Hi , (Ward 8)
Reminding myself to take the time to reflect on the last 3.5 years in office isn’t something I have done nearly enough, but as I sat down with my staff this week to review the projects we’ve delivered and the progress we’ve made, I’ve been really blown away. One of the first things I did when I took office was to translate my campaign platform into a strategic workplan. I wanted to be sure that the promises I made to Calgarians who elected me were turned into a something that I could constantly refer to and use to track our success. While our workplan was distilled into three specific sections: Re-invest in our Communities, Connected Neighbourhoods, and Thoughtful Development, we identified specific tasks within these three sections for every single neighbourhood. I’m incredibly proud to say that we delivered on the vast majority of our tasks for our 16 neighbourhoods so far.
These tasks ranged from traffic calming and paint the pavement efforts to saving heritage resources like McHugh House and bringing about the first off-leash park in the Beltline. I want to take the time to thank the Calgarians living in the neighbourhoods of Ward 8 who helped my office create so much positive change for our communities. This work wouldn’t have been possible without all of the phone calls, emails, and meetings I have had over the last 3.5 years. Your dedication to making your neighbourhoods better is truly inspiring.
Some of the things I’ve been most proud to advocate for on behalf of Ward 8 residents have been:
- Cycle Tracks: I believe a great city is one that offers as many safe, reliable and affordable means of transportation as possible. Introducing the Cycle Track Pilot and seeing it through to its permanence is something I’m immensely proud of.
- Sprawl Subsidy: Calgarians who live in the inner city will no longer be subsidizing suburban development at such an unsustainable rate. The new Off-Site Levy Bylaw ensures that developers will have to pay for the full cost of building new homes, which will help to spur more re-development in our established neighbourhoods. This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that the City has worked on in years and will help enable re-investment in the neighbourhoods of Ward 8.
- Uber: I’ve long been aware of how frustrating it was to get a safe taxi ride home in Calgary. With the introduction of Uber over the past two years, we’ve seen the transportation industry completely shift. I heard from hundreds of you who were looking to have faster and more reliable transportation options, or from some who wanted to be able to make a bit of money on the weekends to help pay your bills. Having successfully brought about a bylaw that allows for both taxis and companies like Uber to exist means that all Calgarians win.
- Downtown Underpasses: This was high on my list of priorities as I took office – nearly 45,000 Calgarians use our underpasses to get to and from work every single day. I believed that these public spaces needed to be invested in and made better. Now, we’ve got new, safer, brighter, and more pedestrian friendly underpasses at 1st Street, 5th Street, 8th Street, and 4th Street is funded and underway.
- Main Streets: Ward 8 sees more development permits than any ward in Calgary. Change in any neighbourhood can sometimes be difficult to understand or agree with. However, the Main Streets program is taking a holistic view of how growth should take place in our neighbourhoods while also providing residents with better certainty and understanding when it comes to the planning process. Most importantly, these neighbourhoods will be seeing significant investment – $20 Million, from The City like improved streetscapes, increased walkability, and more traffic calming.
The check marks next to these tasks don’t just reflect something being done, they reflect real, tangible ways that neighbourhoods and residents lives have been made better. Having the responsibility and honour of serving the communities that I spent all of my childhood growing up in is never lost on me. I want to thank every resident who volunteers with their Community Association, who comes out to attend their neighbourhood Stampede BBQ or that submit 311 requests when they see something amiss – you’re all a big part of why our neighbourhoods are some of the best places to live. If you have any questions or thoughts on how we can make your neighbourhood better, reach out to me at 403-268-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor, Ward 8