Karina, along with her husband, Andrew, and their two sons, live in beautiful and historic Steveston. In the past decade, she has become a passionate and committed community advocate, working for fairness on a wide variety of issues facing Richmond. The pandemic has highlighted gaps in services and inequities in the community, fuelling Karina’s desire for change in the community she loves. She is now hoping to take her advocacy to the next level, as a member of Richmond City Council. As a passionate public education advocate, Karina has worked on issues such as successfully spearheading supplies for the new earthquake preparedness program for Richmond Public Schools. In 2018, she ran for School Trustee as a progressive voice for public education with the Richmond Education Party. After a twenty-year sales and marketing career in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, Karina enrolled in a program at Langara College to pursue a new chapter in her life that would focus on social justice.
Karina is running for Richmond City Council because she believes that by working together, we can rebuild a stronger, safer, more prosperous city than before the pandemic. If elected, she will advocate for services that improve the lives of all residents. She is committed to building an equitable, compassionate community with a focus on deepening democratic engagement.
Please click on the ‘Platform’ tab above to view her policies on: Affordable Housing, Food Security, Equitable City, and an Environmentally Sustainable, Thriving City.
According to an Insights West poll conducted recently, a majority of Richmond residents questioned said that housing was their number-one issue right now. RITE Richmond is taking the lead on affordable housing and development and RITE Richmond city council candidates will push for action on this.
Under our leadership, new developments will go through an improved civic engagement process. We will ensure a fair process for local citizens to accept any changes (i.e. scale and pace) that will affect their neighbourhoods. The RITE Richmond team will:
Richmond has grown to be a very large city, and the quality of life in the neighbourhoods has been negatively affected. People who have lived in Richmond for decades remember a time when people knew their neighbours and communicated with them. The heart of the neighbourhood was usually the local school. It was not uncommon for neighbours to be helping each other, and getting to know each other was commonplace.
RITE Richmond wants to revive that community spirit, and build on the success we already have in some of the more connected neighbourhoods. We plan to accomplish this by getting back to basics, and it all starts with communication. So how do we learn from the success some neighbourhood have and enhance all our neighbourhoods?
Here is our plan.
# 1 Restore the First Nations Bunk House, and advocate that the City of Richmond must adopt reconciliation strategy and action plan.
# 2 Buy local, support local. Local businesses enhance our community, connect and support us socially and support wealth in Richmond.
# 3 Construct a Food Forrest at Garden City Lands and other locations throughout Richmond.
# 4 Install park benches and mini gardens that can be used for gathering places, and allow for opportunities for community gardens
# 5 Create localized maps that tell the story of the neighbourhood with points of interest and history of the area
# 6 Start a community day in each area that is specially suited for the demographics and interests of the area
# 7 Ask Neighbourhood Watch and Emergency Preparedness to help organize informational days to increase their program and involve residents
# 8 Request ICBC to post high traffic accident areas, and areas of high rates of vehicle thefts and vandalism
# 9 Arrange a garden tour to allow people to see what some residents have created in their private spaces and encourage others to join a movement for beautification in their area
# 10 Collaborate with the Richmond School District staff to form partnerships for inter-generational learning at events with students and seniors in the community
Cost: Minimal, each neighbourhood message centre could be built by volunteers, materials could be donated by local businesses and City Staff or residents could create designs.
Timeline : The first steps should happen as soon as possible to create a message centre that will be operational by next summer.
Summary: The RITE Richmond team is committed to building better neighbourhoods and our Neighbourhood Enhancement Plan was created with simple, affordable and concrete plans to start the process. As the neighbourhoods work through the process, new ideas will flourish and the plan will grow and evolve as necessary and in the way that best suits each neighbourhood. Change can be a good thing, and RITE Richmond wants to work towards a better Richmond with a community spirit we can all be proud of.
The RITE Richmond team is committed to making responsible spending at the City of Richmond a top priority. Our concern is that Richmond does not have a revenue problem, but rather a spending problem.
The Corporate Administration takes 3.5% of our tax dollars, and with 104.2 million going to salaries, such as $ 284,701 to our CEO, we need to proceed with due diligence to ensure we are getting value for our tax dollars. In 2012, the City had 478 employees earning over $75,000. This requires a thorough audit in 2015.
The RITE Richmond team will ask for
* Audits of each department, with public access to results
* Creation of incentive plans for employees who bring cost saving ideas forward. For example, the best cost saving or public benefit idea of the year could result in extra vacation time
* Acknowledgment of departments that work with in existing budgets
* Review of duplication of services
* Asset sharing between departments for cost savings
Richmond City Council
The total cost for Richmond City Council salaries, benefits and expenses was $ 617,508.87 in 2013. The council received a 72 percent increase in salary in 7 years, the mayor a 46 percent increase in 6 years. The RITE Richmond team will work for accountability:
* A study to research how these costs compare to other cities
* A system-wide process review, to find cost saving measures in all areas of council expenses
* Salary caps for council
* Requirement that each councilor report on their work with the committees and groups they represent
The RITE Richmond team believes that through fiscal responsibility , cost savings can be found and these cost savings could lead to tax savings.
The Council should be accountable to the taxpayer for their professional services, and the public should have access to information that demonstrates if each individual councilor is providing acceptable levels of service.
The RITE Richmond Team will work for 100% transparency and ensure that tax payers get their money’s worth from City hall.
We will work to ensure that Richmond’s Agricultural Land Reserve Farm land (ALR) is respectfully used for farming, by linking farmers with landowners. Our action plan includes a mentorship program, as well as interactive tools on the city’s website that facilitate cooperation. We will create incentives that encourage farming on ALR land, so that land owners and speculators will be motivated to help create a self -sufficient Richmond for the production of our food, long term.
The city will educate all new potential ALR property owners as to the Agricultural Land Commission and what the ALR status means in terms of future potential as an investment. Information will be provided to inform all interested parties as to the limits and opportunities available on ALR Land.
We will foster a partnership with the Richmond School District and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to harness the potential of our young people, and offer them farming opportunities, whether or not they have a farming background. We will initiate a public engagement series on the history and future vision of our farm land.
At the centre of all this, we will restore the legacies of the Garden City Lands, which have deteriorated for years, partly because the city treated the ALR status as an obstacle when in fact it is an opportunity. Working with the city and community groups, together we can create a well-planned oasis in the city centre.
The back lands on the highway to heaven No. 5 road corridor could be bundled together, and an Agricultural green could be offered to farmers and people wanting community gardens.
We will engage the entire community and celebrate our agricultural history on the Garden City Lands and throughout Richmond.
The world will come to see our unique utilization of farmland in cooperation with our vibrant city.
We recognize that Richmond businesses benefit the health and wellness of citizens by offering products and services. Through public feedback we can create lists of the most pressing needs and fast track the approval process for businesses that will fill those gaps in quality of life and preventative health. Services provided by doctors, dentists, therapists, senior care staff, daycare providers, and many other specialized and skilled workers are in short supply and addressing this shortage will make Richmond an even healthier place to live. Other types businesses will also be welcomed to Richmond and encouraged to stay in Richmond by protecting industrial and commercial zoned properties from development into residential wherever feasible. RITE Richmond will support businesses in Richmond, because it’s the smart thing to do.