The deadline to submit nomination papers for Richmond’s election is on Friday, and three more independent candidates have stepped forward this week to run for council.
Entering the race, Andy Chiang, who grew up in Richmond, said he decided to run to do something about the frustrations he has with the city.
“I’m the type of person who likes to complain about a lot of things and instead of complaining in my car or just to my family members or friends, I figured it’s time to try to do something about it,” Chiang told the Richmond News.
“You know, put action behind the words.”
Chiang said one area he’ll focus on is traffic safety and proposes awareness campaigns through signage or on the radio to remind drivers to stay safe on the roads.
“It’s no secret that Richmond is known for quote unquote bad driving and a lot of it is dependent not just on the driving skill, but the people around them,” Chiang said. “People are overly aggressive because they believe they have an above-average skill level…there’s dangers in multiple forms.
“That’s one thing I want to focus on to make sure there’s safety and re-education in driving.”
Chiang said he also wants to remain approachable and doesn’t have a set agenda like many of the slates.
“My philosophy is to be the voice of the people who don’t really know who else to go to,” he said.
“My message to everybody is just simple: be kind, be good to each other and if there’s anything you need from me, I will happily be the guy to be the voice for you.”
Theresa Head, another new candidate, was similarly motivated to take action to address her grievances.
“I kind of realized you can do two things in this life: you can either complain or you can get up and do something about it,” Head told the News.
“This is where I’m coming from. You’ve got to get up and get out there and speak out. If you just lay back, it’s not going to get done.”
Head, who moved to Richmond from Newfoundland in 1995 says she plans to focus on affordable housing, empty condos, outreach, improved transit and shelters.
“Richmond has 120 to 150 people that are homeless…because we don’t see them, or the public doesn’t see them, they don’t think it’s an issue,” she said. “As the old saying goes, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ The problem is they are there.”
Zhe Zhang has also submitted paperwork to run for council this week but could not be reached by the News.
As of Wednesday morning, four candidates had submitted their names for mayor, 24 submitted their names for council and nine stepped forward for school trustee.