By Lawrence Badani
THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Active school board trustee candidates have been working hard to share their platform during this Municipal Election. There are a combined total of 34 candidates between both School Boards (18 Public, 16 Separate). Personally, I am a Trustee candidate for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board (TBCDSB) and have been using numerous methods to engage with voters that include from telephone calls to social media to talking with them on their own front lawn.
While talking with voters, I have learned about numerous issues that concern many families who have students enrolled in our Thunder Bay Catholic District Schools. Some of the top issues include: supporting special needs education with additional support and resources, safe and inclusive school environments, strengthening cultural awareness & Indigenous teachings, student transportation services, student’s mental health, Catholic education, and struggles with disengaged trustees and board transparency.
When I started my candidacy for Trustee of the TBCDSB, I stated that “our children need a new voice, a strong champion to promote their interests and advance their goals” and after talking with many families and students, I couldn’t agree more. I learned at a young age from my forefathers that it is the responsibility of a candidate and elected official to represent others and not that of their own personal interest. I grew up inspired by my father Norris Badanai who lived & breathed service to the TBCDSB. I believe I can relate to the daily concerns and tribulations of young families and will seek to learn from your family.
I am a father of a three-year-old daughter, Emmy, and I am passionate about education & providing children with the support & resources they require to achieve their fullest potential. I am a community arts educator with my wife Candi where we empower children with confidence through the performance arts at Paramount Live, or with adults at Badanai Theatre. Over the past 20+ years, I have worked with hundreds of children ranging from two years old to twenty-one, and many adults on community theatre productions. I have learned a lot about what today’s generation of students have to deal with on a daily basis; from their positive experiences to challenges that never existed in previous generations. One of the best things we can do for our children is to foster positive and creative learning environments where students feel free to express themselves. I also work in healthcare as a Privacy & Communications Officer at the Northwest Health Alliance, and previously I was a Corporate Communications & New Media Consultant with the North West LHIN and Senior Web & Multimedia Designer with Firedog Communications. My experience in communications, privacy, community education, and public engagement makes me a strong voice to represent you and your family at the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board.
I will bring a fresh perspective to the table that of a parent with a young child, while also respecting all sides of the educational experience. I invite to review my website at www.badanai.ca where I have posted in full transparency the survey’s that I have responded to and my campaign activities. Further information can be found on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VoteBadanai/) where I am one of few Catholic Trustee candidates engaging in social media. I believe today’s Trustees need to be accessible and use communication tools that students and families are also using daily.
On Election Day I ask you to elect a trustee who reflects your modern family’s needs. Let’s start working together for our children’s future. I’d be honoured to have your support on Election Day.
Trustee Candidate for Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
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