Favourite local politician
1. Uzoma Asagwara
2. Leah Gazan
3. “Fuck Brian Pallister” / “I hate Brian Pallister”
Uzoma Asagwara, MLA for Union Station, must be very busy these days. As New Democratic Party Critic for Health, Seniors and Active Living, Asagwara is perhaps one of the most important elected officials in Manitoba during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, Asagwara has resonated with Winnipeggers, since they were voted favourite local politician by The Uniter’s readers.
Prior to entering politics, Asagwara, a University of Winnipeg alum, played for the Canadian women’s national basketball team and worked as a psychiatric nurse. In addition to this impressive profile, their election as MLA last year was historic: Asagwara was among the first Black individuals to be elected as an MLA in Manitoba and the first gender non-comforming MLA.
Asagwara’s top priority as a politician is to make the voices of their constituents heard in the legislature.
“My efforts are really focused on ensuring that the government is listening to the communities that are the most impacted by the decisions that they make and the actions that they take or don’t take during this pandemic,” Asagwara says.
It’s important “to make sure that we’re reflecting on things that we can and should be doing better to make sure that people are healthy, safe, supported and well-resourced during this pandemic and also as we move past this pandemic,” they say.
Despite how outlandish this year has been, Asagwara has no regrets about jumping into the political arena.
“What I love most about this job is building relationships with people,” they say.
“I love doing advocacy in this capacity as a public servant, and I really value building strong, trust-based relationships with the people that I represent,” Asagwara says.
Published in Volume 75, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 2, 2020)