Jackie Barkhouse won the byelection for her seat in December and didn't officially become a councillor until January. Four months isn't enough time to know where all the washrooms are in City Hall, much less get a handle on the Byzantine workings of the bureaucracy.
Still, Barkhouse has demonstrated tremendous grace and intelligence, and shows great promise. An educator and union organizer, she says all the right things about all the right issues and understands the concerns of her largely working-class district. Her challenge is to bring that understanding to the table and to translate it into effective action for her constituency.
Barkhouse is finding her comfort level ---at last month's budget deliberations, she spoke forcefully of the transit shortcomings in Eastern Passage and Cow Bay---but she hasn't yet fully grown into her position. I'm hoping that will come with time. She may very well become an absolutely stunning councillor.
Grade: C+ Jackie's Cell: 476-5601