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
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EVAN SPENCER FOR WARD 12:
FOSTERING THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS
Evan Spencer is an experienced community advocate and a great neighbour. He has the knowledge and understanding to serve as your new Ward 12 Councillor right from day one. Evan understands what the job of being your city councillor actually involves, having worked in Councillor Keating's Ward 12 office throughout the past year.
Drawing on many years of community leadership throughout the Ward 12 communities – and a multitude of conversations, concerns, and celebrations shared with Evan by businesses and residents for the past decade – Evan has identified dozens of practical improvements to benefit Ward 12.
As your councillor, Evan will be laser focused on a three pillar platform that addresses the unique needs and opportunities of the deep southeast communities:
- spending smarter;
- improving livability;
- and growing jobs and opportunities.
In his first term, Evan will implement
The Plan to Thrive with 25:
Anticipating that the 2021 Calgary municipal election will result in a nearly entirely new team of councillors, at a time of significant struggle, it is essential that experienced individuals, such as Evan, lead with priorities in mind. For Ward 12, Evan has isolated 5 priorities for his first 100 days:
Activate Calgarians: Create advisory panels that empower citizens to be part of the solution; improve trust between Calgarians and City Council; and create more efficient permit processes. Full action plan here.
Value For Tax Dollars: Make resilient and productive investments with Calgarians’ tax dollars that have long-term financial benefits and stay within budget. Full action plan here.
Community Safety: Increase safety with better enforcement and supports to address reporting, lighting, speeding, and improved access to emergency and community services, while using technology to connect these efforts. Full action plan here.
Economic Recovery: We can no longer rely on downtown revenue to cover most of our budget. It’s time to attract new investment, diversify into new sectors, and remove bureaucracy that is slowing down progress. Full action plan here.
Green Line: An election item twice already, with enormous costs from delays, this project needs a leader who believes in it and will defend it – keeping it on its tracks and gaining commitments for Seton expansion. Full action plan here.
Evan is committed to smart spending to help Calgary keep its tax rate one of the lowest in the country. Your councillor is YOUR voice on council and you can expect Evan to collaborate and advocate to see your tax dollars used to your advantage.
Holding council to more accountable, purposeful spending plans and leveraging tax revenue to benefit Ward 12 residents and businesses is Evan’s constant priority.
As your Ward 12 councillor, Evan is firm on prioritizing tax funds and spending smarter through several top 25 initiatives including:
A Fair Deal with the Province
The more centralized our governance and decision-making becomes, the more removed those decisions get from the people they impact. Case in point: we send 40% of our tax dollars to the Province and we need to advocate for bringing decision-making back closer to the communities they impact. I will work with community organizations, and the municipality to bring AUMA resolutions forward, advocating for this. We can make smarter decisions for how to use our resources when more of our dollars stay in our communities.
Calgarians are frustrated and rightly so. When things go wrong in their neighbourhoods and on their blocks and they decide to do something about it — they are met with impersonal processes and endless email chains that make them feel powerless. This has to change. We need to better empower Calgarians through our local community associations and make more of our grants accessible to our citizens. Our volunteer spirit is still strong. We don’t need to rely on The City to solve all our problems and come up with ever creative ways to say “no”. I will advocate for citizen empowerment so more Calgarians can be part of their own solutions in their own neighbourhoods.
Investing for Tomorrow
Few things are more costly than short-sightedness. When our infrastructure projects are executed to meet a shrinking budget instead of investing for tomorrow, it results in a big cost down the road. Developing communities as cheaply as possible in the short-term ultimately costs everyone more. Decision-making needs to prioritize long-term strategies based on data — even when it isn’t popular at the moment. We need to advocate for service optimization exercises like SAVE — but not just in lean times and election years — and we need to give better access to Calgarians to help in those efforts.
Making sure Ward 12 gets the absolute most for their tax dollars will be a constant priority.
We can better leverage our shared resources to ensure we all have access to the services we need while keeping taxes low.
Deep southeast Calgary enjoys some of the most well-developed neighbourhoods the City has to offer. Evan will ensure the council's ongoing commitment to safe, accessible, connected, dynamic, and inclusive spaces, facilities, and lifestyles for every community in Ward 12.
