My unfiltered thoughts on life and fatherhood in London, ON
I want to be your next city councillor for Ward 11.
I'll be the type of councillor where you say "wow he works hard" and "am I ever glad we elected him", much like the feedback I receive in my current roles.
I'm married eleven years this December, and have two girls, a boy, and a golden retriever named Duncan.
I live in Ward 11 and have since 2011, first on Garfield Ave and now near Baseline and Edward.
My kids attend Mountsfield PS where I have served as VP and President of Home and School for five years now, changing every two years as per bylaws.
My wife, Joy, is a rockstar front-line healthcare worker.
Yes I used to play basketball. Yes I can still dunk. I played Division 1 basketball in North Carolina, before returning to Western University to play with my closest friends and finish my degree. I am the first male in my family to ever graduate from university.
I had a very difficult childhood, growing up in 13 different homes, escaping abuse and domestic violence, and eventually being raised by a single parent on disability. This is a big reason why parenting, community, helping the less fortunate, being responsible with money and protecting the vulnerable are SO important to me. I've volunteered for and financially supported local shelters and women's initiatives for 14 years because I used to run to them often in the middle of the night as a child. They help and are needed.
I had goals of being a professional athlete. I had contract offers. I also had 7 operations on the same knee and was told I would never run again. I still can.
I had two paths I could choose. I could be angry at the world for the hand I was dealt, or leave the most positive mark possible on this world and be better than my circumstances. I chose the second one and I choose it every day.
When I'm not living a life full of love, laughter, and too much grey/white hair for my age with my wife and three young kids, I am always trying to give back, and do and be better.
I've spent the past fourteen years working in healthcare and social services, supporting people living with mental health issues, chronic illness, and those navigating the plight of trying to make it in this world when facing barriers related to disability. Ive supported and supervised up to 88 patients at a time in inpatient mental health, managed over 2,000 files in an area spanning from Windsor to Owen Sound for people with epilepsy, and organized sixteen fundraisers in one weekend for Parkinson's.
I'm energetic, optimistic, and confident enough to tackle huge ideas and succeed.
In my limited free time, I co-founded and am the President of Dad Club London, a registered non-profit comprised of 1,400 member dads from across my region. We offer support, education, advocacy, and connecting services for dads and their kids, with the mission of creating better dads, a stronger community, and a brighter future for our children.
In nine years, we have hosted almost 500 events that were attended by over 10 thousand dads and kids, and have raised over $170,000 for charity and for people in need.
None of us are paid for our time and we receive no public or sustained funding for our efforts. All that direct benefit to London cost the taxpayer nothing.
In addition to my time with Dad Club London, I have also extensively volunteered in other areas.
I have been a front line and fundraising volunteer at Anova/Women's Community House on and off since 2008, helping in areas including child minding, kitchen support, donation pick ups and deliveries, and organizing Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.
I was formerly a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area.
I have coached basketball, both in team leadership and individual skill development off and on for twenty-five years.
I have been on the London Public Library Board of Directors since Fall 2018, and have served as the Chair and Vice-Chair. I have also served on the CEO Evaluation and Governance Subcommittees.
While employed as the Client Services Manager at Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario; I served on both LDCSB and TVDSB Special Education Advisory Committees, the City of London led Child and Youth Network, the All Kids In Camp Committee which arranged free accessibility training for all camp counsellors in London, helped organize and served on the Brain Health Network, and started and led the first ever support group for adults living with Epilepsy and their caregivers.
In my current role, I sit on the regional Job Developers Network, internal Wellness and Marketing Committees, and on the Southwestern Ontario Ontario Hotel Restaurant and Motel Association board as a Member-At-Large.
I am a former member of the Oakridge Optimist Club, and former volunteer organizer of the Parkinson Superwalk.
I'm an ally to the LGBTQ community, having marched in the Pride London Parade for the last five years, and donating our float fee in the years that there was no parade. My family sponsored the first ever Wortley Pride this summer, as did Dad Club London.
I'm committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression, and this video on YouTube will show that statement to be more than words.
In 2019, I was awarded MPP Peggy Sattler's Residents of Distinction Award, and in 2021 I was Mayor Ed Holder's Humanitarian of the Year. You can read more about this on my media page.
When I'm not trying to make the world a better place for everyone or spending time with my family, I enjoy fitness, food, reading, coffee, scotch, writing, and movies.
When people who know me describe me, they often use the words "kind", "friendly", "selfless", "resilient", "energetic", "creative", "curious", "tough", and "relentless".
Thanks for following my journey. Please reach out if I can help you on yours in any way.
Vote Jer for Ward 11 on October 24th. Our neighbourhood and city deserve an elected leader who is transparent, accountable, and dedicated to success.