On the phone with social justice advocate Jay Aaron Roy, District 15 | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

On the phone with social justice advocate Jay Aaron Roy, District 15

Whether it’s affordable transit or accessibility issues, Roy wants to make sure everyone's voice is heard.

On the phone with social justice advocate Jay Aaron Roy, District 15
amy holloway
When it comes to municipal politics, Jay Aaron Roy has always been “politically inclined.” He actively supports social movements such as Black Lives Matter, attends rallies supporting local teachers and fundraising for trans youth.

When the 37-year-old business-owner saw the opportunity for District 15 (Lower Sackville) councillor open up, Roy decided this was his chance to help his community directly.

“A lot of my concerns and the community's concerns are the same concerns,” says Roy, whose queer-friendly comic book shop Cowl Comics is fully accessible—something he thinks other local businesses could take note of. “I think we can certainly help improve a lot of the small business and public spaces in Sackville and make them more accessible.”

Roy says the way he runs his business is an indication of his beliefs. The store is easily accessible by multiple bus routes, another thing Roy is passionate about. Roy wants to create a more accessible, affordable and safe transit system because he says a lot of people are left behind.

Roy also works with a group called Freedom Kitchen & Closet, a group which helps provide meals and clothing for homeless individuals. Because of this, helping homeless youth is also at the top of his list. Roy says affordable housing needs to be addressed as well as fighting for a living wage. When it comes to dealing with contentious issues like defunding the police, Roy says he supports it 100 percent and he advocates for community consultation, especially in this case.

Roy says he has a lot of energy and is good at bringing people together, definite skills to have sitting on council. “I'm really good at working with other people and seeing the value in other people's skills and I think having a diverse council is really, really important.”

If elected, Roy would be the first openly trans man to sit on council, and he hopes that everyone can see themselves represented in the council chambers after this election.

“Where are Indigenous members of council? Where are disabled members of council? Where are transgender members of council? We need to have a diverse collection of people with diverse backgrounds in order to come up with out-of-the-box thinking strategies.”

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