Conny Glenn will focus on housing and rebuilding the City’s relationship with Queen’s if elected.
Glenn is a candidate for Sydenham District Councillor—who sits on Kingston City Council—and is eager to tackle issues of housing, street parties, and building a collaborative relationship with Queen’s administration.
When it comes to housing, Glenn feels additional construction must align with the principles of a “15-minute city:” everyone should be a 15-minute walk or bike ride away from essential services.
“I hear a lot of complaints about the number of cars on the roads,” Glenn said in an interview with The Journal. “We can get those cars off the roads by allowing people to walk.”
“Growing the number of small businesses in Sydenham will not only bring us closer to making Kingston a walkable city but will ensure we are meeting our environmental standards.”
For Glenn, a key reason behind the decline in affordable student housing comes from the University itself.
“Queen’s decided to take in more students and didn’t work with the city on how these students would be housed.”
She maintains mitigating this issue requires building a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship between the school and the city. If elected, she plans to lead this relationship, as the University mainly resides in Sydenham district.
“Building a relationship with Queen’s administration is about recognizing that Queen’s isn’t an island in the middle of the city, but an integral part of it. As such, it has responsibilities to the city.”
On the topic of street parties, Glenn believes a multifaceted approach is necessary to deter extreme behaviour. This would involve cleaning up the district, holding those who break the law accountable, and strengthening the University’s use and application of the Student Code of Conduct.
“I want students to have a sense of pride in where they’re living. If we require licensing landlords to meet property standards, the city gets cleaned up.”
She said she doesn’t intend to stop partying altogether, but rather wants to make parties more manageable for the community.
Glenn believes students must be included in the conversation—particularly those who don’t partake in street parties and don’t want to be painted with the same broad brush.
Although she feels the City has no choice but to increase police presence during Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day; Glenn’s concern lies with how policing occurs rather than policing itself.
“I’m an advocate for community policing, in which officers are members of the community; they know who the people are and develop a relationship with community members,” she said.
“This changes the tenor of policing. Instead of being about enforcement it becomes more about keeping everyone on the same page.”
In tackling issues of equity, Glenn criticizes organizations that issue token “everyone is welcome” statements, highlighting the value of outreach in strengthening the City’s relationship with marginalized communities.
“As a woman entering politics, I understand that if you don’t ask, people don’t come. The reality is, sometimes we have to pick up the phone and say ‘hey, I think you would be great for this.’”
Glenn’s background as an ergonomist—a person who studies and evaluates human work systems—provides her with a lens through which she approaches equity-related topics.
“As an ergonomist, when you go to implement a solution, you look at all of the unintended consequences that could potentially come out of your solution. The same thing is true when you’re looking at inclusivity,” she said.
To Glenn, voting reflects faith in a promising future for Kingston, and in her ability to bring the city one step closer to meeting her voter’s values.
This perspective is encapsulated in her campaign slogan: “voting is an act of hope.”
The Kingston municipal election is happening on Oct. 24. More information can be found here.
city council, Elections 2022, Sydenham
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