Who is Steve?

A husband, father, Burlington resident of 26 years, a community leader, a business owner, social innovator, entrepreneur, climate and mental health advocate, and a management innovations consultant.


In his spare time, he enjoys
cycling and hiking and is an avid jogger. He truly appreciates the outdoors and nature.

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Q: WHY RUN FOR MAYOR?

My name is Steven Rieck. I care. I have ideas and want to share them. I, like many of you, feel that the system that is supposed to serve the people, is not working as well as it could.


One day in July while out for a run, 'I had a crazy idea to run for Mayor to change the world.' What started out as a $200 Mayoral nomination to get City Hall to ‘listen', ended up being a ‘accidental campaign,’ mainly to be a voice of reason, perspective and ideas.


I am NOT a politician. No political affiliation, no ego, greed or other motive. Corny as it may sound, I just care about making Burlington and the world better.

What I have learned is that most citizens, myself included, just want politicians and public servants to “Do the RIght Thing.” What we really need is to stop the excuses, remove the bureaucratic barriers and the politically motivated posturing. In reality, we are moving too slow on climate issues, making silly mistakes and are over-complicating many issues.

I am here to offer ideas. I care about the people and the planet. I care about the issues more than the politics and I am here to support whoever wins.


I believe climate is an opportunity for humanity to rise and solve. It is more of a challenge, than a 'crisis'. Cities have an opportunity to lead-by-example and push the boundaries and to innovate and re-invent how decisions are made, with a lens of "People and Planet first. Together!".


Win or lose, I hope to accelerate climate action in other ways, working with conscious-driven entrepreneurs and leaders.



Steven Rieck




If there was ONE thing that you would do if YOU were mayor, what would it be?

Email me at mayorsteve2022@gmail.com

Some Ideas:

  • Free transit pilot. "FREE-Key Friday's". ie. Free transit on Friday's to gauge demand and uptake and interest in a 'free transit' model in our city. Low-income families can run errands, shopping or take kids on outings on Friday's. People can take transit to work and have after-work social and safe ride home. For senior's and others, no more fare anxiety.

  • Electric buses ASAP. Let's study a phase-in of free transit as they arrive, based on results of the free transit on Friday's trial. Hop-on, hop-off service to reduce traffic congestion and save money by being a 1 car family. The socio-economic-enviro benefits will help our city phase into a cleaner, greener transit-centric city of the future.

  • Let's re-invent or update bylaws and the bylaw dept. EV driven 'Community Engagement Officers' will have the best job in town, connecting with citizens, listening, learning and educating the public on 'guidelines' ( aka bylaws) Less punitive, more educational, informative and positive community engagement to create caring neighbourhoods.


Council:

  • Delegating is time-consuming and stressful. Some of the smartest in the community, 'citizen experts' are too busy to delegate. Let's make it easier.
    idea: Offer citizens a chance to record a 5 minute video delegation instead. Send to council or as a delegation. Citizen who want to present to council, can submit, days before council meetings, allowing council to listen, ponder, think, do research and get advice from staff and experts and other cities who had similar issues. The result is a more intelligent discussion and decisions with better transparency and community engagement. Shorter meetings and less downtime from citizens is the result.

  • 'Share your Ideas' line: Some of the best ideas come from experts in the community who know, as well as staff. We will look to create a 24/7 'ideas and tips' phone line and email address to share best practices ideas when traveling abroad or tips or expertise from consultants and experts in the community, QR codes on reports allows for quick input from the community.

  • Long reports are hard to summarize. We will ask staff to add an executive summary in layman's terms for transparency to the public. Plus, this can be shared with front-line staff for input and perspective to catch more opportunities and ideas. Great for First Friday brainstorming with staff.


CLIMATE innovations:

  • We will look at doing more action-oriented climate joint-ventures and partnerships with environmental champions and organizations. The fact is that the city lacks resources and staff time. Some innovative non-profits and community leaders are offering to write the grant apps and do the work that is needed, offloading the resources demands off the shoulders of city staff. By offering to do some of the work for the city, environmentalists get what they want, by collaborative efforts, instead of telling the city what to do. As a climate advocate, I see that as the opportunity to use time on action. The fact is, we have the same outcomes we desire on climate. So let's share work-load of projects to reduce workload on staff while getting more things done! Present a case to staff and council on your organizational ideas and we will select top ideas based on resources and shared workload. Let's work on projects together.
    "Don't tell us what the city should do for the planet, tell us what you will do for the planet."

  • Community Engagement Officers who offer positive environmental engagement. Friendly Idling reminder notices to encourage community clean air activities. This is a postive, educuational and targeted approach to reduce emissions in a positive manner.


Mayor innovations:

  • Mayor will be made available the first Friday afternoons after 1pm for casual brainstorming with staff and partners on climate ideas and opportunities. Creative thinking mastermind groups are powerful ways to have casual discussions with freeflow ideation. It can be focused on copying what works elsewhere or ideas staff have and want a sounding board to. Creative discussions matter.

