My intention is to meet with the good people of Ward 8, to discuss issues and to fully and responsibly represent them at City Hall.
Citizen’s Action Centre
I propose to promote citizen engagement and open a citizen lounge catered for citizens to review municipal activities. My intention is to keep building on open communication with residents of Edmonton, to assist them, getting responses to their questions and, to validate concerns.
A citizen lounge is truly a MUST HAVE and should be staffed with people that are kind and helpful. Do we all want to encourage “civility” with all Civil Servants and to create processes to reduce errors and miscommunications within City of Edmonton departments? Poor decisions directly affect citizens and we need to fix this, now. City Hall needs to be in-tune and engaged with the people. So, Librarians can be an excellent choice to direct citizens and assist with technology and access documents, all within City Hall.
As mentioned in 2013, “Looking at the chunk of railroad that goes from Saskatchewan Drive to 76 Avenue, was the possibility to build a safe accessible bike/walking trail that runs parallel to the existing train tracks”. Although this has not happened, I still believe we can honour individuals who did make a difference by naming new bike infrastructure after them.
In 2017, I propose that a newly created bike lane designated for cyclists and pedestrians in Ward 8 be named “Tooker Way” in recognition of Edmontonian bicycle enthusiast, city politician and environmentalist, Tooker Gomberg who has inspired present and past city council to make great consideration for better ways to manage waste and alternative transportation that is now becoming the norm.
Food & Culture Initiative
The family owned and operated businesses in Edmonton are unique and need more creative support from the city. Some improvements are happening, but perhaps it’s time to consider a tax credit and other creative incentives to encourage visually appealing window displays, welcoming sitting areas with infrastructure upgrades and encourage community support. We need open discussions.
Residents of Ward 8 pay significant taxes and share their community with tourists and the greater community of Edmonton and surrounding areas. People spend a lot of their time in Ward 8 which boasts amazing festivals, schools, professional services, recreational facilities and, of course, amazing green spaces.
Local businesses add excitement to any community, yet we are seeing many great shops and service providers move or shut their doors due to lack of affordability. Has Edmonton parking and payment systems for parking created an issue for local businesses?
Festival Considerations for Seniors
Edmonton is known for fantastic festivals that are inclusive and attract a huge volunteer base. I’d like to see senior’s resting stations strategically placed throughout our larger festival sites. These options must be done by directly consulting with seniors.
Local Food & Local Sources
What would happen if we all had easy access to local growers? I believe in local food producers and I support necessary remediation of any development plans that drive away local food sources, especially if there is a genuine desire to operate a food-producing farm.
Farms and city communities can work well together and deserve to be protected and supported in every way possible!
Attributions for Past Transgressions
As I mentioned in 2013, “It is necessary to acknowledge the errors made by our ancestors and to move forward by consulting descendants of Indigenous Edmontonians and to get to work on repairing past and present hurt to the best of our abilities as a whole community. I’d like to see a peaceful resolution that any commemorative plans be fully inclusive and transparent. We cannot change the past, but we can make strides for a better understanding of our whole community. I believe that!” We are seeing some improvements for sure. However, I am not fully confident given that the city of Edmonton is not hiring enough residents of Edmonton for City of Edmonton jobs or placing a requirement for contractors receiving our public dollars to hire local folks.
Commitment to the Arts
As an artist, I value the arts community in Edmonton and would like to ensure that, during tough economic times, the public dollars be spent locally to local artists and residents of Edmonton.
I am inspired and grateful to the Terry Fox Foundation for inviting me to paint kids of all ages for such an important fund raiser for cancer research that will one day lead to a cure.
Incentives for Volunteers
Just because someone is retired does not mean they can not make contributions. The City of Edmonton needs to consider adopting a volunteer initiative and hopefully with other levels of government as well. The initiative I propose is to encourage not-for-profit organizations to bring skilled retired folks into their organizations and in exchange receive tax breaks for their volunteer hours. This is definitely workable for students entering into a profession or stay at home parent. Could this be a possible idea for all levels of government to adopt?