The team has spent time in every neighborhood this election. While there are similarities (wow do we Ward 11’ers love our dogs) each neighborhood also has its own opportunities and challenges. Here are a few quick observations from each neighborhood or community association area
I love the initiatives you continue to take bringing the community together. For a geographically large community, there is widespread pride. Indoor bouncy castles for the win!
How can we make Bonaventure drive nicer and walkable for the many apartments and condos who can get to and from the commercial buildings and retail along macleod. Let’s improve this street.
The smallest community with the biggest heart. I’m in awe of all the projects you’ve tackled as a community. I love all your dogs (so many dogs in Fairview).
I know you’d like a dedicated community building. Let’s work together to make that happen.
You know you have my heart. I love how fresh faces have taken the lead building community continuing to engage the youth and children. Their love of community means they’re up to the good kind of trouble and the community feels safer for it.
Let’s have bold conversations about the old YMCA site, the playground on Haddon Road, and how we upgrade Heritage LRT station.
My favourite toboggan hill is in Southwood but can we please get you a better playground? Also, so in awe of the work you’ve done on your community garden and the connections this has built for the neighbourhood.
I’ve heard many issues with speed along Sacramento drive, let’s look to make this street safer.
What a wonderful mix of people calling their community home. We had so many friendly conversations from people from a range of demographics. Families, seniors, young couples, renters, owners, it’s all there in Windsor Park.
Let’s get a proper sidewalk on 4th street once and for all.
What a gem, maybe I shouldn’t tell everyone in Ward 11 how amazing you are. I’ve witnessed the community activation over the campaign and I can tell you, the leaders you have are special people.
I know you’ve been bumped around the last few elections, which makes continuity on issues challenging. I will advocate for you to have that continuity. I’ve seen the need for better snow clearing as well as sidewalk upgrades.
Well hello friendly new neighbours and welcome to Ward 11. Honestly, some of the chattiest people I’ve met, and in a good way.
Let’s get the green line going and make sure you’ve got the pathways to get there. I’ve also heard interest in a splash park or perhaps an inclusive/accessible playground.
I just might have to host a toboggan party here! Thank you to all of you who opened your doors and shared your love of Douglasglen and the sense of community you share and your love for your shared greenspaces.
I know that winter use of your pathways is a big priority as well as playground upgrades.
Welcome to Ward 11! I know you question how you fit into the mix and I can say that as your community infrastructure ages, you will need an advocate for life-cycle maintenance. You must be a busy crew because I’m not sure when you’re all home, open your doors for me please!
Your community association has been one of the quietest and I would like to get to know them better and find out how I can support them more to build a sense of community year round.
Hello little SW gem that is close to all the major roads with lots of housing choice. Also, the playground near the community association is fantastic (at least according to my kids).
I know the ring road has resulted in an increase in road noise which is a concern for many. I would like to advocate for a sound wall from Anderson to Southland.
A hidden forest in the middle of the neighbourhood? There is so much potential for this space with so many residents close by.
The dog park is popular and we need to sort out traffic and parking control. Let's strategize.
There are a large number of younger families in the neighborhood looking for ways to engage and connect with their community. I’ve seen many parents step up to lead community led programs and now green space revitalization.
I would like to be able to support your neighborhood efforts including pathway wayfinding and playground upgrades. Go Oakridge!
I’m grouping you together because what I experienced everywhere was a real understanding of the issues and the opportunities we face as a city, from taxes to tackling homelessness.
There was a shared call for safer crossings across 90th Avenue and the intersection at Glenmore landing as the roads and pedestrian-pies are rough for seniors who live nearby.
I think you win for most lawn signs per capita. I love the engagement and comfort you feel expressing your opinions to your neighbours. To me this signals a safe community where people feel welcome and respected.
There are many other community groups who could benefit from your fundraising experiences and it would be great to have you lead these conversations and support other neighbourhoods in their revitalization efforts. And yes, let’s keep the school open.
The neighbourhood with the best community driven art projects. From the fence along 75 Ave to the Catwalk art, I love it all.
Let’s talk about your off leash dog area and how we use the school site at 75th and 5th for the best benefit for the neighbourhood.
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to candidates to ask our positions. Community engagement is critical.
More people want to know about your chalkboard wall, how can we create a ‘how-to’ manual for other neighbourhoods?
I love the layout of your neighbourhood with a great central space. And yet never once did I see anyone there. How can we activate this space and create a hub for community?
The boundary/bank that faces Chinook has seen better days. How can we improve this slope?
You have one of the most active and engaged community associations in the ward for sure. And despite a large arterial road cutting the community in half, at events I always met great representation from both sides.
Upcoming plans for Glenmore Athletic Park are going to need extensive community involvement. Let’s finally get a pathway connecting the pedestrian bridge over Glenmore to the top of Sandy beach (so around the golf course, down 19th, & 50th)
I know no one knows where we live. I appreciate how outdoorsy everyone is, walking dogs, meeting at the playgrounds, and walking through the parks and pathways.
I’m keen to have conversations with ATCO on the empty lots and how we can bring more amenities closer to our houses.
Cougars, bears, deer… should we all just set up tents and camp in North Glenmore? But truly, you can sense the appreciation for nature around the whole neighborhood. Also, highest number of lime green doors I’ve ever seen.
Let’s sure we work together to get a multi-use path along the length of 37th and also support neighbourhood integration of the Taza development.
Nestled in a corner, you’ve got a great selection of nearby amenities, both public and private (golf courses, library, malls). For some reason the trees feel larger here.
