Who I interviewed:
I interviewed Laura Dupont, a city council women in Port Coquitlam. She is currently the only woman on that council. She works with the government only part time, the rest of her time is spent volunteering with SHARE, a non-profit that offers social services as well as with many committees including: Port Coquitlam’s Community Safety Committee, Healthy Communities Committee, Fraser Valley Regional Library Board, Interlink Library Board and Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee. As a city council woman, Laura passes legislations in Port Coquitlam for the good of our municipal and she focuses in on environmental issues with in PoCo. She has a University education in political science and in environmental sciences. Some of the accomplishments that she has in the community is passing important legislature for the environment.
How the person I interviewed is a leader in the community:
She is a leader in the community because she puts lots of hard work and effort in to bettering Port Coquitlam through her volunteering and through the legislature that she passes as well as her dedication towards a healthy environment for our community. She is also a good leader because she listens to the needs of the community at council meetings and try’s her best to voice these opinions and take action on them so that Port Coquitlam can become a better place for its residents. She is a very perseverant person who is strongly dedicated to bettering the community through any way possible.
- What parts of your job do you enjoy the most? The least?
- Is there anything more I need to know about being a council member to conduct this interview?
- What is your education and training background and how has it helped you?
- What qualities do you think a good leader should possess?
- What type of actions do you think a good leader should take?
- Through your work trying to better the community, which of the qualities you just listed do you think you have gained?
- Through your work trying to better the community, which of the actions you think a good leader must take have you also taken?
- What is one specific moment as a community leader that you are particularly proud of?
- What is it like to be the only woman on city council?
- What is an instance where you used some of the skills you gained through your work to better the community to overcome a problem?
- Is there anything else that you think I should know?
- The part that I enjoy the most is meeting people in the community. I love getting to know all of the different groups in our community through the council meetings and so on. I really like interacting with people in the community that I wouldn’t normally get to talk to. The part I enjoy least is the technology aspect. I am not good at using technology and I think I waste quite a bit of my time trying to make it work.
- It is crazy busy all the time, but it’s fabulous.
- I volunteered a lot in the community before this and that really prepared me for what I had to do as a community leader. In university, I did environmental studies and political science. The environmental sciences helped me indirectly, but when I studied political sciences, it really inspired me to get involved with politics.
- I think a good leader should be firm and think for themselves. They should stay true to their values.
- I think a good leader should try to speak for the community. Now that I am on city council I have the opportunity to interact with the community about what they want to change and what they like so that we, the city, can improve our municipal.
- / 7. I think that by helping the community, I have become empowered and that I really have voiced the opinions of the public to better the Port Coquitlam community.
- One moment that I am proud of is the first piece of legislation that I passed as a councillor. It was a piece of legislation made by David Suzuki called the Blue Dot Movement which aims to help start initiatives at all levels of government to help the environment.
- It would be nice to have more women on city council, but I honestly don’t have too many issues with it. I don’t mind being the only woman on city council as there are other women from different committees, but I would like more women to take part in government.
- When I was running for council, I needed to reach a wide audience of people and talk one on one with them to try earn their votes. My campaign helpers and I walked from door to door, and I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that we knocked on nearly every single door in Port Coquitlam. Campaigning was really hard, it was a big test. I didn’t have a lot on my side as most people running for the first time aren’t elected. I still can’t believe that all of those people voted for me. It was really hard work and I had to use lots of leadership skills to overcome it.
- I think you should know that politics is a very good career option. We need more women in politics, and though you may think that it sounds boring, I think that young girls should consider this a viable way to make a living. It is so rewarding to know that I am making a difference in the community.
*Some fun facts that arose from our conversation*
- Laura volunteers her time with SHARE a noon-profit that offers social services to families.
- Laura used to work as a flight attendant, at a car dealership, and in the oil business.
- Laura is originally from Alberta.
- Andreas Gunster’s Mom was Laura’s campaign manager.
- Laura will soon start a debate club for the local teens where they can debate political issues so that more teens get interested in politics.
My thoughts/ reflection on the interview:
I think that I learned a lot from Laura. She has taught me about the impact politics can make, the importance of perseverance, the importance of community, but most of all, the importance of good leadership skills as well as how they apply in life. Since talking to her, I have more carefully considered a job in politics and the importance of good government to lead communities, her passion has really influenced me and pushed me to think about some provocative questions. When she talked about all of the hardships she overcame to be elected, I learned that hard work really does pay off. I was absolutely amazed at all she had done. In the write up of the interview, I only included the most important parts and paraphrased for the most of it, but in reality, we had a very in-depth conversation about her experience in campaigning. She also shared some really interesting and touching stories about how through her job, she has gotten to impact the community and bring people closer together which I think is really amazing. However, I think the most important thing that I got out of the interview is that leadership skills are very important. Skills like the ones that I am only beginning to learn now, have helped Laura throughout her journey in life at nearly all the stages. I one day hope to be a leader in the community in a similar way to Laura. She is so passionate in what she does and that passion has rubbed off on me. I think that my favourite part was near the end of the interview when Laura asked me some questions in turn. I kind of liked to be on both sides of the situation, interviewing Laura while she reciprocated some of my same questions back to me. It really made me think about what it takes to be a good leader, after this interview, I have a much better idea.
Here is the source for the last picture used:
Some of the other sources that I used to help mw this this project: