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Volunteer, health-care worker Donna Kawahara hopeful for seat on St. Albert council

Donna Kawahara is the third candidate to announce she will run for city council in the lead-up to the municipal election Oct. 18.
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Donna Kawahara is running for St. Albert city council in the upcoming municipal election Oct. 18, 2021.

A St. Albert health-care educator, dental hygienist, and community volunteer is running for council and wants to foster the city's uniqueness, support the arts, and promote fiscal wellness in the city.

Donna Kawahara, who has a master's degree in health studies leadership, currently works at the Glenrose Hospital providing dental care to marginalized individuals with physical and cognitive challenges in a hospital setting.

The former post-secondary teacher at NAIT, the University of Alberta, and the University of Manitoba, wants to ensure marginalized people are supported in the community and wants to ensure all voices are heard.

“I feel everybody brings something valuable to the table, no matter what your abilities are, and to me that's just something that St. Albert stands for,” Kawahara said.

The 17-year resident said she wants to see the city maintain its fiscal wellness and continue to push its tax ratio toward non-residential growth. Kawahara said she would like to see more businesses in business parks in the city.

“Even in terms of revenue, with the new collaborative economic development initiative, that is really going to help to increase our revenues without having to push our taxes higher,” Kawahara said of the regional economic development agreement recently signed by the city.

As an avid photographer, vice-president of the St. Albert Photography club, committee member of St. Albert Cultivates the Arts Society, and owner of a photography business, Kawahara also has her eye on the arts.

She wants to find more opportunities to highlight local artists and have public art that resonates with St. Albertans.

As an LGBTQ ally, Kawahara is a member of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and Outloud in St. Albert, which she said is very important to her.

“It is (important) as a member to gain more understanding and get to meet different people in our community and help to support them however I can as well."

Kawahara said she has been interested in politics for a long time and loves her home city, which is why she wants a seat on city council.

“I feel that I can help to make St. Albert continue to be as great as it is. And maybe, along with council, I can help to improve things along the way.”

Kawahara is one of three St. Albert candidates who have announced so far. Michael Ferguson and Coun. Ken MacKay are both running.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette
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