‘It’s time for us to stand up’: Dartmouth North unites for election
It wasn’t your typical Election Day in the riding of Dartmouth North on Saturday, as residents paraded through the streets of their community encouraging others to vote.
“It doesn’t matter who really wins as long as our numbers are up and saying yes, actually look at us, we’re here, we want to vote and we want to be heard,” said Amanda Nickerson, Community Care Advocate, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. “That’s why it’s really important to come together and vote as a community.”
Historically, the riding of Dartmouth North has a low turnout at the polls.
“A lot of people in Dartmouth North face a lot of barriers that can be fixed on the municipal level and a lot of people aren’t aware of that so it’s a lot of blaming others,” Nickerson said.
“It’s time for us to stand up and say yeah, we want some change around here.”
Since August, the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre has hosted the Speak Up, Show Up campaign to inform residents about the election.
“We decided that as a group, the community action team, that we would come together and make a series of events to encourage people to get out and vote,” said Tammy Shields, Community Action Coordinator, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.
Voters say they are looking to make a difference in their community this election, especially when it comes to crime in their neighbourhood.
“There’s too much violence,” Charlie Smith said. “There’s too many stabbings and stuff around here.”
“I’d like to see the violence change in our community and I’d like to see a walk-in centre in our community and I’d like to see more protection and more caring for our seniors and children,” said Catherine Wells.
For first time voter Tori Leavitt, casting her ballot was about creating change for herself and her young family.
“To have any say in human rights you can’t really have any say without voting. I have a lot of opinions so I have to get out there and vote, I guess,” she said.
Community members hope by getting young people involved in the election process they can lead by example. “We are the next generation and so are our kids and so it’s important that we speak up,” Leavitt said.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.