Joyce M. Smith has joined the race for a seat at the City council table with a key goal of bringing seniors’ issues to the forefront.
Voters head to the polls on Oct. 16th.
Smith feels that too often, senior citizens are largely ignored at virtually all levels of government.
“That’s basically why I’m running – to be an advocate for the seniors because our provincial government seems to lack in that area too,” she said.
Smith does have some political experience to draw from as well, serving as mayor of Caroline in the 1980s.
She didn’t have political experience prior to that, but she made a commitment to attend local meetings and become knowledgeable about the issues that were of concern to constituents at the time. She said she worked to learn what her role and responsibilities were, “Because it is by the people for the people.
“I found as mayor, you have a big responsibility. People talk to you on the street and want action on issues,” she explained.
Her dedication to standing up for seniors’ issues, in particular in regards to housing and her personal concerns with that very issue, stretches back several years.
She said that she has paid a price for speaking out and stepping forward as well.
It hasn’t stopped her from writing letters to bring seniors’ concerns to the forefront, on a municipal level as well. These efforts have led to some disappointment, however.
Thus her decision to run for City council.
“I have thought about it before, and I’ve thought, no – I don’t want that responsibility,” she said. “I have no sponsorship – the way I look at it is I will put my platform forward, on the table, and if people want change they will vote for me. If they don’t want change, they won’t vote for me,” she said, adding she’d like to see more transparency with City council in general.
“I’m excited that now I can go to the people and say something, and that I’m prepared to do something,” she said. “It gives me a larger platform where I can make people aware of what’s been going on.”
She welcomes questions from potential supporters as well, and looks forward to further dialogue with the community at large.
“Oh definitely – and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. And if I can’t answer them, I would say I’ll look into it and I will get back to you.”
Ultimately, she’s also looking forward to building awareness of these issues with the hope that change will come, she said.
Meanwhile, an all-candidates forum for the City of Lacombe candidates is scheduled for Sept. 28th at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
The Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting the forum, which starts at 7 p.m.
The public is welcome to submit written questions on paper provided at the event. The questions will vetted by scrutinizers and presented by the moderator to the candidates on behalf of the public.
The forum will take place in the Centennial Hall at the LMC.
Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m.
No political signs are allowed inside the Lacombe Memorial Centre or Centennial Hall. The forum concludes promptly at 9 p.m.