There is no denying that we are in a mental health crisis. As the realities of the economic downturn and the pandemic continue to unfold, mental exhaustion will reveal itself more and more. We cannot sit idly by and watch people suffer and unravel. Building communities of care in our Ward 12 neighbourhoods will be vital to a comprehensive response. Here are three action points that will be important to me as your Councillor:Read more
Promoting a learning culture by actively listening to our neighbours in Ward 12’s communities creates commonality where we can learn about and understand our unconscious biases and how to overcome them. Diversified communities encourage residents to interact respectfully and provide accessible and inclusive services to ensure quality of life is better for everyone who lives, plays, and works in them. For Ward 12 this includes, but is not limited to, our neighbours who are:
The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides opportunity for public servants to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.
While the Government of Alberta, disappointingly, chose not to recognize this new statutory holiday and its important purpose and meaning, the City of Calgary has and so have our public and separate school boards.
Not everyone will have the opportunity to take this day off to reflect and honour, but I hope everyone does take time to consider what it means to be a great neighbour, to help foster thriving neighbourhoods, to know the true history of Canada, and to understand the legacy of grief and pain many of our Indigenous neighbours carry with them. We all have a responsibility in a caring society to ensure every neighbour feels safe, secure, seen and included.
For our Indigenous neighbours, this means listening and bearing witness to their stories while laying the burden of learning at our own feet. There are hundreds of resources available to become informed and educated about residential schools, stories, the history of colonization, and the 94 Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Please use this list as a starting point:Read more
One of top five priorities of my platform is to Activate Calgarians. I want to give you the tools you need to spearhead meaningful change in your community, and I want to repair the disconnect we feel between City Hall and us as residents. Let’s make progress simple and more attainable.
Calgarians are right to be frustrated when they have to use an impersonal service to deal with personal needs. I’m going to change that. I'm going to empower Calgarians through local Community Associations, encourage and facilitate volunteer opportunities, provide funding for community initiatives, modify redundant by-laws and invest better resources into 311 so you can get the answers you need faster.
We shouldn’t have to rely on The City of Calgary to solve every problem that we can easily work out ourselves. That’s not efficient. That is not activating Calgarians. Often we hear, “that’s just the way things are,” and this is something we need to challenge. We should be afforded the ability to be a part of our own solutions. We can’t afford to wait for a system that is already overloaded, overworked, and spread dangerously thin. Lack of transparency, overspending, tax hikes, inconsistent regulations, financial scandals, or and infighting between City Business Units have caused undue uncertainty and frustration. Solutions can be simple, attainable, and expedient.
As I have laid out in my Value for Tax blog, Calgary is still finding its new equilibrium after our economic downturn caused by the drop in oil prices and the ongoing pandemic. The City of Calgary is a service organization that seeks to run like a business. This is an admirable and important aim but The City is more than just a goods and services provider. Calgarians are more than just consumers of these goods and services. We are ALL in this together anad Calgary needs to rethink how it empowers local Calgarians. Bureaucratic hurdles and roadblocks need to be relaxed, not tightened.
It is time to activate Calgarians to be part of the build-back strategy, with Ward 12 leading the way to demonstrate what is possible!
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Activate CalgariansRead more
Community is a cornerstone motivation behind everything I do. It is also one of the distinctive draws for living in the suburbs of Ward 12 — the enhanced sense of community and the corresponding sense of safety and security. We all want to feel connected and surrounded by a community that is actively looking out for us, our loved ones, and our employees and co-workers.
When this sense of safety and security is violated by a home invasion, traffic incident, prowling, fire, or any other type of safety issue in our neighbourhood, it can easily shatter our confidence. Building that trust back can take months if not years and unfortunately it can forever change how we think about our neighbours and neighbourhood when unaddressed.
Protecting our sense of community and our collective safety is of utmost importance and will be an ever-present priority for me, as your Councillor. This issue is multifaceted and deserves a multifaceted approach. Nearly 25% of every tax dollar goes to Bylaw & Public Safety and 14.36% for our Police Service. Proper funding for enforcement is extremely important but it cannot provide community safety on its own.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Community Safety in Ward12:Read more
Calgary, AB, September 27, 2021 — Evan Spencer is running for councillor in Ward 12. Spencer is the non-partisan candidate with cross-partisan popularity — setting him apart from other candidates in the ward. His forward-thinking, inclusive approach to municipal governance is resonating with many. Collaborating with others to champion local initiatives that create a thriving ward and city, for the betterment of all citizens, is what drives Spencer. His bootstrapped campaign is laser-focused on what elected municipal officials can influence through positive advocacy.
Spencer was one of the first municipal candidates in Alberta to sign the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Pledge — a voluntary candidate commitment to support democratic municipal elections by keeping local elections local, maintaining independence and non-partisanship, demonstrating transparency, and engaging in respectful behaviour. To date, Spencer is the only Ward 12 candidate to make this commitment.
Its impact is nearly universal and actively limits options and opportunities for Ward 12 and The City of Calgary — economic recovery is a massive priority.
We can no longer rely on downtown revenue to cover most of our budget. It’s time to attract new investment, diversity into new sectors, and remove bureaucracy that is slowing down progress.
Working alongside organizations like Calgary Economic Development, Calgary’s elected officials can aid or detract from selling our City and way of life. It takes strong collaborative leadership to put our best foot forward and it also requires teachable servant leadership. I have a track record of connecting with people and also giving them room to make their contributions. Effective leadership creates a wave of team buy-in and I look forward to bringing this focus on what local business leaders want, not what I want, to City Hall.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Help the Local Economy Recover:Read more
Initiative #2: Ward 12 Deserves Value for Tax Dollars: Asset Management, Improve Economy, Spend Smarter
I am prioritizing this Value for Tax Dollars platform as an immediate priority in my first 100 days as your new Councillor. It is time to spend smarter and rethink how we use our tax dollars. It will be incumbent upon the new council to do the hard work of pushing for the savings that Calgarians are demanding while making wise investments for the future.
Not feeling like you are getting value for the taxes you are paying to The City? You are not alone. For the past 10 years, we have watched our property taxes steadily increase and now our City services are visibly on the decline — our confidence declining in tandem. I will work hard as your Councillor to ensure residents of Ward 12 get the highest possible value for their tax dollars.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Improve Value for Your Tax Dollars & Manage Assets Better
I am prioritizing this Green Line platform as an immediate priority in my first 100 days as your new Councillor. The Green Line is one of our best tools for immediate economic recovery and, with potentially 9 new council members taking seats in City Council, it will need a leader who already understands the history, opportunity and potential to continue defending and championing it. Ward 12 residents and business need someone who will waste no time keeping the plans going.
Evan Knows - A Four-Step Action Plan to Keep Green Line on its Tracks
These are trying times — economically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Calgarians simply cannot afford an extended learning curve or discord among a mostly new City Council. Evan Spencer is ready to step into the role of Ward 12 councillor today. His leadership experience, hands-on City of Calgary knowledge, and community perspective make him Ward 12’s best choice for Councillor.Read more