Good for you, Scott!
January 4, 2010
For immediate release
Scott Piatkowski to run for Kitchener City Council
Longtime community activist Scott Piatkowski today announced his intention to run for a seat on Kitchener City Council in this fall’s municipal election. At 8:30 this morning, Piatkowski officially registered as a candidate in his home ward (the newly created Ward 8, which includes Forest Hill, Victoria Hills and Westmount).
Piatkowski previously ran for City Council in 2006 in the former Ward 6 (West-Victoria Park). He finished a strong second to longtime incumbent Councillor Christina Weylie and attracted 25 per cent of the votes in a hotly-contested four person race. He was also runner up in 1994, when he ran for Regional Council.
“I think I have a lot to offer the voters of Ward 8, and the people of Kitchener in general,” said Piatkowski. “I have a long history of community involvement and a passion for this city that has driven me to want to contribute more. I think that, as a member of City Council, I’d bring a set of skills and an approach to politics that are badly needed at Kitchener City Hall.”
Piatkowski cites several key issues as factors that motivated him to run:
- The importance of increasing voter turnout in municipal elections and of facilitating greater citizen engagement between elections;
- The need to ban corporate and union contributions to municipal candidates, something that Toronto has just become the first municipality in Ontario to enact;
- The need to create controls on the activities of municipal lobbyists operating in the city, including the creation of a lobbyist registry;
- The potential for Kitchener Utilities to be more aggressive in promoting conservation and conversion to alternative energy sources;
- The importance of planning growth in a manner that protects groundwater, provides options to automobile usage, and minimizes sprawl while preserving core neighbourhoods; and
- The need to preserve heritage buildings in the Kitchener core and to ensure that a strong retail presence (alongside institutional, office and residential uses) is a priority in any downtown redevelopment.
Piatkowski, 44, works as Community Co-ordinator for Beechwood Co-operative Homes in Waterloo, and has worked in the co-operative housing movement since 1989. “Managing a housing co-op is a lot like running a city, except on a smaller scale. We have lots of maintenance and infrastructure issues to take care of, disputes between neighbours, revenues to collect and costs to control. I’d really like to be able to apply the lessons that I’ve learned about the value of true participatory democracy.”
An active member of the community, Piatkowski’s volunteer work has included serving as:
- A member of the city’s Community Grants Review Committee
- A member of the Steering Committee for the city’s Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF)
- A member of the Waterloo Region Cycling Advisory Committee
- A member of the Steering Committee for the Westmount Neighbourhood Association
- A facilitator with the Co-operative Young Leaders program (CYL)
- A delegate on the Ontario Regional Governing Committee of The Co-operators Insurance
- President of the Ontario Council for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
- President of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA)
- A Board member with the North Waterloo Housing Authority
- A Director with the Co-operative Housing Association of Ontario
- Chair of the Board of Directors with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU)
- A member of the Wilfrid Laurier University Senate
- A minor soccer coach for over ten years
Piatkowski has also run in two previous federal elections (1988 and 1993) as a New Democratic Party candidate (a more complete biography is attached).
Municipal Election Day will be Monday, October 25, two weeks earlier than its traditional date in mid-November. Today was the first day on which candidates could register for the 2010 vote (something that legally allows them to raise and spend money). Piatkowski was the first candidate in the City of Kitchener to register.
www.scottpiatkowski.ca (in keeping with municipal election laws, the site has not been updated since 2006, but will be updated now that registration is complete)
BIOGRAPHY: SCOTT PIATKOWSKI
Scott Piatkowski was born and raised in Kitchener and has lived in the community for all but two of his forty-four years. He is a graduate of Eastwood Collegiate and Wilfrid Laurier University. He and his wife of twenty years have two teenage daughters who attend Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate, the same high school that his father attended in the late 1940s.
He is currently the Community Co-ordinator with Beechwood Co-operative Homes in Waterloo and has previously managed other co-operative housing communities in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo and Ottawa. He has also worked for the Co-operative Housing Association of Ontario, located in Toronto, and as an MP’s assistant on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
He has been an instructor and consultant with Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation since 1992, delivering workshops and providing advice to Boards and staff on how to achieve sound management and governance. In November 2005, he was named “Outstanding Housing Educator” by the Waterloo Region Housing Coalition, in recognition both of this work and his broader work in educating the community about affordable housing issues.
Scott has served as President of Ontario Council for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and on the Board of the Co-operative Housing Association of Ontario. He is a former President of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA), a former Chair of the Board for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU), and also has extensive Board experience with other local organizations.
Currently, Scott serves as a member of the Waterloo Region Cycling Advisory Committee, a member of both the Community Grants Review Committee and Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) for the City of Kitchener, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Westmount Neighbourhood Association. He is a volunteer facilitator with the Co-operative Young Leaders program (CYL) and has been a minor soccer coach since 1998.
Scott has been involved in the politics of this community for over two decades. He ran as a New Democratic Party candidate in both the 1988 and 1993 federal elections. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Ontario NDP and was President of the Ontario New Democratic Youth in from 1988 to 1989.
For nearly twenty years, Scott has been a prolific freelance writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, and is a former weekly columnist for The Woolwich Observer, ECHO Weekly and The Waterloo Chronicle.