I've seen a few of your playgrounds to know it's time we talk about improving them.
Throughout this campaign I’ve been working with the wonderful Stephanie Pollock who has been an amazing support and leadership coach throughout this campaign. Her role has been to help me dig into my values and honour those throughout. Her ask to me has always been:
What do you want to be true at the end this?
I have spent years working on my leadership skills, this isn’t a thing that ever stops in my mind. From non-fiction books to workshops, I am all about making room to evolve and adopt new ways of showing up, and releasing those that aren’t serving me or the people I’m working with.
So, what do I want to be true about the campaign:
Stand Out Campaign Moments
My Leadership Strengths
I’m not afraid to try something novel, and if anything, I like to be the person who generates conversations to try and brainstorm new ways of doing. I’ve had more ideas than time to execute throughout this campaign.
Calgary is facing complex challenges. This isn’t the time for austerity. We need leaders who want to understand the systems and encourage others to think of relevant, forward thinking systems that will help future proof our city. I am willing to champion a degree of risk in trying new solutions. I encourage us to learn from other cities and adapt successful strategies to a Calgary context. I will also encourage us to step up and design processes which others will want to emulate.
I believe that the best work comes from people who feel supported and valued. If we are going to talk about attracting top talent to Calgary, that must include those who support running our city. Empowering local businesses is also critical. We do this by reducing barriers to operations and offering them room to innovate as well.
I want to lead through building relationships based on trust. Honesty, listening, and a pay-it-forward mentality will help our communities and our city move forward.
Leading with a people first mentality means we are focused on impacts to real lives, not the balance on a spreadsheet when we make our decisions. Calgarians come from numerous backgrounds offering different perspectives, obstacles, and opportunities. We must serve the diverse needs of our citizens be it age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, income, or other demographic factors. We must look to serve our most vulnerable with care and attention. We must look to see who has been excluded from the decision making process and work to fold in more layers of guidance and leadership into our processes.
Areas for Growth
Leadership isn't static. It needs to evolve and grow. It’s a practice that requires reading, listening, and opening my mind to learning from others.
Not asking for help
I know my slogan is #co11aborate. And I mean it. I love bringing people together. Where I can do better is delegating tasks to other people so that I can focus on what I’m best at (bringing people together). Perhaps it’s FOMO, or slight perfectionism, or not wanting to inconvenience others. I am working on this.
I’m also too good at saying yes. I want to be helpful, I want to see things succeed. I need to make sure I don't over-committ.
You’re probably wondering how this could be true, especially if you know me in person. What I mean is that I’m not always great at selling my accomplishments. It’s been the hardest part of the campaign, walking up to strangers and basically bragging about why they should vote for me. Even though I know I’m qualified to do this job, I’m not great at saying that out loud, often.
One thing Steph encouraged me to do was brag (politely) a little more about my accomplishments. So here’s where I let you know a few facts about me, and how I show up as a leader.
Leadership is a skill you cultivate. I hope that being willing to work on mine you’re willing to vote for someone who will always be striving to do better, learn more, and model an open mindset.
PS. Have a favourite leadership book or podcast you'd like to share with me?
It’s true. I’ve been endorsed by two PACs (political action committees). Calgary’s Future and Look Forward.
In understand that under the current election finance system I benefit from their endorsement through paid advertisements.
The Sprawl has all the info on who’s who, I encourage you to stop here, read their post, and then come back to finish. https://www.sprawlalberta.com/third-party-advertisers-pacs-calgary-edmonton-municipal-election
Why I engaged with PACs questionnaires.
Across this city people have special interests, their jobs, the environment, sport. As candidates we’ve received countless (no really, I’ve lost count) surveys from BILD, to Bike Calgary, to the Weaselhead Preservation Society, to not-really-a-pac-but-acting-like-one Common Sense Calgary. Fluoride, smoking cessation, arts, climate, women in politics. I’ve shared my answers to these on my own site.
My stance, if volunteers or organizations are going to take the time to ask questions, I’m going to take the time to answer. That is the role of the councillor, to respond to people and groups. I’ve seen many of these surveys go unanswered by other candidates.
Here are my responses to the Calgary's Future survey.
PACs are no different. They sent out surveys, they requested interviews, and I was honest in my positions, values, and beliefs. My platform and vision were set before we engaged. I didn’t bend my answers knowing their slant. I didn’t want an endorsement based on a false sense of my vision for Calgary. I have spent the last 10 years of my career building high trust relationships. I’m not about to throw that away.
If I could do it all over again, would I engage? I don’t know to be honest. At this point it’s caused more headache than gain from what I can tell. I’m having to defend my integrity when up until a month ago, it spoke for itself. So I’m laying it out here, again.
Where I Stand on Endorsements
No matter how much money any third party advertiser/political action committee spends endorsing me as a candidate, my go forward actions will not be any different than without an endorsement. My values cannot be bought.
*If* I vote to give unions a raise, that’s because I believe in paying people a living wage that matches inflation. In my own small company I paid my employees well about a living wage. I have never taken a job that paid me less than a living wage.
*If* I vote to preserve jobs, that’s because Calgarians are asking for service levels that require staffing. Transit, emergency services, waste collection. It’s convenient to talk down about public service workers, a job so many in the private sector wouldn’t dream of doing because they know there is limited earning potential.
Advocating for change
I would love to see PACs disappear from the political process. I will continue to advocate for financial reform in our electoral process. Specifically around PACs I would like to see: