When she ran for mayor of Langley Township in 2014, Serena Oh finished a distant third behind winner Jack Froese and second place finisher Rick Green, collecting just under 1,300 ballots or less than six per cent of the vote.
Now, the Langley City resident is running for council in the byelection race to fill the seat vacated by the late Dave Hall.
Oh told The Times that her experience running in the Township led to her decision to run in the City.
“That (the Township mayoralty race) was a very good experience for me,” Oh said.
“(It was) an eye-opener.”
Oh has lived in Langley City for about three years, but said her interest in the community began much earlier, in 1988 when she attended a local temple.
“It’s (the City) a very interesting place,” Oh said.
“I do think I’m (living) in the right place.”
Oh thinks the City should use the revenue it collects from the local casino to reduce taxes and improve parks by adding more benches.
She also thinks more should be done to clean up trash, especially around city hall.
“A clean and safe city is important.”
She thinks the City should develop closer ties with the federal government and use those ties to improve public transit.
She wants a public phone installed in the centre of the city for public safety, so people can get help if they are in danger.
Victims rights and “vulnerable senior issues” are high on her list of priorities.
She said she learned about the law when she represented herself during a drawn-out court battle with the municipality of Burnaby over an illegal suite.
The battle began when the city sued her in 2008 and she then counter-sued over what she said was harassment.
The case eventually went the Court of Appeal, which found for the city.
Oh attempted to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada, but said her application was dismissed.
“The law should be practical for the people, not the judge and lawyers,” Oh said.
She said she is now studying law and hopes to get her case re-opened.
“At the moment, I am restructuring my career and my life,” Oh said.
She empathizes with the plight of homeless people, saying she briefly became homeless herself when her house was seized by court order during her legal fight.
“Four days, actually (I was homeless),” she said.