Jamie Longhurst-Howe was raised in Lillooet and graduated from LSS. She attended Kwantlen College University where she majored in sociology. She has owned a bookkeeping business, worked in sales and marketing and is currently teaching children’s yoga. She and her family moved to Lillooet in February. This is her first bid for political office.
Experience she brings to council:
Understanding how commerce works, what’s important to a thriving business or even helping a new business trying to get off the ground. On council you’re also representing business owners and I think they’re a huge part of our economy.
What she needs to learn:
I feel a little out of the loop politically here and that’s one of my personal challenges because there’s so much to learn in so little time. I understand a lot of this you’ll learn by talking to the people. But I also have no political skeletons in my closet. I’m not for or against on certain topics, I’m not on one side where there has to be a winner and a loser. I’m trying to get information from the people on their thoughts on the issues, their experiences and then I can use that to compile the actual data that’s provided to us on council. That helps me come to a neutral position or lets me raise concerns from both sides because I’ve heard both sides.
I know there’s some buzz about me among those running. “Where doe this person come from? Oh my gosh she’s new. How do we approach this? How do we work with her?” I think a lot of people running have been here long enough that they have an opinion that’s very strong and invested. My concern is that if people are truly invested in an outcome, their scope of looking at a subject narrows and narrows. They are not able to receive more information and that can be quite detrimental. So if I’m coming in with a neutral background and mindset, I feel I can really speak and bring more information to the people. I can vote for the people as opposed for a very specific agenda.
If I’m on council and knowing how strong the other voices will be, I will be establishing my voice very quickly so that everyone knows I can’t be pushed around.
Why she moved back to Lillooet:
I was living in Vancouver and I really missed being part of a community. You just don’t have that in a city As a mom, there’s support here, friends live close by, you quickly know who’s who and you know who needs help and you can reach out. Having grown up here myself, there’s freedom. Your child can go play in the backyard everybody knows who your child is, you don’t worry so much. And of course the town is beautiful I love it. It feels like home here. It always has.
Why she’s running:
Now that I’m a mom my perspective has changed. We’re buying a house – what’s going on economically because that a big investment? Socially, what are the schools like? Where’s the future of Lillooet for my son? All these things are very important and I want to make sure I’m part of the navigation of Lillooet. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines, especially raising my son here because it’s going to affect him and the decisions will affect us too.
I would like to work closer with Kevin Goforth on solving the homeless problem and aid him with some of the missing resources he really needs. He works through the Friendship Centre and they’ve opened up a winter shelter.
L know this water issue is old news, but I would like to see more communication as we look at the next steps. With my education, I feel I can speak to the issue, educate people on what the issues are and keep them in the loop on what the progression is. I feel people genuinely do not feel heard. We need to work with the public respectfully because they feel they’re being shut down. Respect towards council is lacking as well, so how do we create open dialogue?
Growth and change happen naturally so you need to work with it in a way that works within OUR community. We do need to look at industry that could build our town in a way that is comfortable and reasonably sustainable. Online coding could bring the young families here who are not transient and who care about the town. I’ve talked to Marg (Lampman) about bringing broadband to Lillooet so people can work remotely and have more online based businesses. I’d like to learn more about that.
And how can I participate in bridging the communication gaps with the St’at’imc community?
It seems as though Lillooet is quite divided and I’d like to see more unification and I’d like to participate in that.
People should vote for me because…
I come to the table with a neutrality and my goal is really to speak for the people. In order to do that, I will be working with the people. I’m with them.