  • Climate experts agree we need more climate leaders in political power roles. Having a climate advocate in the Mayor's office means he is able to be a voice to Federal and Provincial leaders on opportunities, based on his real-world experience working inside a city as Mayor as well as previous experiences of being in the climate movement ( other side of the table trying to PUSH change). This perspective allows him to also be a voice to encourage and support 444 Municipalities in Ontario, and thousands across Canada, to have a broader and leveraged climate impact. In short, we can PULL climate action.

  • Mayor's office Climate Liason: To assist with the 'big picture' inter-city partnerships, the Mayor will seek to hire a passionate and personable climate liason and researcher, to work in the Mayor's office, to be a central connector between the Mayor, other cities, local and other environmental groups, and staff, to help open doors, introductions and direct Mayor on opportunities as they arise. Project planning the extensive resource network of climate causes aims to help them succeed by using our city as a model city.

Beliefs:

  • Solving the climate is both a 'challenge' and an opportunity. People rise up to challenges and opportunities. "Crisis" mindset is negative and causes climate anxiety.

  • Climate is 99% psychology and just 1% action. Turning an engine off takes 2 seconds. Getting city hall to agree to do it, has taken 20 years. The time lag, not the emissions IS the problem. Understand that, then the solutions are easier to spot.

  • FEAR is one of the main emotions preventing solving climate. Fear of change is hard for many. Lack of motivation requires leadership, vision and purpose. We need to be non-judgemental and empathetic to the fearful who just need time.

  • Some staff are passionate about climate, while others are passive. We need to create a mindset that all public serants are 'environmental stewards' our kids would be proud of. We need to inspire staff so they see the big picture opportunity they have 'to serve and protect our people and planet'. Being paid to do what some volunteers do for free, is an opportunity many would love to have. We should encourage community leaders who apply for jobs with the city to take on roles that tap into their natural energies, passion, purpose and desire for a better world.

  • Making climate simple and a positive experience is the opportunity. Bylaws, rules and regulations Faith and showing the way nd APATHY ( giving up) prevents solving climate. BELIEVE!

  • The climate economy will create jobs, new business opportunities and innovations we cannot imagine today. With $trillions being invested in Cleantech and climate in coming years, we have an opportunity to develop future leaders and entrepreneurs and researchers who can accelerate climate actions through technologies and systems improvements. Innovations needs thought leaders which needs recruiting and training the most brilliant minds we can find.

  • Youth are the future. I believe we need young leaders to run for office and lead our cities and climate ventures. They have a vested interest in the future, have fresh ideas and are tech savy and the energy and longevity to develop their skills. Pre-retiring leaders, including myself, have a limited window of opportunity to grow into roles like Mayor. The 'Future leaders Now' program aims to find the ambitious, energetic and creative minds and mentor, coach and meet with other like-minded young creators who will learn how to innovate and build businesses like Elon did. They will build the cities and businesses of the future that will solve the climate crisis.

  • I believe solving climate is simple. We just need to find as many ways to reduce emissions as possible, while enjoying life! That's it. We just over-complicate things.

  • Being a Mayor is an opportunity to support other Mayor's who want to solve climate. Momentum is our friend. 2 or more, like-minded people , aligned to a common goal is powerful. Like-wise, we need to find and support staff leaders who want to solve climate and feel the system does not allow them to shine. The Mayor has an opportunity to encourage them to come forth and share their ideas, ( see first Friday's sessions with the Mayor & Mayor's climate liason), empower them, listen and share ideas and shape the ideas into doable actions. Selling the best ideas is our mutual benefit and partnering with environmental groups that share the vision is the opportunity to share the workload and successes.

  • I have worked with several cities over the years. Many are re-inventing the wheel. There is an opportunity, to pool resources with other cities to create an ad-hoc climate thinktank to 'divide and conquer' the 100's of projects needing done. By focusing on expertise, passion and experiences that offer value and perspective, some cities are in a position to guide and offer a proven workplan, reports and recommendations to other cities that want to do the same thing. That will save time, resources and de-risk projects by following a proven system that worked elsewhere. We will work with groups like Climate Caucus to suggest we not only share expertise and presentations, but offer resources and downloadable workplans to replicate.

  • The bigger opportunity, is to create a support system for climate action. If 1% of the population is totally committed to climate and willing to launch social innovations and climate causes, we need to support them and tap into that positive energy and passion and knowledge. That is the real power. People and innovations and ideas. While alot of attention is focused on awareness of issues, engaging government, businesses and people to 'change', we need to also focus on amplifying the power of the growing climate advocates and citizens. Many are looking for ways to help. I believe the opportunity is to empower and support the passionate leaders who have the ideas we need to implement while helping them train others to do the same. From starting local chapters of global climate causes, to running for office, we need climate leaders to take bold steps, outside of their comfort zone, and support them. Running for Mayor is an example that Steve is walking-the-talk on. He is NOT a politician but a citizen who was asked to run by climate citizens and others who had faith in his abilities. ;)