The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Dawn E. Penney from Spryfield—Sambro Loop—Prospect Road sent back.
Why should residents of your district vote for you?
My brothers and sisters in District 11 should vote for me because I am willing to collaborate, compromise and share ideas with others to implement compassionate and common sense solutions. These solutions will take what is good for people into consideration and what is good for the environment we inhabit into account. What is good for the deep pockets of a select few will be the last thing on my mind. I recognize that this will not be simple and there will often times be resistance but something worth having is often gained through struggle. I am not entering politics to play the game. I am entering politics to change the game because a revised rule book is long over due.
What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?
I wish more were talking about the fact that we live in Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s 2016 and there are people in my district and throughout HRM that do not have access to safe drinking water in their own homes. This is unacceptable because access to clean water is a human right and no one should have to go through the mental, physical and economical downsides and stresses of unsafe water.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?
I was told I am naive and with my age and optimism—I can understand this assumption. I can even admit that in ways it is (and always will be to some extent) true since no one can reach a universal enlightenment or absolute knowledge. After this questionnaire I have a long life full of judgements to make, experiences to live and knowledge to absorb, filter and discard when necessary. Though I would like to challenge this assertion with the idea that my 28 years on this earth hasn't been so sheltered and uneventful. My experience are valid and character building. I've hitch-hiked through four provinces (a few times) and one state. I've experienced six different countries on two continents. At 15, I ran away from NS due to my experience with ageism, bullying and was homeless for a short time in Ontario. I have been through so much more and when the time and place is right I'd love to share more intimate and intricate details of my life story with the public. No matter what comes my way be it adversity or blessings, I'm going to let it sculpt me into a better person whose goal in life is to help others through the political process.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Sum 41 with Autopilot Off and H20 at the Halifax Forum in 2002.
What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
What pisses you off?
It pisses me off the some residents of Harrietsfield have not had access to safe water within their homes for longer than I have been alive!
What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?
I think the most visible change is development of land into suburban areas and it makes me wonder if I am living in the TV show Arrested Development.
What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?
I regret becoming a card carrying Green Party member as a pre-voting age teenager because even if at the time I thought of them as the lessor of evils, I would come to understand later the problem lies in the party system itself. A politician should represent their people and not a party line.
What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?
I thought it was very Canadian and made me laugh to see "Please?" posted after "Vote Dawn Penney" on a sign. (Pictured on my twitter https://twitter.com/votedawnpenney)
What’s your go-to meal when cooking?
My go-to meal when cooking is spaghetti with the end of a box of fettuccine and what ever delicious sauce base and vegetables the food bank had on hand. My go-to meal when I luck out on a sale is coconut curry chicken with lentils or rice.
What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?
What worries me the most about HRM and the issues is the voter apathy because a councillor can only be a strong leader when their constituents are vocal about what needs to change and are politically active.
How would you describe your opponents in this race?
I would describe Mr. Adams as someone who has his foot in the door with the ability to move on to bigger and better things for himself.
What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?
I don't know what it is like to be a sitting councillor with the power to help so many people but I would love to know the feeling! That and archery, but not simultaneously.
What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
I promise to do the best I can to make people happy by doing a good job as their dedicated and persistent elected representative on HRM Council. I think everyone deserves happiness and while not everyone wants it - I won't give up on them just encase they change their mind.