As your Ward 12 councillor, Evan is passionate about improving livability for each of you through several top 25 initiatives including:
A well-equipped Police Service and Bylaw business unit are important but there are many other ways to increase safety in our neighbourhoods. When the residents of Ward 12 feel empowered here we get more “eyes on the street”, we find more creative solutions (such as CPTED), our Community Associations advocate around issues — in short, we work together!
Being able to live, work, and play close to your home doesn’t just increase your quality of life; it has deeply practical and pragmatic financial and environmental implications. The SE is already full of examples of this and more can be done, like the compelling mixed usage of Westman Village in Mahogany.
Transit & Mobility
Bringing more life and opportunity to our SE communities will never completely remove the need for access to the other areas of Calgary. We need efficient, safe, affordable options for getting around. Investing in BRT bus lines and other high-value transit routes, improving roadways, and optimizing our already world-class pathway system are all important.
Southeast Stench Mitigation
While our Ward 12 neighbourhoods have much to offer, one unique concern is the strong odours that intermittently drive us mad. While Shepard Landfill is most often blamed, there are many other likely multiple culprits – Shepard Biosolid Lagoons; Alkali Ponds; farmers fields to the east; and composting facilities. A commitment to scrutinizing these many sources of stench and explore mitigation techniques is necessary to help our southeast noses wrinkle less.
When neighbours know each other and spend time together it has wide-reaching implications for our neighbourhoods and Calgary at large. Inclusion, isolation, health, social care, bylaws, business innovation, and much more all benefit when we support and encourage people to connect on their blocks and within their complexes.
Ward 12 is a collection of neighbourhoods known for being clean, green, active, and connected.
Our vibrant business districts include everything from home businesses to international companies to the largest industrial area in Calgary. Protecting and nurturing these communities and districts is a main priority as we grow together. When we feel safe and supported, we’re inspired to boldly invest in the people, places, and businesses around us.
GROWING JOBS & OPPORTUNITY
Nestled on the north end of Ward 12 is one Calgary’s most robust industrial, commercial, and small business regions. Evan is committed to ensuring council values investment in Ward 12 as a business hub — in Shepard Industrial; regional commercial businesses; and home-based, small business ventures.
As your Ward 12 councillor, Evan’s focus is on growing jobs and opportunities to bring stability and diversity to Calgary’s deep southeast business community through several top 25 initiatives including:
Advancing the Green Line
This project has been an election item twice and scrutinized at length. The shovels need to be in the ground and work needs to be done to figure out how to complete it from Seton in the deep SE to Livingston in the North. The economic and environmental benefits of the Green Line are being attacked and this project continues to need people and politicians who will defend it. This project will create jobs immediately and grow opportunities long-term as it activates businesses along the route.
Attracting New Investment
Working alongside organizations like Calgary Economic Development, Calgary’s politicians 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. Evan has a track record of connecting with people and of also giving them room to make their contributions. Effective leadership creates a wave of team buy-in and Evan looks forward to bringing this focus on what people want, not what he wants, to City Hall.
Creativity & Innovation
When it comes to creating jobs and new opportunities, the private sector does it best. Venture businesses like Thin Air Labs are supporting startups with excellence and strengthening our economic landscape. It is far more productive for a City Councillor to connect and support the amazing people innovating Calgary into tomorrow and address roadblocks and inefficiencies. Here in the SE, we have an incredible opportunity to create another hub for this activity around Seton and an industrial area that needs our creative input on how best to support its growth.
Calgary has a lot going for it. We have a young and highly trained workforce and a high-quality lifestyle. There is still room to grow and one area that has a great area of improvement for Ward 12 is the business permitting process. Work is being done right now to improve the process and Evan would advocate for The City to consider a case manager role to expedite the process and help all businesses succeed — not just those that can afford an external consultant.
We can lead the way in our ever-changing world by engaging the best and brightest in the southeast to create an even more compelling place to live, work, and play.
There are countless opportunities to grow our economy in Ward 12.
With Evan on council, he will help us do our part to ensure Calgary is well-positioned to attract the best talent and businesses from Canada and abroad and give every reason to young Calgarians to stay, or return home, after they finish their education and job training. With Evan as your councillor, he will do his part to ensure you have security and an opportunity to thrive right here at home.