Why I'm Running for City Councillor for Edmonton Ward papastew
I want to ensure Ward papastew can recover as fast as possible as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic. To accomplish this, we need to act fast, efficiently, and collaboratively with both a business mind and community heart.
Accelerate Permits: When our businesses struggle, their employees suffer, our services stall, and our citizens are left to scramble. Susan’s extensive strategic business experience will kick-start Edmonton’s post-covid economic recovery. Edmonton’s permit times are averaging 4-6 months, when surrounding municipalities are averaging 4-6 weeks. Burgeoning entrepreneurs don’t have the capital to carry costs for months, and in some cases years, before their businesses open. Accelerating timelines for permits and development will jumpstart growth across ward papastew and the City of Edmonton.
Predictable Taxes: Aspiring entrepreneurs are moving to other municipalities because launching in Edmonton was too exhausting. Creating a consistent permitting system and a predictable business tax regime will support stability and keep businesses within the city. As an Edmonton City Councillor, Susan will work to project our the residential and business tax rate over the 4-year term. For individuals and businesses to plan long term, Council should be providing them with predictability and a level of certainty with respect to their taxes. Millrate and percentages don’t add up.
Grow Green using our Current Talent: Edmonton is uniquely positioned to grow into the future of green energies. Our climate is well-adapted for solar, our local industrial plants already create hydrogen, and we can incentivize recycling industries to set up shop here locally instead of shipping waste overseas. Our energy industries already have the industrial talent, and with permitting and tax consistency, Susan will help these industries follow their green energy goals right here in Edmonton.
Proactive Crime Prevention: Community is the heart of ward papastew. 13 years ago, Susan created a grassroots community connection and crime prevention organization in her neighbourhood that is so successful, others are asking for her help to do the same. The program focuses on preventative measures that everyone can take to prevent crime in our neighbourhoods. Many safety programs focus on fear and pit neighbours one against another. Knowsy Neighbours promotes building connections with all neighbours, strengthening the fabric of our community, to support and look out for each other and help keep everyone safe. Susan will roll this program out to neighbourhoods across ward papastew, which can be done at virtually no cost.
Affordable Neighbourhoods: To increase affordable housing, we need to promote densification along established transit corridors, and to work towards a 15-minute community with local groceries, coffee shops, and other services close to where people live. The south end of the ward was developed as a 15 minute community, which was lost over time. Susan will grow the 15-minute community using the “Building Business” principles, and will help our papastew neighbours and neighbourhoods flourish.
Connecting Communities: Susan has always been widely involved in local activities and charitable initiatives. She has been nominated as an Everyday Political Citizen, a YWCA Woman of Distinction, was a founding board member for a not-for-profit, a multi-year Aspen Gardens community league president, an active community leader, and the “go-to” person when neighbours want to get something done. Whether it’s protecting our green spaces, advocating for our community’s goals, or helping our seniors, making our communities safe and welcome for every single person has always been Susan’s true passion.
Projects with Purpose
Streamline Services: The City’s budget doesn’t always have to be balanced by increasing taxes; it can be done by making projects, programs and processes efficient. Susan’s career has been built on streamlining. Susan has taken dying business units and made them profitable without any loss of jobs or services.
Creativity instead of Privatization: The same principles that businesses use to stay competitive can be applied to City operations. Instead of privatizing services to save money, Susan would develop a business plan for our facilities to create additional revenue. Rec Centers can provide daycare, library services, multi-cultural gathering spaces, and seniors programs to make additional revenue and increase accessibility residents. Instead of proposing a private business to make money off our core services, Susan will push the City of Edmonton to adapt and get creative to keep providing core services and break-even on cost.
Proper Front-End Planning: Each project must serve the intended purpose, and Susan’s extensive project management experience will be an asset to the city. All the City’s projects have the same issue: poor front-end planning. McKernan’s neighbourhood renewal is great, but only 2 years later part is being torn out to add bike lanes. Susan will promote neighbourhood planning over a multi-year cycle. Simply doing the bike lanes together with the neighbourhood renewal could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of waste. Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT system will be at-grade and stopping at lights, which will serve nearly the same purpose as Bus-Rapid Transit and could have been completed for a tenth of the cost. For our City projects, Susan knows we don’t always need the gold-plated solution to grow Edmonton and to get the work done.
Services for All
Cooperation on Council: Getting people to listen and to work together is Susan’s superpower, and she will work with all of Edmonton City Council to serve residents. Susan is a dedicated non-partisan candidate who will work with any provincial and federal government to get the best outcome for Edmontonians. Throughout her career, Susan has worked with adversarial people and got them on-board to get the job done.
Re-establish Transit: Edmonton’s LRT system has focused on moving workers in and out of the city core – only 30% of the workforce pre-covid. With the post-covid future of work, we need to focus transit on the 70% who work in-person in essential services. Neighbourhood bussing has been eliminated across ward papastew, and the on-demand busses are on a two-year contract and don’t accept passes, tickets or money. Susan’s first initiative as Edmonton City Councillor will be to take these busses, which sit idle, and to put them back on neighbourhoods routes. Many seniors can’t order an on-demand bus. They, and others with mobility concerns, can’t walk over 20 minutes to the nearest bus stop in summer, let alone winter. This is an accessibility issue and Susan knows we need to solve this now.
Help end Homelessness: Susan has worked with employees who were homeless and helped them get access to housing. She has worked as a post-incarceration and supportive addictions recovery employer. The root causes of homelessness, whether it's chronic or acute homelessness, are complex. However, Susan will work with the provincial and federal governments to increase mental health and addictions supports to help chronic homelessness. She will also work to end acute homelessness to create opportunities for additional supportive and affordable housing so Edmontonians have a safe and stable place to live. Susan will help our City services and third parties collaborate more closely, so more of the resources will make it to the front lines, and not be spent on admin costs. Even more than that, by creating additional programming for children and teens at rec centers, we can intervene earlier and get them more of the supports they need.
Engage and Advocate: Advocating for marginalized communities is a crucial part of an Edmonton City Councillor's mandate, and the only way for real change to occur is to engage our community members directly. Whether it's creating a transit system so those with low mobility have access, making our streets safer for people of color and the gender and sexually diverse community, removing regressive and unequal city policies that create roadblocks, addressing the complex root causes of homelessness, or moving reconciliation from acknowledgement into action, Susan will advocate for all. The residents of Edmonton are a Councillor’s boss, and Susan will be accountable to each and every one of you.
Standing up to the City
In February 2021, my neighbor's house burned to the ground. They have been fighting the City of Edmonton to rebuild ever since.
Let's make our neighbourhoods safer together
Make a Difference
It takes determination and passion to give everyone a chance at a safe & prosperous life in Edmonton. Let's get to work.