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Richmond’s 2022 councillor candidates, in their own words

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:55 PDT, Fri September 30, 2022

Last Updated: 12:24 PDT, Fri September 30, 2022

Twenty-seven councillor candidates are running in Richmond’s civic election, set for Oct. 15.

There are three candidates running for mayor and 15 running for school board trustee.

The councillor candidates are profiled below. Their positions will also be shared via video interviews published at richmondsentinel.ca/richmond-election-2022

For more information on the candidates, click here. 


Name: Chak Au

Party: RCCA—Richmond Community Coalition

Richmond resident since: 1990

Occupation: Family therapist

Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election based on my record of over 22 years of public service. I am proud of the positive difference l have made for the Richmond community, including addressing the housing crisis, climate change, economic development, and racial harmony.

Top issue in this election and your position? The pandemic has affected many Richmondites in the past two years, and l am committed to making living more affordable for our citizens by supporting local businesses and jobs, lowering taxes, increasing housing supply, and promoting neighbourhood safety programs.


Name: Adil Awan

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 1974

Occupation: Pilot/realtor

Why are you running for office? With an increase in population, there is an increase in demand for housing and infrastructure, as well as safety and security. Richmond continues to grow, but now we need to make sure that growth is feasible, suitable, and responsible.

Top issue in this election and your position? Despite high levels of construction, affordable housing is still difficult to find. Rents are high and supplies are low, and the lack of affordable housing options puts a strain on support services. Rather than keeping developers in council pockets, I believe it’s important to hold them responsible, accountable, and committed to the best interests of Richmondites. I support streamlining municipal rezoning processes, and working closely with non-profit and co-op housing developers to help ease the housing burden in Richmond.


Name: Chai Chung

Party: Independent 

Richmond resident since: 2016

Occupation? Realtor

Why are you running for office? I love helping people.

Top issue in this election and your position? Top issues are what the people in the community think are top issues, such as more affordable housing solutions and programs that can help those who are working hard but who can also benefit from a little assistance. I will advocate for those issues that are brought to my attention as long as they are valid and for the betterment of people’s lives in our community.


Name: Derek Dang

Party: Richmond RISE

Richmond resident since: 1963

Occupation: Property manager

Why are you running for office? I want to continue working to make Richmond the best possible place to live and work. I believe I have the experience and the vision to bring Richmond to its maximum potential.  

Top issue in this election and your position? Housing is the No. 1 issue, and I have the unique perspective of having years of both professional and community experience. I would like to expand housing choices to allow for more housing for a wider range of people, and not have the city be a collection of high-end housing choices only. We should have entry housing options for the entry-level buyer.


Name: Carol Day

Party: RITE Richmond

Richmond resident since: 1964

Occupation: Richmond city councillor

Why are you running for office? I love Richmond and I want to continue my work to help the people of Richmond. I want to demand affordable housing options to buy or rent, and control tax increases by dropping the automatic one per cent extra tax increase each year.

Top issue in this election and your position? Housing crisis—I will push for developments that serve the needs of the public over the needs of the developer. Compromises are possible through creative and collaborative options.


Name: Jerome Dickey 

Party: RITE Richmond 

Richmond resident since: 1997

Occupation: Mediator and business consultant 

Why are you running for office? As a forward-thinking community advocate, I am committed to a new kind of leadership at city hall—a leadership that includes listening to and engaging with Richmond residents to fully understand their concerns and issues.  

Top issue in this election and your position? Three important issues that are connected. Housing crisis: not just any growth, but smart growth, including new options and large-scale rental housing and affordable density. Climate action: create livable communities through improved green spaces and alternative transportation infrastructure. Responsible government: no automatic tax increases and better civic engagement.  


Name: Evan Dunfee

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 1990

Occupation: Olympic race walker, school presenter, and KidSport ambassador

Why are you running for office? I want to help build a Richmond that myself, my future children, and their future children can thrive in. A Richmond designed for everyone.

