Over the next few months I’ll be sharing more on: promoting the local economy and economic diversification, building a more equitable and inclusive city for everyone, strengthening public services and putting the public interest first, and accelerating action on energy transition and climate change.
Many candidates may share these priorities. What has been missing is the political will, experience, and courage to turn them into action. Learn more about my experience and what sets me apart.
Promoting the local economy and economic diversification:
Edmonton’s economic recovery is an opportunity to build on our existing economic strengths and invest in our future. With the right tools and approaches, we can continue to ensure a high quality of life and low cost of living that makes Edmonton a great place to live and start or grow a business. Working closely with the U of A, other post-secondary institutions, and our regional partners, we can grow Edmonton’s emerging sectors like hydrogen, artificial intelligence, logistics, advanced manufacturing, health, food, and agricultural tech. As an immediate part of our recovery, implement local procurement and community benefit tools and agreements to make sure local work supports local businesses first. We also need to quickly reduce and rethink regulation that currently gets in the way of the flexible use of public spaces - to ensure vibrancy, innovation and relentlessly support our small business community.
Building a more equitable and inclusive city for everyone.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we must prioritize an equitable recovery for all through our next operating and capital budgets, and execution of the City Plan. We need to fast-track affordable housing, accessible and affordable transit, and affordable childcare for all. We need to take action on the root causes of homelessness in our City - including support for innovative approaches to any substance use and mental health challenges. We must address the overdose epidemic through access to innovative harm reduction and treatment services. Alternatives to police intervention, criminalization and incarceration are more important than ever - especially for disconnected and socially isolated young people. We must enact anti-racist and anti-discrimination policies supporting the Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and LGBTQ2S+ communities.
Strengthening public services and putting the public interest first.
COVID-19 has taught us that now more than ever we must invest boldly in our collective well-being that makes Edmonton a great place to live for all ages, wages, and stages: in transit, libraries, parks and recreation, and support for seniors and families. Prioritization of the Safe Mobility Strategy and achieving Vision Zero are a must. I am excited about opportunities to open up more streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and for use by local businesses. While there are many exciting objectives in the new City Plan, we will need to apply an equity lens and pace change appropriately to make the plan a reality for all Edmontonians. For example, we can build 15-minute communities while at the same time ensuring that new developments respect the local context, prioritize meaningful and proactive engagement to address the concerns of the surrounding community. We must move forward with the small and incremental improvements that dramatically increase community connection and livability, local parks and recreation opportunities (such as the Rollie Miles project or High Level Line), and protections for the River Valley. We must bring other orders of government to the table on issues that increase our economic productivity such as education, post-secondary, and health care that are vital components of a vibrant and healthy city.
Accelerating action on energy transition and climate change.
As a city, we must meet the challenge of the climate crisis by committing to the accelerated actions for climate change and become a leader as a city. By working with other orders of government, industry, and global partners we can recognize the enormous economic opportunity in energy transition and economic diversification. By using smarter urban planning, we can create complete more vibrant local communities where activities are closer to home. We can both save money and the planet by expanding opportunities to move so that half of our daily trips are by transit, walking, and cycling. We can electrify our transit and increase the efficiency of our buildings, promote alternative energy like hydrogen and solar, plant millions of more trees- creating good-paying jobs and a more resilient and efficient local economy while ensuring clean air and water for the next seven generations.