Zosia Ettenberg is president and founder of the Langley Pos-Abilities Society (an organization that works to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities), a licensed insurance broker, and a carded athlete in the sport of wheelchair curling.
You can add Langley Township Council candidate to her list of titles.
The 68-year-old Brookswood resident, who has lived in Langley since 1985, is throwing her hat into the political ring.
Ettenberg said sheâ€™s received a lot of encouragement about running for a seat on Township Council, and is looking for a financial boost from her supporters.
â€œI would prefer to get $20 to $50 per person, rather than $2,000 from a company,â€ she said. â€œSimply because my feeling is, if you get that kind of donation, eventually there will be payback time, and I donâ€™t want to be beholden to anybody. But if the people want me to run, then show me.â€
The municipal election is Nov. 15, and candidates have between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10 to file their nomination papers.
â€œI feel as though I have a lot to offer,â€ Ettenberg said. â€œI also feel that I have a decent reputation in the community for advocating for people, and standing up for people, and for listening to people. And Iâ€™m not afraid to talk; Iâ€™m not afraid to go against the crowd a little bit.â€
Ettenberg is developing her political platform.
â€œI want to listen to what the people want,â€ she said. â€œThatâ€™s the most important thing.â€
She opposes the Brookswood/Fernridge Community plan, which would increase density in certain areas, and increase the population in that area from 13,500 to about 42,000, by Township estimates.
During a public meeting in May, she said, â€œI have real concerns that we will lose all the things that we hold dear.â€
Ettenberg feels Brookswood residents should sit on the committee, so they can decide the future of their own neighbourhoods.
â€œMy idea was that you put a committee together to look at this, you get corporate, you get residents, and you put in a facilitator, to help them come up with a plan that they can own,â€ she said. â€œThe thing that bothered me about this is, this group that went out spent the money, did the planâ€¦ there were 10 property owners. But they didnâ€™t say who the property owners were. My first question is, â€˜are they residents, or do they just own the property and want to develop the property?â€™ Why should they decide for the whole community?â€™â€
If elected, Ettenberg will also advocate for people with disabilities, as she has always done.
She was stricken by polio at six months of age, and underwent knee replacement surgery in 2001.
For many years, Ettenberg has used a wheelchair to get around.
â€œYeah, in a sense I would be advocating [for people with disabilities]. Not so much loudly, with words,â€ she said.
For example, if her bid is successful, Ettenberg would require wheelchair accessible venues to allow her to perform her political duties from place to place.
â€œI have to think differently because I have to lead my life in a different way than most people,â€ Ettenberg said. â€œSo Iâ€™m going to bring that kind of thinking to council.â€
For more on Ettenberg, and to donate to her campaign, visit her Facebook site by clicking here.