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On the phone with barbecue sauce entrepreneur Jerome Lagmay, District 4

Whether sending money to the Philippines or pitching in at local food banks, he wants to help.

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Proud Phillipino immigrant Jerome Lagmay has been a community advocate since he arrived in Halifax nearly nine years ago. While he frequently sends money back to the Philippines, he’s also been heavily involved in volunteer work for several years in his community. That’s part of why he chose to run for the District 4 (Cole Harbour–Westphal) council seat.

Lagmay’s seen first-hand the ways in which COVID-19 has devastated communities, financially and otherwise. “A lot of people got laid off, and I've been there too,” says the 37-year-old candidate. “They need money. They need food.”

Before the virus, the father of two volunteered at various places in Dartmouth and Cole Harbour. But he and his family are particularly focused on food banks during the pandemic, which brought some attention their way. As Lagmay tells the story, one day he and his son were helping at a food bank, and people there just said to him, “why don’t you run?”

Lagmay is a business owner who’s worked hard to establish his barbecue sauce company, Charlotte's Special Sauces. He started it in 2018, putting in 15-hour days and working a second job to support the company as well as his family. That’s the kind of commitment and tenacity he says is needed for council.

At the top of his list of 16 campaign commitments is a food program for low-income single parents, and celebrations for community workers like frontline staff and hospital and hotel workers. “We need to help each other,” Lagmay says. “We need to support each other so we can be successful in the future.”

He is also passionate about maintaining infrastructure in District 4. “I want to fix things here in the community, like roads and traffic issues to help with less accidents.” And he hopes to make real change on council by welcoming input from the community. “I’m going to hear them, and we’re going to listen to each other.”

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