Jenelle Brewer city councilor candidate

Moving Forward Together

VOTE OCTOBER 12 & 13 at City hall

Jenelle Brewer working on her laptop

A Little Bit

About Jenelle

Jenelle Brewer is a Syilx woman, mother of two, and member of the Okanagan Indian Band. She grew up in the area and has called Vernon home for over 30 years. She is the youngest daughter of the late William and Margaret (Peggy) Brewer; her siblings are Lyle Brewer, Karen Hutchinson, Barry Brewer, Valerie Brewer, and the late Kathi Brewer. Jenelle returned home to the Vernon area when her children were young so they could be raised in the beautiful Syilx territory, and close to her family. You may recognize Jenelle, as she is very engaged with the community in different capacities, as is well known for her community and volunteer involvement.

As someone who has lived here for most of her life, she has seen the city evolve over the years. Some changes are welcome and others present a challenge to many businesses and residents in the area. Jenelle is very aware of the need for families, businesses, and citizens to be heard and supported. Jenelle wants to be that voice – for her children, for her hometown, and for the future.

More Info

Background

Jenelle’s work in Emergency Management, Economic Development, and Strategic Planning coupled with her business education has proven her ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams. She brings diversification, an ability to create a vision for the future, and a willingness to explore innovative solutions to address today’s complex issues.

Jenelle encourages people to get out and vote for the candidates they feel will serve them best. Consider supporting a candidate’s campaign financially or by volunteering. Let’s all Move Forward Together.

The Platform

Climate Change

My priority for reducing GHG emissions in Vernon is to start programs to retrofit older homes. I support the plan to develop in the existing neighbourhoods, which are close to services and retail. Food security is an aspect of the Climate Action Plan that I would like to see prioritized. The increasing threats of disasters it is important that Vernon is relying on local production to meet our needs.

Community Safety

Many people have expressed concerns about the challenges businesses and residents face in the downtown core with vandalism, theft and addiction. There are no simple solutions to these complex issues, but I live and work in the downtown area. I am experiencing these issues with you on a daily basis. The solutions need to be realistic, I cannot promise the justice system will be tougher on crime. I am committed to making Vernon a safer community by working with partner groups to find solutions, to access funding and to get more treatment beds.

Fighting Discrimination

Discrimination has many forms. It’s important we create environments where discrimination is not tolerated. When I speak of discrimination, people often assume I am referring to racism. It is one of the many forms of discrimination. There are many people who experience discrimination including those with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+, and other community members. I will be consistent in my approach to having difficult conversations with people speaking and acting in discriminatory ways. I will make a stand when it comes to discrimination.

Economic Development

Building a political environment for economic development to encourage investment. Vernon has a good Official Community Plan with several Neighbourhood Plans that set out clear goals for the community that include economic development. Vernon is growing, as much as some may want to preserve what this city has been in the past, we need to plan for the demands of the future. It is time to create a Pandemic Recovery Plan to support our local economy. We need to be proactive so that we have a system that meets the needs of many individuals, families, business owners, and all other agencies that support the city.

Housing

I will support proposals for housing developments and will continue to cooperate with BC Housing and local developers. I do not support a requirement for developers to provide a percentage of affordable housing because I want to encourage housing development in Vernon. Creating affordable housing is a problem that needs to be solved using the city’s existing land inventory and creating partnerships to leverage Provincial funding. It is assumed that homelessness is an issue about addiction. Due to lack of housing stocks and increasing costs, the elderly and families with children are experiencing homelessness. The most vulnerable people are at risk; during the 2021 homeless count, 9% were youth and 11% were seniors. People on disability receive $375/month while the cost to rent a room in today’s market is $900, the homeless count identified that 48% of the homeless have a physical disability. Vernon needs viable solutions to housing. Another action I would like to see happen is a review of the bylaws to give homeowners the ability to create solutions for more housing options.

Elected Seats

2021-Present
School District 22 Board of Directors
Elected Trustee

2005-2009
Okanagan Indian Band
Elected Councillor

Board Experience

St. James School – Treasurer

United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap – Director

O’Keefe Ranch – President

Turning Points Collaborative Society – Director

Career & Education

Bachelor of Business Administration Management

Policy Development
Project Management
Economic Development
Business Development
Senior Management

A Word from Jenelle

Moving Forward Together

“My intention has always been to enter civic politics because I believe in bringing local solutions to issues,” Jenelle Brewer said. “As a longtime resident of Vernon and as a member of the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), I have developed a wide circle of influence, and I believe I have the experience and the skills to make a real difference in people’s lives

Jenelle is proud of her recent success as Recovery Manager for the OKIB where she oversees the efforts to rebuild the community and works with evacuated individuals to get them back to their homes following the disastrous White Rock Lake fire. She served two terms as an elected councilor for the OKIB, and she has served as a director on several volunteer boards in the Vernon area.”

