Elizabeth Peloza, 38, is the incoming city councillor for Ward 12. Peloza will be replacing Councillor Harold Usher who has represented the ward for 18 years.
Peloza is proud to be one of four women on city council this upcoming term.
“People are looking to us for role models. Women are looking to say ‘Can I balance being a mom and my other community activities? What would that look like in politics?’ [I want] to make sure that if they want to have conversations [about this], our door is open to facilitate whatever needs to be done,” she said.
“For me, it’s the balancing act of the mom, the woman, and the politician,” Peloza added.
In conversation with the councillor-elect:
If you could solve any issue in the city, what would take priority and why?
I would have to say our homelessness issue.
It’s affecting all areas in he city and a lot of Londoners are only a couple of paychecks away from it. Our social housing needs a revamp and people need good, quality homes. No other solutions can be found for mental health and addiction needs until you have a roof over your head and shelter in order to deal with other underlying issues
As proved by the 2018 Annual Community Survey, the biggest issue for Londoners is Transit. What is your proposal for better transit?
I’m Pro-transit. We have gaps on our sidewalk infrastructure. Sidewalks all of a sudden stop, especially in ward 12. Snow removal is an issue especially for those with mobility issues. For cycling, we need safe and well-lit bike lanes. We need improvements to the LTC including longer hours of operation and more fare options.
What’s an issue that is close to your heart?
When I say ‘yes, I care about mental health,’ it’s not just talk as a politician. I care about it because it’s affected me. I think until you break down those walls, people as residents aren’t willing to open up to you and say ‘yes, I have those same concerns’ because everyone is afraid of being judged.
Are there any changes you’d like to see in the way city council operates?
I would like to see more succinct and shorter meetings. Certainly, I want to see a working group come forward for housing just like the one for waste management.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
When in shape, I like to run. I’ve been a charity runner for a full marathon several times in the past to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities. My daughter was a preemie and when she came early, we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton… Since then, I’ve been volunteering at the London [location] and even went outside my comfort zone to train and run a full marathon. So, I’d like to get back and at least run a half a marathon. I believe Coun. Anna Hopkins is also a runner, so there could be an opportunity there!