Relationships are the foundation of everything we do. From our families, to the workplace to business and government, relationships support us, create conversation and foster ideas while shaping the direction we take. People are the connection.
The strength of the relationships we have determines our success. This is absolutely true in the role of city councillor. The relationships we build with various stakeholders – people – set the stage for our success and failures. It is a large factor in creating positive outcomes for projects, programs and policies.
As your councillor, I will be committed to establishing and growing positive, respectful relationships with the following people:
Ward residents should be a councillor’s number one priority. Understanding what residents love about their community and city, as well as what opportunities they see for the future, is critical. I recognize that as councillor, I have the biggest touch point in your day-to-day life of any level of government. It is important for councillors to be physically present in their wards, whether it be to better understand a traffic concern by going to see an intersection, or attending community grassroots events where possible. Two way communication – online, on the phone or in person is also important. We may not always agree on everything but it is important that residents have a voice, and that I communicate the rationale behind decisions and projects.
It is important to have a frequent dialog with other members of Council. Understanding the priorities of other Councillors, their wards and their goals for the city is key. It will help identify common ground, similar priorities, shared resident issues and more. This allows for better collaboration and sharing of resources. It is also especially important to have good working relationships with adjacent ward councillors to identify opportunities that are within our bordering communities.
Provincial government (including local MLA reps)
It is important to have frequent conversations with the provincial government to identify city priorities and to look for support of these projects through funding, sharing of resources or policy change.
Having a positive relationship with MLAs within the Ward 11 area is important as residents may need assistance from various levels of government for the same concern. Being able to work together to help our neighbours is important to having strong, productive communities. Examples of cross collaboration with the provincial government include:
- information related to shared transportation projects, like the ring road
- social supports that are provincial jurisdiction but are administered by local agencies.
Often residents are less concerned with which order of government is responsible and are more concerned with getting good direction, support or key answers. It is important we work together to resolve issues rather than pointing fingers at various other government agencies and levels.
Federal Government (including Local MPs)
This relationship is very similar to that of the provincial government. We need to make sure the best interests of Calgarians are represented federally by our MPs including issues affecting small businesses and Alberta industries. it is also helpful to have a good working relationship with MP’s to be able to point residents in the right direction for immigration or citizenship questions. The federal government is also involved in funding projects related to transportation and heritage/culture.
Having a close relationship with community associations is vital. Sharing community relevant information in detail, clearly and timely is key to strong communication with their membership (residents). Supporting and encouraging their grassroots community initiatives helps build strong, connected communities. Sharing ideas and learnings from other communities helps maximize efficiency and resources by not reinventing the wheel. Community Associations are critical relationships to grow.
It is extremely important that we have open communication and a strong relationship with our closest neighbours. Understanding Tsuut’ina traditions and culture will help us as a City and neighbouring communities relate more to any differences in priorities. Positive communication will help us create common ground. With development coming along the edges of some Ward 11 communities, working together in a meaningful and thoughtful way is important to successful integration of future projects.
Schools are key institutions in our communities and there are often shared concerns with the neighbourhood as a whole (traffic, safety, population, shared public spaces). A strong positive relationship with the local trustee helps a councillor better work on the shared issues and also enables a better understanding of the priorities of many residents.
In addition to these relationships, I would like to look at establishing round table groups that bring together representatives from churches, organizations, libraries, schools, seniors groups, businesses to share ideas. We need to create the ability for these groups to share what they are each working on, their priorities, opportunities and issues. This will in turn develop better relationships within communities & identify better ways to combine resources and help each other.
Building relationships with stakeholders is important to me. As Ward 11 councillor, I will keep in touch with residents and groups so that I am aware of any issues, needs or requests your community has on a regular basis. I hope in doing so I can continually create value and move our neighbourhoods forward in a positive way.