Ensuring Ward 9 community members are part of the decision making process.
Have you ever felt like City Hall is telling you what your neighbourhood should look like rather than asking you? Through my volunteerwork with Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council (TRAC), South West Area Council of Community Leagues (SWAC), my Homeowner Association and with South West Edmonton Seniors’ Association (SWESA), I’ve built an extensive track record of bringing people in southwest Edmonton together. The voices and ideas of Ward 9 residents should be heard and play an integral part of all community growth and planning. This is the foundation of my entire platform.
My role as City Councillor is to establish a Ward 9 Advisory Council, which will be comprised of people and organizations from across our communities and diverse backgrounds to guide major decisions. This is the only way to make long term meaningful decisions for our communities. While the City has improved communications with Edmonton residents, there is always room to do better. Residents deserve to be informed and engaged with, before and during the decision making process. Similar to previous initiatives and proven successes that I have been a part of, the Ward 9 Advisory Council would be a grassroots group of people who live in Ward 9 and have a first-hand understanding of the issues the community deals with.
IMPROVING TRANSPORTATION & TRANSIT
I’ll be your voice on City Council and I will fight to make sure that the fastest growing jurisdiction in Alberta has the transportation and transit infrastructure to match.
My role as a City Councillor is to get the City Planning and Transportation departments working in better partnership over the City’s many transportation projects. City Council needs to review all current projects with the bigger picture in mind; those that are already on the books should take priority and must be completed before new ones are considered.
We’ve all experienced it; stuck in traffic to and from work. As Ward 9 and the entire city of Edmonton continues to grow, so will our traffic woes. I believe the following transportation issues need to be addressed:
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) needs to be seriously considered as a public transit policy. BRT would be more efficient and less costly than other options are currently being considering, such as the LRT expansion. We could move more people, more quickly and with more flexibility than with our current public transit system. Neighbourhoods currently underserved by public transit, such as Chappelle, Ambleside and Heritage Valley, would be positively impacted by this updated system. That’s just in Ward 9, I’m sure there are many other neighbourhoods in other parts of the city which would benefit from a BRT system.
Ward 9 communities need to be better connected to the rest of the city. We can do this through the completion of the multi-use corridor system. People will be able to easily access the rest of the city from Ward 9 on their bikes; this would also increase recreational opportunities in the area. The multi-use corridors could run parallel to roadways and wherever possible, connect with existing bike trails, making it easier and safer for bike travel in our city. There are existing multi-use corridors, but we could add more by having conversations with the Province and with other city stakeholders like CNR and CPR.
RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT & TAXATION
We must continue to be mindful and show restraint on how we spend and where we spend our valuable tax dollars.
The main priority for the City is ensuring our infrastructure is paid for. City Council needs to prioritize these projects based on purposeful planning and actual need. Too often our tax dollars are wasted or misused due to a lack of oversight or forethought.
My role as City Councillor is to ensure there is an annual and transparent overview of City departments and administration practices to find inefficiencies. I will advocate for democratic and responsible development policies and practices in Edmonton’s neighbourhoods. I will also make sure that your hard-earned tax dollars are spent responsibly. Let’s grow Edmonton, but let’s do it wisely.
I envision vibrant and engaged communities throughout Ward 9. I believe there are four basic elements to great community life: Home, School, Recreation, and Assembly.
The desire for a healthier and more connected community led me to found the Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council, which is a volunteer group and the catalytic force behind building the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre, Edmonton Youth Talent Show, and TRAC Community Run. I believe these initiatives are only the beginning of highly active, supportive and vibrant communities.
My role as City Councillor is to ensure our communities have a stronger role in their own development through proper consultation. We can do that by setting up a solid foundation for them by making better use of space within the communities. Our green spaces have been taken over by poor planning and a lack of proper consultation. The answer to this is better use of surplus school spaces and empty City or derelict properties. These properties could be turned into a combination of green/recreation space, neighbourhood-friendly infill and assembly amenities development that would bring communities together - all year long.
I believe that our educational services should meet the needs of everyone, from children to seniors. Ward 9 should have resource centres for the entire community to access and use. Our community members should strive for, and have access to, lifelong education and growth. Schools should have the capacity to accommodate all local students. Seniors should be able to live in their homes as long as possible and have access to specialized services, programs and recreation centres.
Healthy communities are also safe communities. Reducing speed limits on non-collector roads within communities to 40km and 30km for all school zones would create more walkable, welcoming, caring and safe communities. Let’s continue to create healthy communities where people are happy to live.
CARING FOR PEOPLE
No city can be great unless everyone is cared for and included.
Let’s grow a city in which everyone, every segment of our society, has a place at the table: the immigrant, the senior, the newcomer, the homeowner, the outsider, the student and the homeless. My resume shows that I embrace diversity, collaboration and a heart for those who need a hand up. I’ve been dedicated to projects such as Brander Gardens ROCKS and the Southwest Edmonton Seniors Association (SWESA) that help our community members thrive.
My role as a City Councillor is to bring together a collaborative group from City administration, community groups, local businesses, industry and residents from across the city to establish comprehensive strategies that address the needs of the various segments of our community in need of greater support from us as a city.
Our biggest challenge is defining who we are and how we will move ahead in the next half century.
Edmonton needs to continue to diversify its economy and industries. We need to move away from relying heavily on residential property taxes and start thinking creatively.
My role as a City Councillor is to help define that future. I believe we can create a world-wide reputation for “Nurturing the Start-up.” We have a great opportunity here for creative new start-up companies in such things as renewable energy, clean technology, fashion, manufacturing, digital development, tourism and services. Edmonton has thousands of highly qualified individuals graduating from our local universities and technical schools every year. We need to keep them here so that they grow their businesses locally.
Whether it’s our upcoming generation of workers or the gold mine we have in our older, highly experienced workforce, many of whom are stepping out on their own, the City needs to invest in these start-ups and entrepreneurs. We can do this by developing a methodology for investment and sustainable growth that assists businesses through their life cycle. In the long run, not only is this good for Edmonton’s economy, but also the vibrancy of our city. So ‘Let’s Make It Happen.’