So…just what do you do for a living?

Many of you know me as your public school trustee for the last 11 years, but a few folks have asked about my employment history outside of the school board. I’m very proud of my resume and the incredible opportunities provided to me over the last two decades in Edmonton. I believe if you compare my resume to other candidates, you’ll see I have many unique experiences that help set me apart. 

 

Playgrounds

Playgrounds are a fundamental part of being a kid. They are not just places to run around and jump and climb but they are where imaginations soar - one day they are a pirate ship, the next a fort under siege or maybe they are a castle where a princess lives. These are important places for children to develop and learn and play and contribute to healthier communities as a result of that. 

Early Learning and Care Opportunities Can Spur Economic Recovery

When we talk about building an affordable city that works for all ages, stages, and wages, we cannot overlook the critical role that early learning and care plays, or, the role of municipalities as partners. This is why I have advocated and voted for wrap-around services, community schools, and voted for the inclusion of childcare facilities into new school construction (such as the replacement school in Ritchie, Escuela Mill Creek)....

Responses to candidate survey from "I Heart Edmonton"

As we recover from the pandemic, we have an unprecedented opportunity to invest in strong core public services and build a city that prioritizes the wellbeing of people and the environment: a strong local economy, inclusive neighbourhoods, and urgent action on the climate emergency. I wasn’t born in Edmonton, but I know what brought me and kept me here: tourism, education, community, opportunity.

 

11 years as School Trustee has prepared me to hit the ground running

From the mailbag: what has your experience serving as an elected public school trustee taught you, and how would you apply these lessons at city hall?

I’ve learned that there is no substitute for actual elected experience and navigating the tensions and pressures of elected office. (Read more about my experience here)

Serving for three terms and 11 years as elected trustee on the Edmonton Public School Board taught me valuable lessons that I will directly apply as your City Councillor. Of course, 11 years of leading a $1.3 Billion dollar organization brings enormous responsibility, along with public assurance and oversight of the budgets, buses, bylaws, and buildings that continue to steward and shepherd an organization into the future.

Governance is leadership and better process leads to better outcomes. With your support, I would bring these learnings, supplemented by experience gleaned from the University of Alberta Students' Union and Board of Governors (two years), the Edmonton Public Library Board (six years), and other non-profit and community leadership experiences.

I support lowering the voting age to 16.

From the Mailbag: Do you support lowering the municipal voting age to 16?

Yes I do, and in June 2017 as Public School Trustee, I voted in favour of lobbying Alberta’s municipal affairs minister to amend the Local Elections Authorities Act to extend the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Here's why... 

At 16, you can get your drivers license, pilot a plane, or, as I did in 1999, join the army reserve, but not vote. Now more than ever, we need greater democratic participation, especially among our youngest neighbours who are inheriting the keys to the city. Around the world, when the voting age was lowered, turnout increased. Voting gives young people a greater sense of engagement and ownership of our community. Considering the low turnout in municipal elections, voting in your first election means you are more likely to vote for the rest of your life.

Scotland. Austria. Ecuador. Argentina. This is not a controversial idea in Edmonton, and City Council endorsed a recommendation from youth council five years ago in 2016 to lower the voting age, as did the Edmonton Public and Catholic School Boards. I believe in the future we will look back and see this disenfranchisement as discriminatory, and it is ripe for a challenge.

But voting is not enough. It's the bare minimum. It's one action on one day that only takes a few minutes. We need to continue to enable greater participatory democratic opportunities across the city that build power around the important issues that matter to all of us, especially young people. And it has to be meaningful.

Young people are leading in Edmonton, and we need to help move the barriers, such as arcane voting restrictions, out of their way. I've seen it first hand in my work, both as a Public School Trustee but also through my work with Big Brothers Big Sisters and youth mentoring. From climate leadership and anti-racism work to leadership in the non-profit, arts, and business sector, our future leaders are making a tremendous impact, today.

As your Councillor, as I did at the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, I would continue to strengthen greater engagement opportunities for young adults in our city, beyond the City of Edmonton Youth Council. I'm very proud of my support for City Hall School that helps generations of Grade 6 students get involved in civics in their community. I would work with my council colleagues to create new opportunities for meaningful engagement, mentorship, and community ownership.

Heat waves demand municipal climate action

The heat waves will only worsen with the climate emergency. We need serious adaptation and mitigation immediately and this must be a budget priority for all orders of government and organizations. Municipalities can be leaders in climate action, and that’s one reason I’m running. Join in and help us build a just, inclusive, and climate resilient Edmonton.

We need East/West Pedestrian Crossing over the CPR line

We need more paths for people! When I think about a #15minutecity and goals of #yegplan, I’ve always found it frustrating that the great CPR wall divides us. You have to go up to Whyte Ave or down to 63rd. 

I’ll continue to fight for connections to walk/wheel safely. Many students in particular heading to Strathcona High have raised this with me as a barrier. I know it’s a frustration for west Ritchie folks too, and conversations have been taking place.

I’ve spoke with CL folks about this and because of the jurisdiction issues (CP Rail historically has dealt more with the Feds), I’ve also raised this our tenacious MP Heather McPherson. Keep up the pressure, everyone!

Unofficially... there already appear to be holes in the fence, but that’s not accessible, and the lasting solution is a safe crossing that works for children and neighbours of all ages!

#yegvote #yegcc #edmonton

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