told me that Lacombe offers the place where they can raise a family and (the community) meets the things that they value.”