Hi, I’m Matthew Schwarze—I’m a local community leader that is looking forward to making Waterloo his lifetime home with his partner. I’m also running to represent Ward 6 on City Council.
I’ve had family living in Waterloo Region my whole life, and after I met Catherine, we decided to make Waterloo our home for the coming decades. In my time here, I’ve fallen in love with Waterloo as an energetic, progressive, forward-thinking community, and a uniquely great place to live.
Elephant in the room—I’m a little bit younger than your average candidate. I took time off in the middle of my studies to serve as the Vice-President, Operations & Finance at the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, where I built strong, practical expertise in non-profit administration, fiscal responsibility, and following through on strategic goals with tangible action—important hands-on experience that will translate to representing the residents of Ward 6 on our next City Council.
Some of the experience that I have in the community includes:
VP Operations & Finance of WUSA, overseeing a $9 million operating budget plus $20 million in programs and transfers. This included the student health & dental insurance plan with over 20,000 subscribers that I personally managed and the UPass bus pass program negotiated with Grand River Transit. I also led an in-depth governance review process to improve the democratic experience of 35,000 association members.
Resource member on the City of Waterloo Economic Development Advisory Committee (WEDAC).
Member of the ClimateActionWR Transportation committee.
Governor on the University of Waterloo Board of Governors and the Board’s Buildings and Properties committee, overseeing the development and maintenance of the physical plant at UW.
Author and delegate for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Association, developing non-partisan policy recommendations directed toward the provincial government.
Delegate to the Town & Gown Association of Ontario, specifically examining municipal policy issues in cities with high student populations.
I was inspired to run by the legacy of community groups, active citizens, and previous city councillors that have put in so much work for the benefits we get to enjoy today—the ION LRT, Iron Horse Trail, and the housing co-op I live at in the Northdale neighbourhood are just a few of the things I’m thankful to others for making possible.
The previous City Council has done a good job overall of pushing Waterloo in a progressive and positive direction—but with new challenges ahead and a very different set of people on Council, it’s vitally important that we keep our momentum up and explore new ways to better our city. My priorities include supporting affordable and high-quality housing, building a robust active transit network, and meeting our climate action and sustainability goals.
Waterloo is a great city to live, work, and learn in, and I think that City Council has the potential to make it even better. Our council works by having people with different backgrounds come together and empower a diversity of voices for the common good. As a young candidate renting and living in Ward 6, I think I can bring a unique perspective on living here and represent our ward, permanent residents and students alike.
Making the most of this role will take excitement and drive, a willingness to listen to all residents, and a commitment to always looking for ways to improve what the City is already doing. I bring experience in representing people, in working collaboratively to find solutions, and leading changes at a complex organization.
I welcome you to join me as I work to share my ideas about improving our city, and I hope to see you around town.