Vote for Jason Allen
Ward 1 Councillor Hamilton, Ontario

An Experienced Leader

Jason Allen Ward 1 Councillor

Jason Allen has been working on improving neighbourhoods in Ward 1 for over a decade. This began with the Strathcona Community Council in 2008 where he helped both to finalize the Victoria Park Master Plan and then promote it. In 2008 Jason Allen also joined the executive of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton where he stayed for six years, including two as president of the association. In that time he led the group’s transformation from a support model to a service delivery model, doubling the number of volunteers and opening up new fundraising channels. He remains a strong advocate for disability rights to this day.

He joined Ward 1’s Participatory Budget Advisory Committee in 2013, where he established the social media strategy and worked with the sub-committee that developed the branding and marketing that is still key to the high levels of engagement enjoyed by the ForWard1 process to this day. He remained on the committee for two years. 

Jason Allen and his family then moved down Locke Street from Strathcona to Kirkendall where he joined the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association, sitting as communication coordinator in 2014/15. There again he developed a strong marketing and communications strategy that was key to promoting initiatives such as Lean Aberdeen, the Neighbourhood Plan and the Fill A Bus, Feed A Family food drive.

For two years Jason Allen was also on Ward 1’s Development Review Committee, where he met with dozens of planners, architects and developers; helped run community meetings; and provided a liaison between developers and residents.

In addition to his work in the ward and with the disability community, Jason Allen has delivered hundreds of hours per year of outdoor and environmental education programming to youth aged 5-14 through Scouts Canada for the past eight years.

Professionally, Jason Allen is an acknowledged leader in transit and urban mobility. Having worked for Metrolinx for seven years, he recently took his skills to the Canadian Urban Transit Association where he manages several national learning events and an international training program for transit industry members. His professional accolades are numerous, including awards for innovation and service excellence.

My Platform

Complete Streets

Streets that work for eight-year olds and eighty-year olds work for everyone.  We need to calm traffic, fix the HSR and ensure people have good choices about how they move around our neighbourhoods.

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In the summer before he turned twelve, my son decided to ride his bike from our home in Kirkendall to the comic store in Westdale one afternoon while my wife and I were both at work. He told the teen who was taking care of his younger brother his idea, mapped the route on Google and off he went. When I came home he was beaming with pride about the trip and told me all about it as soon as I got in the door.

When I asked about his route, he explained he had ridden up Dundurn along the bike lanes to King, and then along the bike lane to the corner of King and Longwood. 

I was horrified. There is no bike lane between Main and King on Dundurn.

“Sure there is,” he replied. “They have pictures of bikes on the road and arrows.” My son admitted he had felt terrified with the cars and delivery trucks whizzing by, but the “sharrows” on the road had told him he was supposed to ride there. He had trusted them.

I’ve been talking about making cities safe for eighty-year olds and eleven-year olds for a long time now.  It’s past time we fixed our transportation system so that it works for everyone, regardless of how they choose to get around. It’s not acceptable that commuters headed to McMaster have to wait for seven or eight buses in the freezing cold.  It’s not acceptable that children don’t feel safe walking or biking, whether it’s to school or the comic store. And it’s not acceptable that seniors are the number one victims of driver-pedestrian collisions in our city.

With my extensive professional background in transit and deep understanding of how transportation networks function, I am the best candidate to ensure our streets are for designed for people – no matter how they want to move around.

Safe Neighbourhoods

From sidewalk snow clearing, to unsafe student housing, to petty crime – it’s important to know you’ll be safe living, working or playing in our ward.

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Two winters ago, during an especially snowy stretch, I was shoveling my walk when a neighbour walked by. We got talking about how much work it was to keep the sidewalks clear that year. He then began to name off the seniors on the street and people with disabilities who had been impacted by all the home-owners and landlords on my road who were not clearing their sidewalks regularly. One senior had been shut in her home for weeks, another had broken her wrist, others were relying on family for drives to the grocery store and pharmacy that they had previously walked to. The neighbourhood wasn’t safe for them to move around, so they just didn’t.

If you’re looking at violent crime, we live in one of the safest parts of Hamilton. But safety is more than just freedom from violence. It means being able to go to school and live somewhere that isn’t a death trap once the smoke alarms go off, it means being able to get to your doctor appointments in the winter without injuring yourself, it means there are the eyes on the street that are needed to prevent smash and grabs from cars.

With my experience working with by-laws, my good relationship with Ward 1’s crime manager – from my years working with the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association – and a dedication to safety from years in the safety-obsessed transit industry, I will bring the right focus to the job of making sure our neighbourhoods are safe for everyone who lives, works, shops or plays there.

Smart Development

Smart development respects diversity, the neighbourhood it is in and the green spaces within our community. We need more development like that in Ward 1.

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Four years ago, I was in the basement of a church at a meeting I had helped organize for a wildly unpopular developer to come and tell concerned neighbours that things would be different this time. The development would a jewel in the neighbourhood and open lines of communication would ensure minimal impact on the neighbourhood.

A year later I was fielding frantic calls from friends on the street – I sat on the Development Committee of the Neighbourhood Association at the time – who were seeing wrenches fall four stories into their back yards and construction workers urinating off the roof of the new building onto their properties.

Two years after that, a purpose-built student rental housing building in Westdale promised reasonable height and accommodations for the neighbours, and then changed their tune and plan dramatically at the eleventh hour.

On the flip side, there have been some spectacular opportunities for developments in Ward 1 that have been squandered.

A gorgeous rental apartment building with a beautiful central courtyard on Dundurn Avenue died in the planning office because of concerns about height when there were buildings twice as tall just up the street. Another proposed rental building with terraced gardens and shadow reducing setbacks has now turned into yet another non-descript condo development, when the need for well-built, affordable rental stock in this city is critical.

Ward 1 needs good development done right. To do that, it needs a councillor with a solid understanding of the development process. I have spent years on the Development Review Committee, I have met with dozens of architects and planners and I understand the process from public meeting to the black-box decision making of the building permit. 

Ward 1 needs a strong leader with deep experience in the issues that are important to people who live and work here.  I am the right choice to tackle the challenges facing our ward, and lead us into the next four years.  

On October 22nd
Vote Jason Allen for Ward 1 Councillor

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Lawn signs are a critical part of every campaign, and we’d be thrilled to decorate your lawn with one of our fetching blue and yellow signs. Click here to let us know you’d like a sign on or after September 24th, which is the earliest the city of Hamilton Sign By-Law allows.

Endorsements

Crystle Numan, Kirkendall Resident and Community Garden Volunteer

I have a plot at the Hill Street Community Garden. Jason's property backs on to it. He has always been…
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Hamish Campbell, Former Vice President, Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association

Jason's community involvement and volunteer experience speaks for itself. Having known Jason for a number of years now and worked together…
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Susan Millman – Kirkendall Resident and Volunteer

I am supporting Jason because I like that he has been directly involved in the community for several years. He…
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Thank you for donating to my campaign, every dollar makes a difference. Ten signs cost $40 to print while postcards are just over $100 per thousand and there are many other costs to running a campaign. I would like to remind my donors that, by law, we are not allowed to accept donations from corporations, from labour unions or from political parties. Should you be feeling exceptionally generous, there is also currently a limit of $1,200 on the amount any one person can contribute to my campaign.

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Photo credits:  Jeff Tessier