My name is Amber Hill-Donhauser, and I am running on the Democratic line for Niagara Falls City Council. I wish to take one of the three spots that are available in this election, preferably the position to be left open by a retiring council member.
I grew up in Niagara Falls between MontEagle Ridge Estates and Packard Court, and then moved to the Tuscarora Reservation at the age of 10. I graduated with an Advanced Regents Diploma from Niagara Wheatfield, where I participated in many sports and extracurricular activities. I attended Syracuse University and received my degree in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Policy, with a minor in Legal Studies and Native Studies, while also playing Division 1 lacrosse and holding a full-time Student Supervisor position with the Department of Public Safety on campus. I returned home to raise my daughter and reintegrate back into our community.
I have been a Financial Advisor since 2012, most recently with New York Life, and now as the President of The Hill Financial Group. I also work as the Administrative Manager for the Plasterer’s Union Local #9, and the Buffalo and Niagara Building Trades.
I volunteer in my capacities as a Financial Advisor wherever I can, most recently teaching Financial Literacy classes at Carolyn’s House on 6th Street to domestic abuse survivors, and to the apprentice classes at the Ironworkers Local #9 hall on 39th Street.
I also thoroughly enjoy coaching lacrosse to children both on and off the reservation to grow the game in our area. I recently returned from London, England from playing in my fourth World Cup with the Haudenosaunee Nationals – a program that I have been the Captain of since its inception in 2006, while also participating on the Board of Directors as a member and Public Relations Advisor. I also participate in the Ontario Women’s Box Lacrosse League (the highest level for female box lacrosse players at this time) as a member of the Grand River Attack – a team that not only won the regular season, but were presented with gold medals after defeating Whitby 4-2 this past month.
As I went house to house for the petitioning process, residents had many questions for me, such as – what were my qualifications, what was the reasoning behind my choice to run, and most frequently – what was I going to do about their darn trees! I want to say first off that I believe our entire city is jaded by our politicians, the political process, and the ridiculous amount of dismal news about Niagara Falls that smacks them in the face over their morning coffee every day. Niagara Falls has all the potential in the world to be great, but we can’t quite make it up over that perpetual mountain because we’re too covered in elusive red tape for development and our inability to manage our budgetary commitments. Much of the news is discouraging, and the ranting and distorted raving on social media creates an echo chamber of helplessness and anger in our city.
This level of pessimism within the city limits is one of the reasons I decided to run. We need to learn to lift each other up; learn to care about our neighbors and our community again; learn to be proud of our City, all the while making an effort to get Niagara Falls back on the right track both fiscally and internally. I know that with my financial background, my insatiable thirst for knowledge, my fortitude and high-minded moral compass, coupled with my positive leadership abilities, I am the right candidate for one of those three positions available on our City Council. Our city needs people whose only agenda is to do what’s best for the residents that they work for, not what is profitable for those outside of our city; a candidate that is steadfast and bold, but understands that this level of government is about being an effective part of a team, and should stop being about individual politicians that promise the world to us but deliver nothing while sitting behind the bench.
I will not make any empty promises to you, Niagara Falls – I can simply say that I was raised by a third generation Ironworker and a homemaker, so I know the importance of family and the sheer definition of hard work, and I live in the heart of Niagara Falls, so when I hear that water outside of my window every morning I get inspired to get this city back on track. We have a natural wonder of the world and a beautiful environment right in front of us, so let’s keep striving to be better citizens, and inspire and empower those around us to be the change that our community needs as a whole. As your #NotPoliticsAsUsual candidate, I respectfully ask for your vote on Primary Day, Tuesday, September 12th.