Top issue in this election and your position? Housing. We need housing that works for young families, seniors looking to downsize, teachers, labourers, nurses. We need housing for everyone, and we need it in every neighbourhood. We need it close to transit, shops, and schools. We need a vision of what our community could look like and people with the dedication, leadership, and teamwork to guide us there.


Name: Mohamud Ali Farah

Party: Independent

Occupation: Independent accountant, system information management, paralegal, and legal assistant

Why are you running for office? I want to help, grow, and be part of the community with my resources and connections.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordable housing, elimination of homelessness, community safety, supporting Hamilton police station, and expanding businesses in Richmond.


Name: Laura Gillanders

Party: RITE Richmond

Richmond resident since: 2006

Occupation: Chief financial officer

Why are you running for office? I have served on committees, attended council meetings, and advocated for many issues our city has faced. Through this experience I believe I can provide informed and trustworthy leadership.

Top issue in this election and your position? Housing. Whether comfortably housed or not, it affects everyone. We cannot retain workers with the third highest rental rates in the lower mainland. Young families are not buying in Richmond because we have only been building what 80 to 95 per cent of residents cannot afford. We need to zone land for rental and also carefully densify our single-family neighbourhoods in a way that preserves the character and prevents speculation.


Name: Bill Han

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 2005

Occupation: Home financing advisor

Why are you running for office? I want to bring in a different perspective to our council, one that is full of energy, vitality, and inclusivity. The lack of participation in politics among my generation is one reason why I decided to run. Just like it’s our civic duty to vote in an election, running for office is one way to exercise our rights that are given to us. 

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordable housing. We want to make sure the housing cost here does not take up too much of Richmondites’ income. We want to make sure small business owners are able to hire people who can afford a place to live in Richmond. To do so, our city council must work closely with all three levels of government to provide every possible option to avoid that.


Name: Kash Heed

Party: Richmond RISE

Richmond resident since: 1965

Occupation: Current public safety consultant; former MLA, solicitor general, chief of police, and adjunct professor

Why are you running for office? Politics has reached a point of divisive inertia and is not developing progressive public policy that serves the constituents of an electoral area. Politics should not be considered a career and people that are interested in public service should do so after they have proven themselves in other areas. I am advocating for term limits at all levels of our political sphere.

Top issue in this election and your position? Four policy priorities: public safety, housing, seniors living, and good government. Elected candidates will host at least four community open houses each year focused on each of these policy priorities.


Name: Sunny Ho

Party: Independent

No biography was available by our press deadline.


Name: Andy Hobbs

Party: Richmond United

Richmond resident since: 1967

Occupation: Retired police officer, Vancouver Police Department superintendent

Why are you running for office? Richmond has been a wonderful place to raise our three children and five grandchildren. There must be opportunities for young people to live here, for seniors to thrive here, and for new residents to be welcomed here. I’ve volunteered continuously in our community since Grade 5 including coaching, search and rescue, Richmond Kigoos Swim Club, or boards like Tourism Richmond and Britannia Heritage Historic Site. Council is another form of community service. 

Top issue in this election and your position? Community safety, including infrastructure such as dikes, attainable housing, farmland, food security, sustainability, and fiscal management. 


Name: Mark Lee

Party: Richmond Citizens (RCA)

Richmond resident since: 2016

Occupation? Chinese translator and Mandarin interpreter

Why are you running for office? Richmond needs a local government that truly engages the public and responds to the needs of the entire community. We need more culturally competent “young” people in government, and it’s well past time for fresh faces on council.

Top issue in this election and your position? We are in the middle of a housing affordability crisis, and the city needs to take bold action to transform the way we approach getting affordable housing built. We cannot continue to rely on the private market to provide everything that we need. We can procure and offer existing public land for purpose-built rental developments. We can devise “cookie cutter” frameworks that would streamline permitting and see fees waived for qualifying developments. 


