Mahdis is currently working as an EV Advisor with Plug In BC, a program of the Fraser Basin Council. She works to address barriers to bringing Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure to multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs), and workplaces. Prior to this, she worked as an ambassador for a municipality where through outreach and education of residents, students and the community at large she contributed to waste reduction, water conservation and reduction of conflict with wildlife in urban areas. She also founded many initiatives such as Repair Cafés, River and Trail Clean-ups, and Recycling Drives as further means to community-building and waste-reduction. Mahdis sits on the board and volunteers with multiple non-profit organizations working towards protection of mature tree populations, human rights, youth empowerment and waste reduction. She believes in holistic approaches to community and resilience building that lead to protection of our home planet, its inhabitants and resources.
Muti-unit residential buildings (MURBs) face many barriers to electrification: proper planning for equity and access for all residents, future-proofing, working with the existing electrical capacity, getting a majority yes vote for making structural changes to a building, the upfront cost of these projects, and addressing the myriad of misconceptions to electrification and EV adoption. In addition to these existing barriers, marginalized communities face further challenges when it comes to EV adoption. This is the focus of the Barriers to Electrification in Indigenous and Community Housing Research Project. Though there are hypotheses to what these barriers may be, Mahdis and her team want to hear what these barriers are directly from residents of marginalized communities, as well as organizations that work within these communities, such as Aboriginal Housing Managment Association, BC Non-profit Housing Association, and Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. The goal is to then compile the research findings and present solutions to address these barriers. The research will be published and available to governments and other organizations working within these communities to bring equity and adequate support for wide-spread EV adoption.
Mahdis is an advocate for social equity within her organization, as well as on a personal level through activism and non-profit work. These philosophies, together with her current career path in the sustainable transportation space, lead to the search for equity and access, and innovative solutions to address barriers to EV adoption, which lead to the inception of the research project with her team.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
Mahdis considers herself to be a citizen of planet Earth. She has been tuned into nature and wildlife since she can remember. She believes humanity to be part of the eco-system, not above it. She is deeply concerned with the unsustainable nature of current agricultural practices, resources extraction, waste management, over-fishing of our oceans, species extinction, and climate change. She deeply believes that any ailing part of our eco-system, will lead to ailment of the whole. As so, it is imperative to look for innovative, heart-based solutions that focus on building resilience, equity and protection of the most vulnerable members of our planet. Mahdis also has a son and she is driven to ensure she leaves this planet in better shape than the one handed to her by previous generations.