Spencer Siemens is running for Vanderhoof district council.
Siemens, currently a mill worker, spent about four years working with the Chamber of Commerce. He was full-time with the Chamber for three and a half years, and worked there for two summers as a student.
He first ran for district council in 2014, at the age of 20. He says many people thought he was “a joke” in 2014. “I’m serious about running. I would like to make a difference in the community, I just want to get youth engaged and I’ve been interested in politics since I was a young boy … I’m not a joke, it’s not something that people think I took seriously, but I take it seriously. And I would very much like the chance to represent the community I’ve been born and raised in, and that I love to be in.”
Siemens, now 24, says he wasn’t sure if he wanted to try running for a second time, but as the deadline for nominations drew closer, he found himself thinking he would regret it if he didn’t try again.
“I think that I have a voice and a role to play in this community,” he says. “I’m young, I was born and raised in Vanderhoof. I know a lot of people in the community, and I believe there’s things that the community is doing well, but I think there are several different things the community can improve on and make better.”
Siemens says he would like to see the council address some infrastructure issues. He adds that he thinks the district is moving in the right direction with the new aquatic centre and the upcoming skate park, but he would like to see other recreation facilities in town improved as well.
He also wants to address housing in the community. He says it’s a “big problem” both for seniors and other renters. “There’s just a lack of [housing] and the cost of rentals, for a small community, is quite high.”
Affording rent is a big problem, especially for, although not limited to, young people.
He would also like to see young people getting more involved in the community and local politics. “I think that’s a problem and I hope that me running and hopefully getting in would give the chance for youth to be more engaged in several different things throughout the community.”
Although he’s young, Siemens has worked both in customer service and industry sectors, as well as at the local Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve seen both sides of the workforce, and I see the importance of both sides, so I feel that’s an asset.”
Siemens says he hopes the community will get out and vote on Oct. 20. “And vote for a voice that has change, and for the youth.”