Have you ever looked closely at a mosaic? It’s amazing how so many small pieces can come together to make a big picture. In a mosaic, as in life, each piece is equally important in the final product. This idea of “chips makes chunks” has driven me to advocate for inclusion and has made me realize why equity is so critical. I began my journey as a Coquitlam city councillor in 2013 and since then have been a strong, progressive voice on council. I work tirelessly to speak up for the needs and wants of all the members, for all pieces of the mosaic that is the rapidly growing and changing city of Coquitlam.
I have lived in many different cities including Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Calgary and Edmonton to name a few. In each of the cities I’ve moved to, I was tasked with setting up a home for our family and finding work for myself. Over the last 5 years, 10,000 people find themselves in that same situation during their move to Coquitlam. I know what it is like for them to have to find housing, work, doctors, dentists, recreational activities, friends, and all the other things that make up a life when you move to a new city. This is exactly why inclusive and equitable cities are so important.
With this idea of settling into a new city so close to my heart, it continues to be my goal to understand the experiences and needs of all residents that live in our city. Whether it is a family with children, couples without, singles, seniors, roommates, even pets! No matter if you’ve lived here for 30 years or are brand new to our city, the needs of people are always in the forefront of my decisions at the council table. I value inclusion not just by listening to what people are saying but by responding.
Before I was elected to council, I was a business analyst. I worked with the marketing and business insights teams of Fortune 500 companies to help them understand their consumer. I am a certified programmer analyst and have a bachelors degree of Sociology from the University of Manitoba. Furthermore, I have a Human Resource Management certificate from the University of Calgary. With this background and my 5 years experience on council, I’ve been gathering feedback from the community. If elected again, I will look to further my goal of an inclusive and equitable Coquitlam. One where each piece stands out on its own and is an important part of this beautiful city we call home.
See you on the doorstep.
– Bonita Zarrillo