Mayor Meghan Lahti and Ally - Mayor for a Day

Mayor Meghan Lahti is pleased to announce that 12-year-old Ally, a resident of Port Moody, had the chance to be Mayor for a Day on November 20, 2023 – World Children’s Day. After finishing work at her day job (middle school), Ally toured City Hall and the Inlet Centre Fire Hall, learned about the role of mayor and council, and met with a member of the Port Moody Police Department. She also signed a proclamation that declared November 20 to be Children’s Day in Port Moody and enjoyed some pizza with Mayor Lahti. 

Ally was selected by Mayor Lahti as the successful candidate from 47 applications submitted between July 1 and September 29, 2023. Mayor Lahti invited children between the ages of five and 12 years old to fill out an application form and describe what they would do if they were Port Moody’s mayor. 

“I read every single submission and was very impressed with the thoughts and ideas expressed by the children who applied,” said Mayor Lahti. “I want kids to know that their suggestions, hopes, and concerns are valued. World Children’s Day is a day to amplify their voices and, even more importantly, to listen. Ally, like so many of the children in our community, wants to help others and make the world a better place, and she – and they – can and do make a difference. It was an honour to meet Ally, answer her questions, and take note of her ideas, and I’m excited to meet and talk with more young residents when we host a youth summit in spring 2024.” 

“Being Mayor for the Day was an amazing experience,” said Ally. “Mayor Lahti was so nice to show me around City Hall and talk to me about Port Moody's future. I'm excited to get more involved in our community and to encourage other kids to share their ideas, too.”

Here is what Ally would do if she were Port Moody’s mayor, as written on her application form:

If I could be Mayor for a day, I would spend the whole day listening to children and working together to turn their ideas into reality. I think so many kids don’t believe that what they think matters. I know I often feel like the adults are always in charge and I don’t have a say, even when I have a good idea. If I could be Mayor, I would ask each school to find ten kids who have great ideas to improve our community. Then we could all meet in Inlet Theatre, listen to each other’s ideas, vote on the top three, and work together to make them happen. 

Maybe we could start a volunteer program to help seniors, or clean up a park, or hold a giant party to raise money for homeless animals. Whatever we decide to do, it will make Port Moody better and show kids that even though we’re small, we can work together to make the world a better place. An experience like this might also make kids more likely to become involved in our community in the future, by voting in elections, joining volunteer groups, or maybe even running for Mayor themselves one day. 

I hope I have the chance to show kids that their ideas are important and useful and that their actions really do make a difference. All they need to do is speak up, work together, and keep trying. Thank you for listening. 

World Children’s Day is recognized each year on November 20 to increase awareness of the need to advocate for, promote, protect, and celebrate children's rights. It is also a day of action for children, by children, with the goal of making the world a better place. November 20 is the date in 1959 when the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.