nthony Mrkonjic has always had a keen interest in politics; this election he decided to act on it and become a candidate for the first time, running for council for District 15 (Lower Sackville). “I really wanted to get more involved in the decision making process that affects our community,” he says.
Born and raised in Lower Sackville, Mrkjonic has tutored and mentored youth with the non-profit organization Chebucto Connections, and a community group called Pathways to Educatio. Through this work, he has gotten to know and understand the needs of the community—starting with improving access to public transportation and trying to reduce traffic in the area. Mrkonjic says many constituents have been telling him about problematic high-traffic areas in the area, like First Lake Drive. “I’d like to look at introducing some traffic-calming measures in the district,” says Mrkonjic, “and getting more crosswalks and sidewalks installed where necessary to promote public safety.”
Mrkonjic would also like to see some of the local infrastructure fixed up: “A lot of the older neighbourhoods in Lower Sackville have really bad sidewalks and curbs.” He would also like to work on green spaces in the area and says various constituents have brought up the need for a municipal dog park. “I’d like to commit to maintaining the greenspaces that we do have,” Mrkonjic says, “and perhaps looking for opportunities to introduce new greenspaces.” His other campaign concerns include affordable housing and balancing the municipal budget.
At 28 years old, Mrkonjic may be younger and less experienced than most people who’ve been elected to council before, but he says he still has a lot to bring to the table. “My youth will help me to be a good councillor. I’ll be able to bring new energy and new perspectives to the city council.”
And when it comes to dealing with tough issues, like defunding the police, Mrkonjic says ultimately all his decisions will be focused on what's best for the community—which means he's not alone making those decisions. “I want to involve community input in those types of decisions as well, because we do live in a democracy. I want to make decisions that are best for the community, but sometimes the people in the community know what's best.
“I want to be a more active and collaborative councillor. I want to listen to the concerns of my constituents and take them seriously, and work with the community and community organizations to develop policy that works for everybody.”