Adam Cooper hasn’t liked what he’s seen in the community over the past several years.
From homelessness and drug issues, to property crime, he felt the residents concerns weren't being taken seriously.
So, he decided to do something about it and ran for Ward 6 councillor.
“Basically I felt the people of Cambridge weren’t being given the representation they deserved,” Cooper said.
“I was seeing their legitimate concerns minimized and dismissed. I felt it’s the duty of the councillors to represent the best interest of the residents. That’s what I plan to do.”
Cooper collected 1,336 of the votes, unseating incumbent Shannon Adshade by 479.
Cooper says over the past four years, he’s been a prominent advocate for the rights and safety of the residents in the ward. One of his primary goals is to make the streets of Cambridge safer for everyone. Failing to deal with the these issues can have far reaching implications, he says.
“The unintended consequences related to the residents have not been addressed,” he said.
“The last few weeks I’ve been hearing what I think a lot of the candidates were hearing. People are concerned about cost of living, the crime issues downtown and the drug crisis.”
One of the biggest points of contention in the ward over the past few years has been the status of the consumption and treatment site at 150 Main St.
According to his campaign website, Cooper wants to urge federal and provincial governments to fund safe, in-house, on-demand detox and rehab facilities along with transitional housing. He also wants an increase in mental health services.
When asked directly about what he plans to do to address these issues, Cooper said there will be a time and place to sit down and map out a plan of action. Until then, he’s trying to get comfortable with the new position and the people he will be working alongside.
“I haven’t officially been sworn in yet,” he said.
“I’m not going to get into things I think we should be doing or plan to do. My main concern right now is to get to know my fellow councillors and the city staff I’m going to be working with.”
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Ward 6’s newest councillor, but he’s ready to get going.
“Right now it’s a time to gather our thoughts, rest our feet for a few days and then the real work starts,” he said.
“There’s been lots of emails and congratulatory messages. We haven’t done any sort of orientation or anything, that’s coming up in the next two weeks.”
Finally, Cooper wanted to thank all those who voted. He emphasized the importance of exercising your right to vote.
“I heard a few people say ‘I would vote but I’ve given up because it doesn’t make any difference’,” he said.
“It does make a difference, you’re guaranteed to not have your voice heard if you don’t vote. Your voice does count, it’s as simple as that. This is the future of your city, your family and your children.”