A Halifax disability advocate running for city council says all citizens should have a voice in the political process.
"I'm a person with a disability who doesn't have that voice," said Jen Powley, who is running for councillor in District 7 — Halifax South Downtown. "I'm easily overlooked. That shouldn't be the case. All people should have the same access to power."
Powley has multiple sclerosis, is blind and can't get use her arms or legs. She's advocated for the rights of young people with severe physical disabilities to live independently, instead of being cared for in seniors homes.
Powley, who can't speak clearly, spoke to CBC News through an interpreter.
On Thursday, she filed her papers for the race. So far, three other candidates have declared in her district, including the incumbent, Coun. Waye Mason.
Why Powley is running for council
"I am running because I saw a lot of issues that are not being addressed by politicians," said Powley. "We are in a climate crisis, yet we're still putting up buildings of steel, glass and concrete. I know people need to live somewhere, but we might need to look at doing things differently."
Powley said while spaces need to be made more accessible, doing so will require significant amounts of construction, which would generate greenhouse gases. For this reason, she said accessibility needs to be balanced with the climate crisis.
Powley, who is in her early 40s, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 15.
"I think it makes me more resilient," she said. "I wasn't born this way, I had to adapt to it. I think it has taught me a lot and many politicians probably need that kind of a lesson."
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