Once again, another diverse menu of options for you to indulge your interests!
🎧 PODCAST: Infilling the missing middle of council coverage - Sneak preview behind the curtain with two City Councillors. This week Councillors Michael Janz and Ashley Salvador join to fill us in on some of the things that we've missed over the first half of their term. https://speakingmunicipally.taprootedmonton.ca/173
📚 BOOKCLUB: I invite you to join your City Councillor for a book club! I invite you to join me for book club to discuss two books that I’ve found very influential on my thinking about city planning and issues facing Edmonton.
The first is Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (Thursday, May 5th, 7PM - 9PM). The Second is "Confessions of A Recovering Traffic Engineer" (Thursday June 2nd, 7PM - 9PM). To participate, sign up at the links above. Closer to the date we will confirm the location (Virtual / Outdoor). You can get these books yourself from the Edmonton Public Library or at a local bookseller, but I have six copies to loan if you would like to borrow one.
Here are some of the guiding questions that I’m reflecting on:
- How do we build wealth in our community, become more financially resilient?
- How can we accellerate our climate goals?
- How can our communities adapt and grow?
- What does it mean to “love your neighbour” in the context of Edmonton in 2022?
Hope to see your there: https://edmonton-21056195.hubspotpagebuilder.com/bookclub
📢 WHAT'S COMING UP AT CITY COUNCIL? City Council reviews and makes decisions on many issues each month. Most items are first discussed at at Committee before the item goes to a City Council meeting for a final decision. These meetings are all available live - HERE.
Please reach out to my office to share your thoughts on any upcoming items - your feedback is always welcome.
- - Problem Properties Initiative Update (April 11, 2022)
- - Controlled Drug and Substances Act Section 56(1) Exemption Process (Decriminalization of Minor Drug Offences) (April 11, 2022)
- - City-owned Recreation Spaces for Youth Free Admission Drop-in Activities (April 11, 2022
- - Indigenous-led Shelters, Housing and Programming (April 11, 2022)
- - Support for Women's Shelters (April 11, 2022)
- - Festival Support and Growth (April 11, 2022)
- - Mass Transit System - Sustainable Funding and Service Growth (April 13, 2022)
- - Edmonton Economic Action Plan - Mobilization of Capital and Red Tape Reduction (April 13, 2022)
- - Edmonton Health City Annual Report 2021 (April 13, 2022)
- - Business Friendly Edmonton (April 13, 2022)
- - Permit and Licensing Improvement Initiative (April 13, 2022)
- - Early Learning and Care Steering Committee Recommendations - Potential Next Steps and Policy Options (April 25, 2022)
- - Amendments to Bylaw 14614 Public Places Bylaw - Restorative Justice Practices (April 25, 2022)
- - Edmonton Arts Council - Connections & Exchanges: A 10 Year Plan to Transform Arts and Heritage Annual Update (April 25, 2022)
- - Snow and Ice Control - Options to Increase Service Standards (April 25, 2022)
- - Sidewalk Maintenance Renewal Process (April 25, 2022)
- - Memorandum of Understanding with Bigstone Cree Nation (April 25, 2022)
- - Infill Roadmap Initiative - 2022 Update (April 26, 2022)
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all items brought before Council and at committee. To view upcoming meeting agendas CLICK HERE.
🎥 MOVIE: The topic of "Climate Grief" is coming up more and more in conversations with other young parents. In partnership with Climate Reality Project Canada, Climate Caucus is co-hosting a film screening of "The Magnitude of All Things" for free in preview of its official release on April 22. This will be followed by a panel discussion on April 13th at 4pm Pacific time, 7pm Eastern Time, 8pm Atlantic time. Read more and register for the event here!
