Jason Lum was elected to city council with the third highest number of votes last year and he accomplished it at the relatively young age of 30.
He took the election campaign seriously and came up with well-thought out responses at all-candidates’ meetings.
“I found the campaign very exciting. It’s something I thought long and hard about,” he says.
His current seat at the city council table is actually not his first time working at Chilliwack city hall. He was contracted to work for the IT department after a work experience session while still attending high school.
What truly sets Chilliwack apart is its heart.
“It’s the idea that in Chilliwack we’re still a community that takes care of each other.”
He points to the contact centre project as an example of a healthy community project. He’s watching as council rep for the soon-to-be-built Chilliwack Health Contact Centre, which will provide wrap-around services including health services and housing.
“It’s something people have been waiting for and something I feel passionate about because it will serve the most needy in Chilliwack. But also it’s an example of people can collaborate to create something really good for the community.”
Lum took the slow but sure route to public service.
The proud Rotarian is a founding partner of Myriad Group of Companies, a tech consulting firm, and is the former president of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.
“After being asked to join the Chamber board, I found I was getting more and more involved in community work.”
That’s something he made sure was written into the DNA of his company too.
Lum has volunteered his time for Rotary causes, as well as those benefiting Chilliwack Community Services and Youth Services.
“That’s when I started to get a feel for how important it is to be involved and working toward the good of the community on a volunteer basis.”
His strong interest in history led him to working with the Chilliwack Museum and Archives.
“So I guess I’ve always had a huge variety of activities and interests.”
“When you see the kind of role local government plays in people’s lives, to me it was an extension of the community service work I had already started, and I wanted to be part of the forward-thinking team on council.”
This year at city hall he’ll be chairing the transportation committee and vice-chairing the mayor’s committee on housing, as well as the downtown plan implementation committee. He’s also vice-chair of the Fraser Valley Treaty Advisory Committee, and a youth entrepreneur mentor with Canadian Youth Business Foundation.
That will keep him hopping.
It’s shaping up to get even busier this year but that’s ok. If Lum has something on the go at all times, he’s probably having fun.
“I always say if you’re not busy, you’re not trying hard enough.”