Name: Alexa Loo

Party: ONE Richmond

Richmond resident since: 1972 

Occupation: City councillor and mother of two boys

Why are you running for office? I love Richmond and I love being a city councillor for Richmond. We have a great city and a wonderful community and I would like to continue making life better so that everyone can reach their potential.  

Top issue in this election and your position? Housing affordability is our biggest issue and best tackled holistically, by updating our Official Community Plan: planning for growth with more housing types, improving transportation and employment opportunities, ensuring safety with great diking infrastructure, fire, and police services, and that our health care system keeps up with our growth.


Name: Bill McNulty

Party: ONE Richmond

Richmond resident since: 1971

Occupation: Richmond city councillor

Why are you running for office? Richmond is a vibrant, diverse city and I am committed to working for you to keep it safe, prosperous, affordable, and sustainable.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordable housing is a concern for most residents. People should be able to live and work in their own community. I have continued to push for partnerships with developers, agencies, and all levels of government to address this complex issue for Richmondites. I advocate for incentives like increased density, relaxed parking, shorter approval times, and reduced fees for developers, recognizing that the benefits of affordable rental housing make a stronger community. The Official Community Plan, Arterial Road Policy, and City Centre Plan need revisiting to address increased rental housing.


Name: Rahim Othman

Party: RCCA—Richmond Community Coalition

Richmond resident since: 2004

Occupation: Program manager

Why are you running for office? I’m a longtime resident of Richmond and have seen and experienced many challenges that the city and residents have been through over the years. I have the skills and experience along with my passion for public service to work with stakeholders to come up with solutions to make life better for Richmondites.

Top issue in this election and your position? Hate crimes and racism are  concerns for many residents. When elected I will advocate for the adoption of a Richmond community protocol responding to racism and hate.


Name: Dennis Page

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 1982

Occupation: Digital marketing and content creation

Why are you running for office? I’ve studied Canadian history, B.C. politics, and digital marketing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and covered local Richmond issues as a journalist. I put myself out there as a candidate because it is now a matter of survival—if

I don’t fight for the Richmond I want, and the services, jobs, culture, and all that
goes with it—others will seek power.

Top issue in this election and your position? Bringing back mixed-income communities to Richmond to help boost housing affordability. Effective bylaws and strong enforcement, reviewing policies and practices for exploits and loopholes, and shutting them down. Finally, boosting social harmony and economic activity.


Name: Keefer Pelech

Party: Richmond Citizens (RCA)

Richmond resident since: 1996—my whole life—except for four years in New Westminster due to work

Occupation? Communications and stakeholder relations for B.C.’s Minister of Education

Why are you running for office? Richmond is my home, where I grew up, and where I want to raise my family—but the cost of housing is pushing more residents and younger families out.

Top issue in this election and your position? Prioritizing affordable housing through zoning to ensure that we are building more rental and family-friendly units. Leveraging city resources to build up non-market housing solutions, community amenities, and services people rely on—as well as pushing regionally for a stronger transit and active transportation plan.


Name: Jasmine Piao

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 1999

Occupation: Community support worker, tutor

Why are you running for office? I am a fresh voice for the people, not a career politician. My mission is to be a voice for Richmond residents, put families first, and restore integrity in local governance. In council decision-making, I seek to find the truth, preserve moral family values, and uphold tax dollar accountability.

Top issue in this election and your position? Tax dollars must be justified and accounted for in all budgets, including spending for multi-million city capital projects. The city’s Affordable Housing Program and reserve fund budgets are fractional compared to other budget allocations, and fail to meet urgent housing needs of Richmond residents. I propose affordable housing models adapted from Singapore and Whistler to get residents and families from being renters to homeowners.


Name: Sheldon Starrett

Party: RCCA—Richmond Community Coalition

Richmond resident since: born in Richmond and returned in 2020; have worked and volunteered in Richmond for last 10 years

Occupation: Wine professional

Why are you running for office? I am running because Richmond needs a new approach to supporting local businesses and jobs. RCCA has an action plan to increase affordable housing in Richmond, and recycle textiles for a greener city.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordability. I will support local businesses so that we have jobs in Richmond so residents can live and work in the city. I will introduce a “rent-to-own” plan and advocate for more co-ops and other affordable housing options to keep and attract skilled workers in Richmond.


