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:
- Alternatively abled — visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses
This includes Pride events in our communities, creating advocacy groups for Ward 12 for marginalized and racialized individuals, doing localized work to educate and act on the 94 steps of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, working with the Calgary Police Service’s Diversity Resource Team and Sexuality and Gender Diversity Unit in promoting two-way communication and raising awareness, and ensuring everyone has access.
Investing in accessibility strategies ensures all Calgarians are included in the public infrastructure and our common life. This means that seniors, parents pushing strollers, and alternatively-abled neighbours can participate and contribute. Seton Park Playground (Elsa’s Tower) is one example of how Ward 12 is actively working on being accessible to everyone, at every age. We can do so much more.
In the Calgary Municipal Ward Poverty Profiles (https://enoughforall.cdn.prismic.io/enoughforall/ca40e3f9-3c5a-439b-8823-6753210d38be_ward-12_poverty-profiles-2021.pdf), Ward 12 community members identified the following key issues as concerns: food security, affordable housing, mental health, transportation, and access to appropriate cultural supports. They also feel that poverty is hidden — people hide it and don’t like to share that they are struggling. Over the last year, many people have been affected by poverty due to the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic. The Mahogany Angels is just one example of Ward 12 community groups on social media that mobilize residents to support those in need. We can do so much more.
As I stated in my Activate Calgarians blog, I want to give you the tools you need to spearhead meaningful change in your communities and I will continue to advocate for this as Councillor. Let’s be People Leaders and set the pace for the rest of Calgary by making Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility contagious down here in Ward 12!