Cloverdale Realtor Becky Zhou has announced she will run for a seat on Surrey city council.
Zhou is a Realtor with a background in accounting and financing who says she “can make a difference in the future of Surrey’s housing, community safety and business.”
Zhou, a widowed mother of two children, said she would make community safety a top priority. She lost her husband, Colin Hill, in July 2015 when he confronted a 22-year-old man attempting to break into their Cloverdale home. Hill, 42, was shot and killed.
As a victim of crime, Zhou “wants to see and be an influence in what is happening with community safety,” and she proposes that Surrey police should have a “No Call Too Small” policy. The neighbouring city of Delta has a similar policy, and sees officers attending all calls brought to the department.
Zhou has lived in Cloverdale for 15 years, and she says she has seen crime in the community worsen during that time.
“Cloverdale is getting worse — [throughout the Lower Mainland], it’s all bad. Shooting everywhere. Loss of life everywhere. Drugs and crimes are getting worse. I think we can make a difference by helping the community by bringing some leadership,” she said.
She proposes a “No Call Too Small” policy for Surrey, because “[we] have to take small things seriously, so they don’t get into a bigger problem.”
“My husband was killed by a 22-year-old. He didn’t just become a murderer. He didn’t just become a bad person in one day.”
Her solutions include connecting youth with positive role models in the business community, and creating and strengthening working relationships between the community, the Surrey school board and the RCMP. She also wants to see more police and bylaw officers on the streets in Surrey.
As well as community safety, Zhou said her top priorities would be to address insufficient transit and housing.
“We have funding for light rail, which is good. We should go ahead and do it. We’ve waited long enough,” she said.
As for housing, Zhou pointed to the low rental availability in the city as a major concern. She says she would work with developers to create more purpose-built rentals in the city. “Developers have money, and they want to develop. They want to make it work,” she said.
In a press release on Wednesday, Zhou stated that the city’s current housing issues should be handled with public consultations via online platforms and public meetings.
Zhou also promised to be an advocate for youth sports, create youth mentoring initiatives with local business leaders to foster a “healthier community,” and include more opportunities for residents and businesses to have input on infrastructure and transportation projects.
Zhou is an active member of local Chinese community associations, sponsoring the the South Surrey Chinese community, the Canadian Chinese Renovation Association and the Yushan Society. She also volunteers for the Chinese Tenancy and Landlord Association, as well as the Surrey Christmas Bureau and local minor hockey associations.
“Having thoughtful leaders who [listen] to and bring collaborative ideas to the city can and will make a difference,” she said.