#WomenCrushWednesday : Chris Davis

Enrollments have closed for the local elections this year- and with enrollments closed we also have an official list of candidates for the 2019 local elections! Chris Davis is one of these candidates and she is here to speak about who she is, how she will create change is elected and what she thinks about the increase of young women around NZ entering politics.

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Tell us about yourself!

I am a 50 year old woman who has lived in Hamilton all my life – albeit the 5 years post high school to study in Dunedin and then Christchurch. 

I grew up on the Westside of Hamilton; attending Deanwell Primary, Melville Intermediate and Melville High Schools. 

Formal qualifications I hold are; Bachelor of Physical Education (Otago), Graduate Diploma Teaching (Secondary) and Bachelor Laws (Waikato).

My experience in governance is through two terms on the Board of Trustees at Hamilton Girls’ High School, the second term as Deputy Chairperson. 

My career has spanned both the public and private sector including secondary teaching, various management positions, telecommunications, law, real estate, tertiary education and currently I am Facilities and Health & Safety Manager at Hamilton Girls’ High School.

I also co own a small business in Hamilton with my wife Christine, who recently passed away from cancer and we have a twenty-one year old daughter who is a nurse at Waikato Hospital. 

Why should you vote for me? I will advocate for active civic participation and engaging all our diverse communities.  I am a pragmatic future thinker with a ‘fresh lens’ perspective and my goal is to help cultivate a responsive and agile Council that responds to the needs of all its people. 

 I care about – strong communities, connected citizens, being environmentally responsible, durable infrastructure, healthy and affordable housing for everyone and creating a thriving city for us all.

Why run for council now?

I have considered running for a few years now.  I lost my wife to cancer recently and she always felt I have a lot to give to Hamilton City as a Councillor.  I love Hamilton and I really do want what is best for all of us.  In my opinion, the balance is out of whack at the moment and I feel there are a number of communities that are not well supported or represented in the decision making process.  I advocate strongly for thorough community consultation to ensure decisions made by Council truly reflect what is best for all of us and to work together to unite this awesome city so it thrives.    

What do you think about so many young women popping up to run in the local elections around New Zealand?

I think it is fantastic to see so many young women putting their hand up to take a stand and make a difference. It is encouraging to see these young people taking such a passionate interest in Governance of our amazing Aotearoa. More young people in politics will hopefully help engage more young people to vote.

What would you say to young people who don’t think they should vote?

I do have these conversations with many young people that I meet through campaigning as well as friends and family.  My message is the same to all of them.  That they should participate, that they can feel confident to take a stand, and that they can make a difference to investigate who the candidates are, what they stand for and that by voting they are helping to ensure the Councillors elected are a true representation of who is right for them and that by voting they will help ensure true democracy prevails.  Also that there are many young candidates choosing to stand and that if they take the time to check them out they may find someone they resonate with.

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What does civic participation and engaging communities look like for you? And practically, how would you do this if elected?

It means we need to stop talking and start listening to the people who live in Hamilton.  It means we need to ask our diverse communities what they need to ensure our city thrives and they thrive in it.  We need to listen to their answers and then act on what they tell us.  This is what engaging communities is. We need to empower the people so they want to and also feel like they can create change.  This is civic participation; when our communities want to initiate projects to create the changes.  The best example of civic participation right now is people voting!     

Actually involving communities in the policy making based on what they tell us, after we have asked for their input, consulted and actually listened to what they tell us.  Improving communication with our communities, both formally and informally – giving the people their voice and putting them in the driving seat.   

Out of all of your policies what is the number one thing you could change and how would you change it?

To ensure all our citizens have somewhere safe, healthy and affordable to sleep every night.  A good start would be to utilise some of Hamilton’s un-used buildings as shelters for our homeless people while we establish robust processes to transition them into permanent housing.   

What is your message to women who might not want to vote or run in this election?

Why not?  Get amongst it, participate, have your say, stand up and be counted, be someone who makes a difference in this awesome City we live in.

If you would like to find out more about Chris, or support her running for council you can pop over to Facebook here or you’ll find her website here.

If you didn’t manage to get your enrollment in by last Friday you’ll have to request a special voting paper from your local Electoral Officer – if you just need to check your enrollment details you can still do so at vote.nz.

Among our normal #WomeanCrushWednesday posts, YWCA Hamilton will be running #WCW with local women that are running for Hamilton City Council, Mayor and Waikato Regional Councils. We want to support all women who are running in the local elections this year, as well as supporting women in the Waikato to vote for a representative that support them.

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