No doubt every Ward 9 candidate you’ve looked into mentions community engagement in their platforms and promises. The term is loaded with responsibility. It means whoever is elected as your City Councillor must maintain regular and open communication with their constituents. More importantly, it means listening to and asking community members questions before major decisions are made. Too often, the City “engages” with citizens to get the stamp of community feedback, but in reality major decisions have already been made. Not only do I promise to be different, I have a plan and previous experience to back up this promise.
My plan is to establish a Ward 9 Advisory Council, comprised of people and organizations from across our communities. Members will be from diverse backgrounds in order to represent all the needs and perspectives of the people living throughout the Ward. The Advisory Council will be a grassroots group of people who have first-hand understanding of the issues the community deals with. This Council will keep me up to date with community needs, their various perspectives, and advise me on major issues facing our neighbourhoods and the entire city of Edmonton. This should be a collaborative and open dialog that ultimately provides the best representation for Ward 9.
I have a long track record of effectively creating similar initiatives. I am the founder and past president of the Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council, which is a non-profit organization that engages residents and and leverages resources to support local communities. TRAC was essential in the implementation, planning, and construction of the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre. I am also the former President and Civics Director of the Oak Hills Community League; former representative for District H of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues; and the co-founder and current board member of the South West Edmonton Seniors Association (SWESA). These experiences provide me with the skills and knowledge necessary to guide Ward 9 through meaningful community engagement and dialog.
When you go vote on October 16th, I want you to think about what community engagement means to you. I have a concrete plan that will take your ideas, knowledge and concerns to City Hall. With me as your City Councillor, engagement will be meaningful and impactful.