Municipal Election 2018

No-Sign Policy a Sign of Change

By making a personal campaign NO SIGN policy in this election, I'm challenging the old paradigm marketing strategy 'status quo'.

By Ute Schmid-Jones
Published October 02, 2018

On Saturday, I witnessed the aftermath of a terrible vehicle/pedestrian collision on King Street's shopping district in Dundas. The pedestrian, an elderly gentleman using a walker, was crossing the road at a clearly-marked pedestrian crosswalk and somehow the vehicle's driver hit him.

I arrived for a meeting only seconds after the collision to witness a group of neighbourhood angels surrounding the man as he lay on the street, one person calling 9-1-1, and another rushing to bring him a blanket. He was shaking and appeared to be in quite a state of distress.

I spoke with a number of bystanders who related that this pedestrian crosswalk and others have been a problem for the city for quite some time.

Though I took photographs of the incident, I will not be sharing them online. I did offer them to the police and will be storing them for now in case they are needed by the authorities who arrived promptly - Fire, EMS/Ambulance, and Police: More angels.

Observing this tragedy reminds me why we need to enforce speed reductions for drivers in our city. You can't stop quickly if you're driving too fast.

It also reinforces to me why I've decided not to use election signs in my mayoral campaign. There are enough distractions surrounding drivers at almost every intersection in the City of Hamilton. Many of those distractions are signs offering some very detailed directions.

I do not feel compelled to add sign directions of my own to further add to this "distracted driver" epidemic on our roads. It is my choice, and mine alone.

Here's my perspective. If I'm driving on a residential street, and I take my eyes off the road for a few seconds to notice/read/understand why there are a grouping of lawn signs to my left, that may in fact be crucial seconds in which I don't notice a child running into my vehicle's path to collect a runaway tennis ball.

In fact, when I look back to my windshield, it may already be too late to see the child who is now bent over outside of my range of vision, picking up that ball.

These are my thoughts. These are my why's. It doesn't make me popular to choose differently in this election. It does make me consistent with my message, which is to promote and support #SafeStreets.

That's a commitment I made to Environment Hamilton when I participated in their workshops on making neighbourhoods safer and friendlier.

That's a commitment I made to Tom Flood, a citizen activist who lives in the Durand Neighbourhood, during one of his lectures that I attended at McMaster University on making roads safer for cyclists, especially our youngest.

I know that by making a personal campaign NO SIGN policy in this election, I'm challenging the old paradigm marketing strategy "status quo".

By running for mayor in the City of Hamilton that's exactly what I'm doing: I'm challenging the "status quo".

Challenging the "status quo" takes innovation and courage.

I'm hoping that by challenging "things-have-always-been-this way-thinking" you might also take an honest look inside yourself. Perhaps there is some glimmer of truth that resonates within you on this issue.

How I navigate through my choices defines how I perceive and invest in my social responsibility as an educated, compassionate citizen.


Editor's Note: Ute Schmid-Jones is a registered candidate for Mayor in the upcoming October 22, 2018 municipal election. You can see the official list of registered candidates on the City of Hamilton's Nominated Candidates for Mayor and Ward Councillor web page.

Raise the Hammer has a longstanding policy of not endorsing candidates, and this article should not be regarded as an editorial endorsement of the author. However, all candidates are welcome to submit articles for publication. We will accept any submission that does not violate our submission guidelines. Raise the Hammer is a free, volunteer-run publication that does not charge money for access to content and does not receive any revenue of any kind, including for commercial or political advertising.

You can find all of our municipal election coverage on our elections website.

Ute Schmid-Jones is a candidate for mayor in the 2018 Hamilton municipal election.

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