I acknowledge that we are living on the lands of the Blackfoot people of the Canadian Plains, as well as home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III, and wish to pay respect to the Blackfoot people past, present and future while recognizing and respecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship to the land.
Oki! Bonjour! Hello! My name is Marissa Black and I want to be your next city councillor.
I was born and raised in Lethbridge, where I received my Bachelor of Science and am currently finishing a Bachelor of Management in Accounting. Prior to enrolling in accounting, I spent seven years working in sustainable agriculture, including novel crop development and complex carbohydrate research related to the gut microbiome for ruminant nutrition. During this time, I had the opportunity to lead and manage my own projects as well as collaborate on others. I am well versed in evidence-based decision making and ensuring the needs of all shareholders are met.
Through my education in accounting, I recognize the importance of ensuring city council is leveraging public resources for good social and economic outcomes. Due to my education and life experiences as a person living with disabilities, I believe I bring a unique perspective not currently represented on council.
I believe it is important to have a diverse range of voices on council. It is important that every person who lives here has the opportunity to have their voice heard when it comes to decisions of the city.
Do you have an idea about how we can make our community better? Click the Contact button to send me a message.
Why are you running for city council?
I am running for city council to make this city better for everyone who lives in it. I want to help the people who currently live in Lethbridge and make it a better place for people who will live here in the future. I have had the unfortunate experience of going through diagnosis and experiencing chronic illness, and can no longer sit idly by while the government takes away more of the services essential to people who need them.
When the provincial government decided to cut funding for biologics (a medication for people with autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s, psoriasis, etc.) I was fortunate not to lose access because I am on a compassion program through the drug company. Some of my friends were not so lucky and were pulled off their medications. What a lot of people don’t realize is in some cases these medications are life saving and sustaining. A Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis flare up can cause severe weight loss, malnourishment, and very adverse health effects.
While I recognize things like healthcare are a provincial issue one of the things I am going to strongly focus on if elected is advocacy. I promise to advocate on your behalf to the appropriate government bodies or organizations to bring the services we desperately need to Lethbridge. We are experiencing an unprecedented time with the pandemic, and I think people could benefit from increased mental health supports. As well, homelessness is a growing issue. It is my belief that every person – regardless of circumstance – deserves a place to go home to at the end of the night. The city needs to find supports for people in these situations.
Additionally, we only get one earth. We need to put environmental protection into action as a priority. I want the next generation to be able to enjoy beautiful, pristine rivers and fresh, clean air.
What makes you qualified to be a city councillor?
I believe the most important criteria is a desire to improve the community. Not only do I fit that, but I believe that my background and experiences will bring a different perspective to what is currently on city council.
With a background in science, I understand the importance of taking in relevant information and the hurdles of finding peer reviewed research and incorporating it into the needs and wants of all relevant stakeholders on any given topic. It is important to find fact based evidence to support any decision made. What this means to me is that the leaders of this city should listen to the needs and wants of the people and make informed decisions for the betterment of the community with those in mind.
Additionally, I have an educational background in accounting with an enthusiasm for economics. This means that I understand and can interpret how different financial decisions will impact the community.
I am proficient in reading and writing technical reports and as such, my promise to you is to read the appropriate legislation (i.e. the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA), etc.) and act accordingly.
Why do you use mobility aids (i.e. canes, walkers, crutches, etc)?
I have several chronic autoimmune diseases, as well as chronic pain and fatigue. Some days I have bad joint pain, other days I get tired just going for a short walk. If you see me out and about without any mobility aids that means I am having a great day with minimal inflammation!
If you see me needing my cane or walker, that means that I’m not having such a good day (I could be in pain or very tired), but I’m always willing to talk and answer and questions you may have!
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in Lethbridge?
I plan to maintain an “open door” policy where I welcome any person living in Lethbridge to contact me via email, phone, or text message. I will attend public forums and try to make contact with all relevant parties in the decision making process.