Thank you family, friends, supporters all for coming out to kick off my election campaign for Calgary’s Ward 7 in October 2013.
A rally with supporters
I was first approached to consider running in the 2013 election over a year ago. As I have always been very involved in community, it was an honour to be asked to run.
With our young family, we needed to make sure it was the right decision for us. It was a long process of stress testing our family – seeing if the long hours did not stop me from being involved in raising our sons. They are, after all, our first priority in life.
This June 9th, I announce that I am running for City Council in 2013. The support from the grass roots and the reception by neighbor and community members alike has been been overwhelming. And the need for a Positive Choice for a Positive Change for Ward 7 is as evident as ever.
This campaign is focused on evidence based decision making. Restoring trust in the Ward 7 office by bringing back real community consultation and collaborative decision-making.
I have heard clearly from the constituents of Ward 7 that they want their issues represented at City Hall. They want city resources brought to bear on those issues and concerns to help them build better communities.
Here is what I have heard so far in the community:
1. All the communities of Ward 7 need to benefit more from development in the:
*Communities must benefit directly from the increased tax base, by a portion going to improve amenities, such as community centres for families, seniors clubs and sport playing fields. Heck, maybe even one or two public indoor swimming pools in Ward 7 - something that is sorely lacking in our communities with only one public indoor pool with a combined population of 85,000 residents!
*Inner city development needs to have more consideration for community needs. For instance, the inclusion in market developments that allow empty nesters and seniors to age in their own community by downsizing if they so choose and adult children to move out of their parents’ home without having to move across town to find a place they can afford. Each community will have their own needs. City resources will needs to be brought to bear to help each to define those needs and start the conversation with developers to bring about that community change that is supported by the community.
2. Fair Taxes:
*Taxes raised in communities should cover their basic infrastructure life cycle and maintenance costs. New market developments in suburban greenfield or urban brownfield sites would therefore cover their own costs and not be subsidized by residents in established communities. This will reduce the tax pressure on owners of 50 year old bungalows in Dalhousie or Century homes in Crescent Heights and allow long time residents to more easily cover their tax bills.
3. Campaign finance reform to increase transparency:
We must remove the controversy of who finances individual campaigns.
- Adopt Federal Election Campaign Financing rules including:
- The Reduction of Contribution limits to $1200 per year per donor;
- Limiting donations to Private individual donations and
- Require full disclosure of gross donations (including ticket purchases to fundraisers):
i) by each individual of $100 or more at a minimum within one week of the writ being dropped, updated weekly thereafter; and
ii) of at least 80% of all campaign donations at campaign wrap up.
The above must be continued throughout the period a candidate is elected and holding office, in addition to:
- The monthly disclosure of all expenses charged to the public purse, and
- Real time disclosure of all persons in attendance of private meetings.
Change is inevitable, and community change is not a spectator event – it is a full contact sport! Neighbors want to be engaged, and they need a representative that knows this and knows how to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be meaningfully engaged and their opinions respected.
As well, citizens need to have confidence that their best interests are being looked after by their elected representative and that the latter is not being unduly influenced by donors or those that have their ear.
I look forward to seeing you in the community and on doorsteps as I continue to consult with community members about the issues that are of concern to them.