🌏 🦇 🐦 Every decision is a climate decision, and as the IPCC report highlighted, we are in a global biodiversity crisis. I want to draw your attention to this op-ed in the Journal: Edmonton finally undertaking ecological thinking. "Canada and the U.S. have lost nearly one third of birds since 1970, and scientific research points to the collapse in insect numbers as a main cause. The greatest decline has been in “aerial insectivores.” Bank swallows, for example, were once common in Edmonton’s river valley; after a 98-per-cent decline in the last 40 years, however, they are now a threatened species. As every elementary school child knows, we can’t simply remove the base of the food chain." Council voted 12-1 to undertake a plan towards a cosmetic pesticide ban on public and private property. We also voted to continue spending $650,000 on the ground mosquito spray program, but discontinue the arial pesticide program and re-direct those funds towards ecological solutions- dragonfly, bat, fish and other non-pesticide and more affordable and sustainable nature-based solutions. I wrote about my concerns with the arial spend here.
🌏 🌸 🐝 No Mow May: There is a growing push from ecological groups to avoid lawn maintenance in spring to give an extra boost to pollinators. By keeping the lawn mower stowed away for an extra month, it allows food sources to bloom and provide for insects and other wildlife species. https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/saskatchewan/news/no-mow-may.html
♻️ We approved a plan to ban single use items:https://globalnews.ca/news/8734052/edmonton-single-use-item-ban/ If you would like to know more or how to reduce your footprint, I highly recommend listening to the Becoming Less Podcast from Waste Free Edmonton. As my colleague Councillor Erin Rutherford wrote: Utility Committee received a report that said Edmontonians throw out an average of 450 million single-use items annually including shopping bags, takeout containers, cups, utensils, straws, etc. The plan proposes a 10% reduction of single-use items within 2 years of implementation, and a 20% reduction within 4 years with a focus on elimination of unnecessary single-use items. I spoke during the committee meeting about how we need to shift from placing the responsibility solely on individuals. We need to look for opportunities to redesign our products and systems to minimize waste such as excessive packaging. Individual action is meaningful yet we can’t lose sight of the systems that need to change to reduce waste at the source.
🚘 Supporting our local food economy: Ditch the Dishes and Skip the Dash. With some delivery apps taking 30% or more in fees, siphoning money out of the local economy and squeezing razor thin margins for local restaurants, the question is can we afford NOT to do this: https://reasonstobecheerful.world/meet-the-co-ops-building-a-more-ethical-food-delivery-system/
🌏 The IPCC Report was out and it isn't good. With every fraction of a degree of global warming, climate change impacts will intensify. So what can I do as your City Councillor? Here's 6 take-a-ways for cities. https://thecityfix.com/blog/6-takeaways-from-the-2022-ipcc-climate-change-mitigation-report/
🏡 🏬: In praise of small, mixed-use buildings; What small shops are missing from your block? Via StrongTowns: "I appreciate these little shops not only for their utility, but also because they do so much to increase the interest and vitality of a neighborhood. When I walk around my neighborhood, the daytime activity means there are people about, people inside storefront windows, eyes on the street, shop displays to look at, people to watch. In a real sense, these little shops do more to humanize a neighborhood than the multitude of apartments around (largely empty by day, with their shades drawn at night). Because they are generally pretty small, these storefronts are also typically pretty affordable, creating a foothold for new businesses and entrepreneurs to get established and grow their businesses."
PLAYGROUNDS: The next time I'm in Calgary I'm going to check out flyover park. This is a really innovate playground build it In under-utilized space: https://www.pps.org/article/flyover-park-empowering-the-next-generation-of-city-builders-in-calgary
✌️ ❤️ 🕊 I'm mindful as I write this that war is raging in Ukraine and other places around the earth. I'm grateful to the many families in our ward who have reached out to again support refugees and newcomers. I pray for a lasting peace. I watched a documentary on Canadian Doctor Norman Bethune recently and was quite moved reading his 1939 essay "Wounds".
🚲 SAVE THE DATE: Thinking about family biking? A number of us who love riding with our kids will be hosting a meet-up on 11-1PM, May 14th at the City Arts Centre in Garneau to showcase tips and tricks for cycling as a family. Save the date! Come try out cargo bikes, chariots, and share tips and tricks for biking with children of all ages. See you there!
✌️ The pandemic has laid bare the inequality between the ultra-rich versus the rest of us. As amazon guts our mainstreet and corporate power centralizes around monopoly corporations, we must always stand united. A strong union movement of workers in solidarity is still our best defence against the excess greed of broken capitalism. Save the date and see you there.