This Halloween, Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t going out as a vampire, or even as the Hollywood diva who is her namesake. She wore a sandwich board election sign.
Taylor is running again for one of the five Maple Ridge positions on the school board.
Taylor, who ran in 2011, has worked in the community living field for 20 years, providing support and quality of life for developmentally delayed children and adults. It is a field, like education, that has been squeezed by cuts in provincial funding in recent years.
“Everyone is unhappy. I know how they [trustees] feel, because I’ve felt like that.”
But Taylor said there are solutions to be had, and she said there is a lot to know about accessing government funding. She said developing new programs and new initiatives is a possible answer – innovations are more likely to receive government funding than simply asking for more dollars, to pay for more staff.
Innovative partnerships could create new funding opportunities for the district, said Taylor.
“If you just keep saying ‘Give us more money because we need more,’ that doesn’t cut it anymore.”
She was the board chair for Alouette Addictions for more than 10 years, and while there the group set up a special program designed for students who are suspended from school over drinking or drug use. Rather than stay at home, they got some counselling and education.
She was the manager of children’s special services for the Community Ventures Society, and has been involved with the Tara Rince Irish Culture Society, and is the former co-chair of the Community Living Institute.
Taylor wanted to be clear that her 12-year-old daughter is not in the public system – she attends St. Patrick’s Elementary School, for religious reasons. But she is going to attend Garibaldi secondary for its International Baccalaureate program next year.