Thursday, October 9, 2014

Campaign 2014. Putting sustainability back on the table

Aiming to get back to work
For the last few weeks I've been putting together another run at Victoria City Council and The Capital Regional District Board.

I've been hard at work in the community on issues over the last few years, but I've thought that the council table has missed my voice and the region needs practical approaches to some of the major issues and challenges we face.

People have been positively encouraging and I'm honoured to have their confidence.  I hope that their support translates into the thousands of votes I will need to bring back my commitment to the city and help us build a more sustainable future.

Getting coverage is challenge in a city where the media is focused on the mayor's race and many other local politicians are working on their own campaigns.  If they cover one, they have to cover them all and they sometimes lose track of how many people are out there in the field.

Getting my issues out there and giving voice to those in the community who are looking to the future means taking matters into my own hands.

I'll be profiling my agenda and the issues that our community is bringing to the campaign here on my blog and on handy, quick response facebook page -

I did put out a news release, always a little longer than some, I guess.  Local issues are hard to cover in a sound bite, a news clip or a quick paragraph printed in the back pages of the city daily or the neighbourhood weekly.

Here's the release they missed, but I hope you don't.  There is a lot of work to be done to build a sustainable city, and I hope I am up to the task.  Looking forward to the campaign, the energy I get from working the issues and the task of convincing a busy electorate to take time to think about their future and that of their children and getting out to vote.

Keep your eyes on this site to find out more.  Always have lots to talk about.

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2014

Luton aims to put Victoria back to work as he enters council race

Transportation consultant and former city councillor will contest for a seat at the table for the November 15 municipal elections in Victoria.  He is also putting his name forward to represent the city at the Capital Regional District.

Luton said that he will put his experience working on council and in the community back to work on the opportunities and challenges Victoria faces in term ahead.  “Victoria has a new sustainable transportation plan”, said Luton, “but we need to put our plans into action”.

Luton also says that the city’s many other plans need to move from the table to the street.  “Livability is key to our appeal as a destination for visitors and for new economy businesses increasingly attracted to the Victoria lifestyle. “

He points to new developments around the Legislature, land swaps that create new options for a people oriented waterfront and the need to “right size” parking requirements as practical challenges a new council will need to address on development and transportation issues.

At the same time, Luton said that we have to get back to some fundamentals in the city and across the region on issues like homelessness.  “We’re seeing seniors struggling, our shelters oversubscribed.  We can’t solve those issues with reckless budget cuts or solve everything with barn raisings and bake sales.”

Regionally, Luton says the sewage debate needs to move forward.  He supports a fully public model, saying that more privatization undermines transparent, accountable management, and threatens the essential public ownership of our water resources.

Luton says that pressing infrastructure renewal has to be funded by building a more vibrant city that brings people, jobs and services downtown.  “New developments we gave the green light to created more options to live and work downtown and allowed the current council to keep taxes affordable.” 

He says that the region needs someone at the table experienced with diverse transportation solutions that respond to changing times and addresses the fundamental challenges of climate change.  “When I last served on council and the transit commission I tipped the balance to provide better services for students and our “Late Night, Great Night” strategy”.  He says his energy is needed to help push regional transit solutions critical to the city’s new economy.  “Transportation is clearly an area where an integrated regional model makes sense.  We need to build a model that responds to local, regional needs as a counterweight to provincial control of strategies and priorities.”

Luton has been endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council and is working to earn the support of citizens and community leaders in the weeks leading up to the November election.

For further information:
John Luton at 250-592-4753 or 250-886-4166 (cell)

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