Shandy Shaw has been a prominent leader in the Ward 1 community for over 30 years. As a potential Ward 1 councillor, she is aiming to use her passion for all things community, her skills in finances, and her social justice orientation to enhance life in Ward 1.
Shaw is a McMaster graduate who has worked as a senior researcher for the United Way, was the first female Chair of First Ontario Credit Union, and was the author of the first Women and Poverty report in Hamilton. She currently serves as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for First Ontario Credit Union and as Director of the HW District school board’s Hamilton Arts Council and Equity Foundation.
One of the key issues in her platform tackles the career prospects for students. Shaw feels the 14 percent youth unemployment rate and difficulty in finding decent paying work need to be at the top of City Council’s agenda.
“It’s something that seems to have slipped through the cracks…I have four kids, I have four grandkids and I think it’s something that’s really near and dear to my heart but also really important for our community.”
Shaw tells the story of her sister who graduated from McMaster’s nursing program and had difficulty in finding work after her studies. She ended up moving to the United States for a teaching job. Meanwhile, Shaw was working on a Workforce Planning Board where an urgent need for nurses was raised by a local hospital.
“I was just baffled we had these two large institutions, one that’s graduating nurses and the hospitals that can’t find the nurses.”
Shaw believes that if this issue goes unaddressed, it will create significant problems for Hamilton’s aging population. She believes that the situation could be improved if the City created a lending opportunity or micro-loan program for young people through student loans, entrepreneurships, or skilled trade apprenticeships.
Student housing issues are also outlined in Shaw’s platform, and she wishes to ensure that students have access to safe and affordable housing. Previously, she had experience advocating for this issue though the Affordable Housing Taskforce committee, and believes that it can be resolved by ensuring certain areas in the community have a mix of both affordable student and low-income housing, as well as other housing options.
For more information on Sandy Shaw and her campaign, visit her website.