Jenelle Brewer, City Of Vernon City of Council candidate

Interjurisdictional Experience

While Jenelle was employed with the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) she was appointed to various committees including the Vernon Tourism Commission, Interjurisdictional Development Team, and North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project.

The Interjurisdictional Development Team was responsible for development of the 47.5 km rail corridor between Coldstream to Kelowna known as the Rail Trail. Additional appointments included the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project, which is a collaboration between OKIB, Township of Spallumcheen and the Regional District of the North Okanagan to build a wastewater collection and recovery system in the Swan Lake area.

In 2017, Jenelle worked with the Economic Development Officer of the City of Vernon to jointly apply for the Community Economic Development Initiative. This project initiated Council-to-Council meetings to develop joint economic initiatives. She attended the monthly committee meetings with the representatives from both the City and OKIB Councils as a lead staff member.

Jenelle is committed to building the relationship with the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band, especially since OKIB recently purchased the O’Keefe Range lands, which is predominantly located within the city limits.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I running for City Council?

Since I held a seat on the Band Council, I have developed a passion for governance. As a person who has lived in Vernon for most of my life, I appreciate what Vernon has to offer and I hope to be of service to continue building this city for the future. Prior to the 2018 election, Akbal Mund who was the mayor, and Eric Foster who was the MLA at the time both encourage me to run. Their encouragement made me decide that running in 2022 was my new goal. My children are now adults, I own my consulting business, and I have the flexibility to be able to commit the time that is required to do this job.

How do I approach decision making?

As an indigenous person I have learned to think of the next seven generations when making decisions. What we do today impacts the future and as a city we need to protect resources. I base my decision making on many factors, and I respect what the community wants, even when I disagree. My advice when people work in indigenous communities is to be prepared to listen. To make effective decisions, it is important to make sure they are in alignment with the values of the community. My values include Teamwork, Leadership, Positive Attitude, Organization and Culture. When I apply these values in my life I can feel hope.

What do I think is a solution for the homelessness issue?

Homelessness is a problem experienced by cities across Canada, it is not something that can be legislated away. There needs to be concrete actions to address the systemic problems. We are dealing with humans and they will not disappear. I would like to explore new approaches and work with local agencies to advocate and lobby for the funding Vernon needs. It was suggested to me that municipalities need to work collaboratively and approach the Provincial levels for solutions. The city council needs to operate as a governing body that focusses on the strategic goals to make Vernon a place to be proud of.

How do I define affordable housing?

My vision of affordable housing consists of  options where people don’t have to choose between paying the power bill or buying food. To me it means that people will be able to pay for their rent and still live with dignity. To be able to afford the basic necessities of life, food, shelter, water, clothing, and to get rest without working two or three jobs. Affordable housing should improve the quality of life for residents so that we all benefit as a society. I would like to see more housing options that range from smaller suites to 3 bedroom units to meet a wide range of needs.

How have I experienced racism?

I have witnessed firsthand micro-aggression acts of racism that would not be visible to me if I was not with my Indigenous family members. Some of these family members are educated professionals, and still, they are subjected to racism. They are treated differently than myself who visually does not present as an Indigenous person. Many other people have shared their experiences with racism in conversations with me when they know I am willing to listen to their experiences rather than defend the behaviours. I will vote in favour of the anti-racism policy.

How do I invest in our community?

I am committed to being an active volunteer in a variety of roles in the Vernon area. I volunteer on local boards that I believe will make a difference. In 2021, I volunteered for the BC Winter Games as the Protocol Director, and at the Okanagan Indian Band ESS center for a total of approximately 1,000 hours of volunteer time. I look for opportunities to volunteer in a variety of roles, I believe volunteerism is an important foundation in any community. It is important for me to give back to Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band.

City of Vernon street

Jenelle Brewer Consulting

Link to Jenelle Brewer Consulting Inc. coming soon.

Jenelle Brewer Book

Link to Jenelle Brewer’s book coming soon.

Get in touch

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250-540-8992

[email protected]

Donations can be dropped off at the following office:

2-3310 Centennial Drive
Vernon BC
V1T 2T6

or by e-transfer to [email protected]