Alicia Despins stands out

Alicia Despins became the youngest elected person in Quebec history in 2017 at age 23, and recently distinguished herself as the first representative from the region to receive the Personality of Community Succession award. Meeting with an outstanding politician.

According to the main stakeholder, who has been in opposition since the fall, the context was “still intense” during the awards ceremony at the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) convention.

It was “on the same day that Régis (the former mayor of Quebec became an honorary member) turned 100are Meetings, personal return, a second mandate. Everything was well placed, it was perfect! », Considered the main interested party, met at her office in the Rivières district, of which she is president.

In the assessment of the jury for this prize, which has been awarded since 2008, he was well ahead.

Criteria include originality, leadership, tangible impact on community citizens, and role model for community youth.

“old” dream

When Alicia Despins became a consultant in 2017, she realized a dream she’d had since she was 17. Politics interested him very much, and the city, closer to the people, appealed to him.

Before that, she had founded a local political party with friends. It was the year of the student strike, which gave him a good dose of adrenaline.

In 2013 she tried her luck with Team Labeaume. Her application was not accepted, but “every year I have taken my steps,” she says with a smile.

In the meantime, she worked in the party, then in the office of Sébastien Proulx, who would become Minister of the Capitale-Nationale, while she was an adviser.

Recalled by Team Labeaume in 2017, surrounded by a team of young people including her brother, she won by the largest majority.

The Vanier Duberger consultant sat on the board of this team for four years, where she was responsible for culture, technoculture and major events.

She loves this “very rich and extraordinary” environment that stimulates her.

real sadness

Since the fall, Alicia Despins has been adjusting to her new role in the opposition, which she “enjoys.”

“We haven’t had a really constructive opposition in Quebec for 15 years,” she said, who was eager to work for the city and refused to be content with being “resistance for resistance’s sake.”

At first, the defeat was difficult to swallow and “it was a real sadness”. “The bereavement is gradual, so it takes several months. »

She no longer makes the decisions and obviously no longer has the same levers to support the culture.

“It’s also a whole balancing act where I want to carry and defend their cases, but also don’t want to harm them.”

Alicia Despins appreciates the trust shown in her by Claude Villeneuve, leader of the party renamed Quebec First.

As fun as it sounds, she’s become one of the oldest members of the team in terms of experience.

How she imagines her career in politics, the chosen one does not really have a plan.

She recently received a master’s degree in public administration from ÉNAP and is considering pursuing a PhD.

During her training, she realized that public service remains her central theme.

More young people have also dared to jump into local politics in recent years, says the one who risks inspiring more than one.

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