Friday, August 23, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: McCreath Bows out of Municipal Election!

BREAKING NEWS: McCreath Bows out of Municipal Election!

St. John's marathon runner, animal lover, former Provincial Government senior policy analyst, and transgender activist, Jennifer McCreath, had hoped to make history on Sept 24, 2013 by becoming the first person in Newfoundland, who has gone public about their transgender medical history, to run for public office. Sadly, McCreath watched in horror yesterday as she received e-mails from all but one of the persons she had lined up to nominate her, cancel out on her nomination meeting. A subsequent scramble to find replacements lead McCreath to discover the harsh reality, that not even her closest friends are willing or able to step forward and publicly nominate her.

Jennifer thinks there is still some stigma associated with showing support for trans people. "It saddens me to hear folks say that they support me, but are afraid to demonstrate that support publicly, due to fear of backlash and social pressures," McCreath said. Jennifer announced her intention to seek a seat on City Council back on July 15, the same day of an historic Pride event which saw a transgender flag raised above City hall for the very first time anywhere in Canada, in St. John's.

After initially focusing on a run for an at-large seat, Jennifer's strategy changed when incumbent Deputy Mayor, Shannie Duff, announced her retirement from politics. "With only Ron Ellsworth running, I felt there was a great opportunity for me to step up to the plate to offer the voters a major choice," McCreath said. Jennifer had planned to launch a campaign that would see young and lower-income folks become engaged in politics for the first time in their lives, "many people I know, don't even vote, because they think politicians are a bunch of rich old men who don't care about their issues," McCreath said. Jennifer hoped to represent the silent minority and give them a reason to care.

Jennifer also feels that mainstream media did not take her seriously, as all but one of her political press releases were ignored, and she was even excluded in a recent head count of female candidates, for a recent CBC story about why so few females are putting their name on the ballot.

Jennifer also admits that it was very tough to run a campaign, when she did not have the luxury of being able to afford to quit her day job, "I have a very demanding job. I work 12 hour shifts, including evenings, weekends, stat holidays, and over-nights," said McCreath. Jennifer is currently employed with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, where she works in the Communications Centre, where she spends most of her time on the phone with 911 callers, who are looking for emergency police assistance. "It is one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had, and the overnight shifts are certainly draining on your energy levels, but I can't tell you how proud I am to know that I have such an important role in this community. I can literally say that I have helped save lives by the work that I do," said McCreath.

McCreath remains concerns about what she feels is a 'rich old boys club' at St. John's City Hall, and now that she is out of the election, she plans to promote and campaign for other candidates who she feels can help break down this barrier and introduce some young new talent into the Hall.

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1 comment:

remi said...

This is terrible news :( I'm so sorry to hear it. Hopefully things will work out better for you in the next election, if you decide to run again.