Life-long Revelstoke resident Karen Powers is taking a step into the political ring with a run for council.
“I care about Revelstoke and I think we need a change for the better and to move forward,” she told the Times Review last week.
She announced her candidacy earlier in the summer and the I caught up with her last week.
Powers is the owner of Conversations, the cafe on Mackenzie Avenue that is popular with an older crowd. She has also worked for CP Rail, Selkirk Cedar and the Peaks Lodge, giving her experience in almost all facets of Revelstoke’s economy.
She was born in Revelstoke and has two children in their mid-20s who also live here.
She wants to bring her experience to the council table, and bring a focus on growing the economy.
“I feel that we need to — and everybody says the same thing — we have to move forward in industry and tourism and diversify what we have in Revelstoke,” she said. “We have potential to grow in a positive way and we just have to attract industry into Revelstoke for higher paying jobs rather than just minimum wage jobs.”
She talked about introducing tax incentives to attract new businesses and encourage existing ones to expand. “Perhaps there’s other ways we can help the businesses to grow, to make it worth their while to come here,” she said. “It can’t just be the beauty of the mountains. That will keep them here.”
Her vision is that of a community that works together, something she feels the community has lost.
She said her customers, many of whom spend quite a bit of time at her cafe talking about local issues, tell her the city needs change in order to grow. Infrastructure issues like the Big Eddy Waterworks will have to be addressed.
While she is not part of any community organizations, she said does what she can to help out, such as promoting the vintage car show.
“This is my hometown,” she said. “My children want to live here. I’ve never ever thought of moving, so I want to be part of looking after where I live.”