Photo by Chung Chow
Michael Wolfe experienced a breadth of emotions Saturday.
He spent the early hours saying goodbye to a close relative and the final hours celebrating his election to Richmond city council.
“The emotions of sending my great uncle with a touching ceremony at his funeral, and then getting the support I’ve now received from the electorate…It was very much a rollercoaster kind of day,” acknowledged Wolfe.
Perhaps providence played a role.
Wolfe’s uncle Joe Raymore, who passed away a few days short of his 88th birthday, was a constant source of inspiration to his nephew. He had little more than hope when he arrived in Steveston from Europe, but came with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard. Wolfe hopes to bring those qualities to city council.
“He and my nana were 50 years older than me, but we connected so well,” he said. “I’m really passionate on being inter-generational. It’s been bred into me to work with all generations and not put yourself in a silo. In a city leadership role I think that’s an asset—to not be servant to a single group, but a public servant. I want to connect with everyone, just like my in my class (as a science teacher at Matthew McNair Secondary School).”
Wolfe said by their actions, voters are looking for change. He believes his role as a teacher and moderator can assist in facilitating the changes and building consensus.
We’re going to be independent thinkers while working collaboratively,” said Wolfe, who ran on the Richmond Independent Team of Electors (RITE) slate.
“To overcome some these real challenges, be they the differences seen on farm houses—what’s a mansion, what’s not, what’s too much or not enough, language, on signs, these are things I think our four (RCA and RITE) candidates are already on track to take leadership on these and bring about meaningful change in a timely order.”
A fourth generation Richmondite and graduate of Henry J. Cambie Secondary School, Wolfe has been in the public eye for more than decade as has been a staunch and outspoken promoter of protecting the environmental for future generations. He sat as a board member of the Richmond Health Advisory Committee, Richmond Nature Park Society, and Garden City Conservation Society.
Having taught all subjects and grade levels, including at the board office as a teacher consultant, he also pioneered the new provincial curricula on science.
Wolfe has put his name forward in at least 10 civic or provincial elections over the past 13 years. From that, he believes he has gained a better understanding of how the three levels of government can best serve Richmond.