Another name has been thrown into the mix for a council seat in the upcoming municipal election.
Long-time resident and current Executive Director of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, Arianna Johnson is running to be a councillor in Ward One.
On Thursday, Johnson spoke in front of a packed crowd at the Wood Buffalo Brewing Company where she outlined her platform. Some of her key issues include electoral reform, better community engagement, and an improved working relationship with industry.
“I’m not making any promises, these are things that are important to me as a citizen of this community,” added Johnson.
She notes some of her main topics do play a more personal role such as the construction of the East Clearwater Highway and poverty reduction.
“It’s important to me based on what I’ve given my life to, but a lot of people would put things like poverty reduction at a federal or provincial level, I think there’s some grassroots things that municipalities can do to move the needle on that topic and to really start to have an impact on people’s lives.”
She says organizations who focus on helping the less fortunate, such as the Food Bank, should get all the funding they need to end the crisis.
— MIX 103.7 News (@Mix1037FMNews) August 25, 2017
Meanwhile, Johnson has lived in Fort McMurray since 2006 – working at the Food Bank since 2011. Over that time, she’s become well-known across the community for having a loud and colourful personality.
Johnson says this is something that won’t change.
“I am who I am, you’ll either vote me in because you like who I am or you won’t. I’m not your typical executive director, I walk into meetings with the full the full force of my honest opinion.”
If elected, Johnson says she will continue on with the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, noting her long nights at work could be a thing of the past.
“I’ve spent the last six years building an amazing team and my board and team all support my decision and my team is prepared for me to do a little less overtime but I will find the balance.” “I’m committed to this and I’m committed to the Food Bank, my plan is to not leave my job.”
Nominations close on September 18th with elections taking place on October 16.
“I lived a full life, and I’ve lived through a lot of stuff, and I’ve been a lot of different people in my life – from living on the streets to addicted to drugs and alcohol, sober for 22 years. I’ve lived in great wealth, I’ve lived as a servant for my community, and when you go to the polls – do you want someone who’s had a well-rounded life or not.”