Cherise Okeymow is running for a councillor’s seat in the City of Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Cherise Okeymow is running for a councillor’s seat in the City of Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

MEET THE CANDIDATES

IN THE CITY’S COUNCIL RACE: Cherise Okeymow

Ahead of Oct. 15, the Advance Times offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate

Cherise Okeymow

Career development practitioner, age 41

City Park area resident who’s lived in Langley 39 years

Cherise works as a career advisor for Langley schools.

You might remember her from her role with Langley Community Farmers Market, winning the community impact award.

Prior to that, she created Chylan Emergency Gear, selling emergency preparedness products earning recognition from GLCC and Surrey Board of Trade as a finalist in the women in business and business of the year categories.

She currently volunteers for Langley Volunteer Bureau and Soroptimist International.

This mother of three lives to set an example.

Cherise was born with a rare eye condition called Achromatopsia. This has contributed to her advocacy, work ethic, and drive to succeed.

This is one of the main pillars for her campaign – being the voice for the thousands of Langley residents who live with physical and or mental disabilities.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cheriseforlangley

Phone: 604-880-4538

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR FULL ELECTION GUIDE ONLINE

Questions:

(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

1. Should Langley City have its own, separate RCMP detachment?

Yes.I think that what is currently being done is sufficient at this time, there are multiple RCMP detachments surrounding the downtown core. There is further research to be done and as someone new to politics what I can promise is that I will immerse myself in the research and inform the public with zero bias and no agenda.

2. Should the City create a performing arts venue within the next council term?

Yes. Although I am excited to know that this will be in Langley City’s future, it is unrealistic that it will happen in the upcoming term.

But, we can work our hardest to take the steps towards breaking ground.

I would love to be part of the creation of such a community jewel.

I grew up on stage. Now, my daughter is filling my shoes.

We commute all over the Lower Mainland to attend competitions and see the vibrancy that these centres bring to their communities.

This centre would generate revenue, not only for the City, but the surrounding businesses.

3. Does the City need more overpasses to reduce train-caused traffic delays?

No. It should be something looked at long term while the city is developing but isn’t necessary at this time. Time isn’t such a burden at this point that commuters are suffering, there are plenty of options with clear signage directing traffic to overpass routes. There are also certain pockets of the community that will be impacted and they are the ones that I will ask when it comes time to tackling this topic.

4. Should the City set targets for the creation of more low-income and seniors rental spaces, social housing units, and/or co-op development to improve home security?

Yes. One of my first jobs out of university was working for Transition Housing in Surrey. One of the programs was for Senior Women where women 55+ were provided a safe space ffor up to 180 days with full assistance. I would love to see the city explore options like this through current organization that assist seniors, homeless and at-risk members of our community. We need to also think about programs that would assist seniors to age in place. Langley City is only 4 Square miles so we need to get more creative with our solutions, building more isn’t the only answer to issues such as these.

5. Are City taxes too high?

No. The city is growing, and these questions show that we need cash flow to keep up with the future city growth demands. I do believe we pay a fair amount of taxes but the allocation of where the money goes is a different story. If elected I plan to follow the money trail and be a voice for tax payers, like myself, with lofty tax bills, to make sure that money is allocated to support strategic planning.

6. Is the City’s population growing too fast?

No.

7. Should the City institute pay parking in some downtown areas?

Yes. This will be a good revenue generator as well as a deterrent for folks to drive their vehicles into the city core.

8. Will the arrival of SkyTrain change Langley City for the better?

Yes. Due to disability, I will never have a driver’s licence. At the age of 12 I began commuting into downtown Vancouver from Fort Langley daily via transit and continued well into my adult years. You can only imagine the years wasted from adding up these hours. The Sky Train will be a life changer for many people and hopefully push others to ditch the keys and hop on the train.. The development of infrastructure that will result in the addition of the SkyTrain will also give current residence a reason to stick around, I look forward to being a part of this transition.

9. Can municipal staff and council do more to attract new green and high-tech businesses to open in Langley City?

Yes. I think this will happen “organically” with the development of the new SkyTrain. This will need to be a priority as it will create jobs and attract young families to put roots in the city.

10. Does the City have a handle on the problems created by homelessness?

No. This is a sensitive subject that I have not yet fully had the opportunity to explore. What I can tell you is that there are a lot of organizations and people that care, we don’t have a current handle on this issue. However, the ONLY answer is to work together with current resources and community organizations. Without that there will be no change.

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CLICK ON OUR ELECTIONS 2022 TAB TO FIND A WIDE VARIETY OF RELEVANT STORIES

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

How the questions were presented to each candidate

Langley Advance Times readers have repeatedly told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Langley make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in the Langley Advance Times print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.langleyadvancetimes.com.

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