From the beginning, I’ve said that we must embrace and cultivate the aspects of Calgary we love, while being unafraid to challenge the parts of this city that can be better. We all agree that Calgary is a city of promise, but it is a promise for which we must be relentless in our pursuit. Today we will start the important work of building Calgary for the future together. I am excited to lead this work as your Ward 8 City Councillor.
As a Councillor, I will be a part of leading this city to further invest in itself. My vision is a city where youth want to be, where culture is thriving, where the driving force of business is people, not money. We want to provide young people with a choice to come to Calgary, rather than begging them to do so. These election results have proven that Ward 8 understands this opportunity, and I look forward to leading the work towards achieving it.
I am proud of the plan that I have built with my team to improve the lives of everyone who lives in Ward 8. Make no mistake: our election success was the result of many volunteers coming together because they believed in making improvements to the city we love. I have always believed that we will only get where we need to go if we do it together.
My vision and priorities for Ward 8
We are getting to work immediately on our priorities for the next four years. If you see anything that interests you, your family and your community, please reach out to me, so that we can move forward together. Included among the issues I wish to address over my term are:
- A plan to make Calgary a magnet for the brightest minds and community investment
- The need to improve the City’s planning engagement process to better incorporate your voices.
- Identify resources to execute the respective recommendations for Council, City Departments, and City arm’s-length organizations identified in the White Goose Flying Report.
- A commitment to stable funding for the Community Safety Investment Framework, in recognition that community safety is paramount in Ward 8.
- Further investments in Main Streets and a vibrant downtown as anchors to attract Calgarian to live, work and play in Ward 8.
- An end to sprawl, starting with a decision to prioritize local investments over subsidized services for far-flung new communities.
- Serve as a tireless champion and defender of the Green line, as the final design is completed in Beltline and Downtown.
- Roll out of smart, effective and equitable programs to support climate actions for all Ward 8 residents.
- A responsibility to take all possible measures to protect you and your family from the COVID-19 virus.
- Prioritization of Ward 8 residents and businesses, via a pilot of two-way streets throughout Beltline and Sunalta and safety improvements for streets across the Ward.
Again, I invite all Ward 8 residents to review these priorities, and indeed anything posted on this website. Reach out to me, and we can work together to achieve these together. The shared vision for the future of our city must be holistic and inclusive.
My family, friends and community
Over the past months of campaigning, I have often reflected about why I choose to live in Calgary. For those who don’t know, I originally came here as a teenager, to move in with my father after the death of my mother. The city of Calgary immediately welcomed me, and has felt like home ever since.
Throughout that time, I have built up a strong community and incredible family around me. I have friends, and people I can rely on. Many of them have been with me not only over the past 16 years, but especially over the past nine months of this campaign. I’d like to take a moment to extend some thanks.
First of all to my volunteers. Over the course of this campaign, I have been fortunate enough to count on the time, effort and support of nearly 300 people! Your support has been essential and humbling. Thank you for believing in me.
To my fellow candidates. Thank you to Monique Auffrey, Paul Bergmann, Gary Bobrovitz, Yogi Henderson, Madina Kanayeva, Philip Mitchell, Cornelia Wiebe and Natalie Winkler. We all worked hard to bring forward the ideas and ideals we wish for Calgary. Many of our dreams align, and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all as we work to serve Ward 8. But first, we all deserve some rest!
Thanks as well go out to the veteran councillors and MLAs, who have shown me the ropes, given me advice and been unwavering in your belief that I could do the job. Evan Woolley, Druh Farrell, Kathleen Ganley, and Joe Ceci, thank you for everything.
Most of all, thank you to my family. It has been a long, hard fought and time consuming nine months for me, and so I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you all. I owe you so much for your time, support and most of all patience. Thank you to my partner Taryn, and my family John, Sharlayne, Michael, and Melissa. And I can’t forget my pup Bean, who even did a few door knocking shifts with me.
I have spent years working in and with the Ward 8 community as a teacher, coach, advocate, and I see and believe in the potential of this place. When I speak to my students about their future, I ask them to be unafraid to be passionate—I ask them to be unafraid to care. I hold myself to the same standard, and I hold this city to that standard.
I can pinpoint where this journey started for me: June 2nd, 2020--one week after George Floyd was murdered. I held a virtual presentation for around 200 students and parents. I made the decision to stand there because I knew no one else was going too. The leadership I needed, I couldn’t find. So I had to step up.
In 2020 alone, my team, of fellow teachers, students, and parents, and I pushed for a more equitable and inclusive CBE; and we won. We fought for more money to be invested by The City in alternative forms of harm reduction and community safety, to the tune of 8 million dollars; and we got it.
Over the last year, I’ve asked thousands of Calgarians “what kind of city do you want to live in?” I asked it of myself when I decided to run for Ward 8 City Councillor, and I’ve asked it of you. I listened and heard how much you love our city. I also heard your concerns about the increasing uncertainty we face as the world changes around us. In the end, without question, I know that we can work together to build that city together.
Thank you for the support.