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Values based Public Service


My journey has been a unique one.  As like many others, I was born to immigrant parents – coming from faraway lands to carve out a positive future for their children and families.  I have been blessed to grow up with parents who always taught me to help others.  The mantra went, “Help others and your creator will help you.”  This was my father’s lived experience.  I have struggled to fill his shoes my whole life.

Understanding the world around us is critical; especially today, where change is occurring fast and furious.  How do we understand the world around us when there are constant changes and more opinions then people?   We live in an era of distractions.  We are constantly bombarded with information.  Information to some represents misinformation to others.  The political discourse is negative and divisive.  The world is changing; people are struggling and the impacts of global events can affect our lives here in Surrey.  How do we decipher between noise and the issues that matter to most people?

From a young age, we were taught about values.  These universal values have stood the test of time.   There are many to choose from but some that come to mind include truth, respect, courage, fairness and compassion.  There are many more.  These values ground us, a protection of sorts.  Don’t get me wrong, we are human and we are prone to mistakes.  But if we hold on to these values and have faith, we will always know the path back.  I have strived to hold on to these values in everything I do, in every relationship I have encountered.  It’s a constant struggle in today’s world, but what’s life without its struggles and challenges!

After many years of community service, I have stood up.  After being encouraged for years by elders and friends, I have stood up.  After understanding and listening to the needs and aspirations from across our city, I have stood up.  I have stood up for you.  However, for those who know me, I have always been standing.  I have always fought for recognition and inclusion.  I have always fought for diverse voices to be heard by legislators and decision makers at all levels.  I have always encouraged, like my father did, for you to be included and counted.  Your voice matters.  Your perspective matters.  Your values, our values - matter.  

Now, it’s up to you.  Actually, it’s up to us.  We are in this together.  We have an opportunity to change the trajectory of our city.  Our city needs to be open to you, its residents.  Our city needs truth.  All parts of our city need to be included in our planning.  Our city needs a fair approach to development and growth.  Our city can be so much more that we currently are.  We just need some courage.  Our city can be a world class city.  Our city deserves its respect.  Our city needs to be inclusive and accessible for everyone.  We just need to have some compassion.

Everything is built and confirmed by our values.  

My name is Bilal Cheema and I am standing for city council as part of the Surrey First Team.  

On October 15th - together, we can do better.