Name: Jack Trovato

Party: Richmond Citizens (RCA)

Richmond resident since: 1976

Occupation: Award-winning retired educator.

Why are you running for office? I am committed to ushering in a new age of honest, transparent, and accountable civic government where the common good and best interests of the entire community are a priority, and I will continue to challenge the status quo of our current policies for a greener, more livable, and sustainable Richmond.

Top issues in this election? The growing housing crisis plaguing Richmond attests that an ever-increasing number of renters are struggling to keep their families housed. Current research suggests that Richmond has the third-highest rental rates in Canada, and many residents spend over 50 per cent of their family income on housing alone. RCA will work in partnership with the provincial and federal governments to advocate for more affordable, non-profit, and purpose-built rental housing. 


Name: Michael Wolfe

Party: RITE Richmond

Richmond resident since: 1982 (all my 40 years)

Occupation: Current city councillor and science teacher at McNair Secondary School

Why are you running for office? To propose innovative solutions that will shape a better future for our community. As a bold councillor, willing to meet the needs and fill the deficiencies that neighbours bring to our attention, I am seeking re-election to ensure a voice on council is connected to young families (I have a three-year-old daughter), East Richmond and Hamilton (where I’ve lived), environmental and educational issues (Masters of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees), and to provide representation of opposing views.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordability—including housing, taxes, community services, and programs.


Name: Elsa Wong

Party: Independent

Richmond resident since: 1992

Occupation: Constituency assistant of Richmond Centre MP Wilson Miao

Why are you running for office? I believe I can assist our city council to make Richmond a more inclusive society and a safer community for all people, as well as having a more transparent and accountable governing body and better sustainable economic growth for all businesses.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordable housing is a top issue that cannot wait and must be dealt with immediately. I advocate to city council and developers to sit down and come up with a strategic plan that is beneficial to all stakeholders on both sides. Low-income citizens and seniors are all in need of affordable housing, and developers need to minimize their cost. 


Name: Fipe Wong

Party: Richmond Citizens Association (RCA)

Richmond resident since: 1994

Occupation: Union organizer

Why are you running for office? I am dedicated to being the voice for ordinary working people on council, and to working hard and coming up with real solutions to make Richmond affordable for everyone. I will advocate for and represent the diversity of our community.

Top issue in this election and your position? The housing affordability is through the roof; we need all three levels of government to commit to building new non-market, cooperative, and social housing units. Richmond should be a city where everyone can afford to live, work, and raise a family, and where neighbourhoods can thrive, while doing our part to protect the environment.


Name: Eric Yung

Party: Richmond United

Richmond resident since: 1975

Occupation: Staff scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, where I work to develop treatments for various forms of cancer

Why are you running for office? Housing affordability made families move away from Richmond, causing declining enrollment in our schools while I served as a school trustee. I want everyone to find homes in Richmond to live, grow their families, and age in our community.

Top issue in this election and your position? Affordable housing in Richmond is the top issue. I believe we must tackle this with many approaches, to provide a variety of purpose-built housing options that support all ages and stages of life.


Name: Melissa Zhang

Party: Richmond United

Richmond resident since: 2005

Occupation: Financial advisor

Why are you running for office? I believe residents, community organizations, and businesses need to be involved in decisions made by the city. I believe I can help bring concerns and feedback from the community to the table and work with others to find solutions. This is an opportunity for me to serve and give back to the community.

Top issue in this election and your position? Community safety (enhance Block Watch program to get more resident involvement), community inclusiveness (unite Richmond against all discrimination, and support vulnerable groups), and community development (increase and diversify supply of affordable housing for different needs, enhance efficiency and transparency at city hall).

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