A record of making a difference
James Howe has a proven record of making a difference as a community advocate. Two examples are:
Quickly walking to get groceries, a coffee or go to the bank used to be possible for residents of Traynor-Vanier. Then despite their attempts to make their voices heard, fences appeared along the Fairway side of the LRT tracks and then later along the Traynor side.
James Howe has been actively interested in this issue since it came to public attention 2 years ago. He wrote a column in support of residents in March 2017.
Two years after going public with their challenges to restore their neighbourhood’s much needed walkability, residents were seeing no signs of progress and having trouble getting answers. So James offered his skills as a community advocate and learned that the best case scenario for a crossing would be July 2019 so he helped them to organize a rally and get media attention. As a result, the Mayor got the chief administrators of the city and the Region of Waterloo involved. The city is now actively buying the property it needs and construction in spring 2019 is anticipated.
Recent media attention
Pulling out the stops for a Vanier-Traynor crossing, The Waterloo Region Record
- Traynor-Vanier residents rally for pedestrian crossing to Fairway Road, Kitchener Today / 570 News
When the Mayfair Hotel was ordered to be demolished, James Howe vowed never again. Through blog posts and social media, he raised awareness that despite being owned by the city the former Legion building at 48 Ontario St. N. had sat empty and unused for more than 15 years. That lead to the formation of the Friends of 48 Ontario that arranged for the “birthplace of the blues in Kitchener” to be in Doors Open Waterloo Region in 2016. Their efforts got the city to make a decision on the building’s future.