Rae Maj is a newcomer to politics, but not to community issues.
The long-time Langley resident, who filed her nomination papers as a candidate in the civic by-election on Jan. 14, was appointed to the Langley City Board of Variance committee just over two years ago.
The five-member independent body mostly handles requests from residents for the relaxation of regulations for siting, size and dimensions of buildings where compliance with the City’s Zoning Bylaw would cause an undue hardship.
Maj said she has enjoyed serving the community on the board and that is what has fueled the first-time candidate's interest in running for office.
"Most people (who come before the board) are like you and me," Maj said.
"They want to live in a place that's close to their values."
Her priority, if elected, is to improve the downtown of Langley City, both literally and in terms of its reputation.
"I feel that a strong business core is important," Maj told The Times.
"Cutting down the perception of crime" is another important concern for Maj, who said many City residents need to know about the many positive things the downtown offers, such as the excellent restaurants on the one-way and the fact the area is so walkable.
"I feel that this is a vibrant community," Maj said.
"There's so much potential."
She believes she can help guide Langley City toward achieving that potential in the future as an "integral" member of council.
"I offer a new, fresh choice for council," Maj said.
Maj and her family moved to Murrayville in 2000, then to Langley City in 2005, where they still reside.
She is an architectural technologist and a volunteer soccer coach.
Her campaign Facebook page can be found at: facebook.com/raemajlangley