Stories give us a sense of control because it is human nature to use storytelling as a way to share our values, keep ourselves safe, and hopefully help our loved ones better navigate through the world.
More than ever, I am mindful of the stories that our communities get stuck on because storytelling reflects the ways we also think about who we are. Our fears are valid ways to explore what scares us and why; these stories in particular, shape narratives around morals that inform us about what we prioritize most and from what I can see, there are deeply passionate, caring, and concerned Calgarians who envision a safer and healthier way to live.
When it comes to safety and perceptions about Calgary becoming more dangerous, especially within the downtown core and inner city, this is where I would like to better understand constituent concerns and hear from more Calgarians.
Ultimately, stories are useful information, and therefore for the next Council of Communities gathering on June 25, 2022, I would like to focus on examining stories about safety with the 21 Community Associations and five Business Improvement Areas (BIA) in Ward 7. These groups are responsible for keeping the lines of communication flowing between my office. These organizations have additional standing meetings outside of the Council of Communities; their leadership is entrusted to represent their respective membership and advise about the priorities of the neighbourhood they serve. However, as Ward 7 is as much of a home base as it is a nexus and a destination, I invite all citizens and visitors to share with my team your thoughts on an ongoing basis to inform my team.
During my campaign and after nearly eight months in this office, people have shared growing narratives about neighbours in conflict with each other and/or not feeling safe due to rising social disorder in their area. Being aware of the physical realities of what will or could happen is important, but it has been hard to see so many citizens struggling with perceived fears that greatly impact their quality of life, which further pushes some people to take on a genuinely uncompassionate approach towards others experiencing homelessness, mental health, and addictions struggles. We cannot continue this way and it behooves us if we lose sight of what made Calgary the best place to live in the first place: our community spirit. I know Calgary to be a generous and kind city. What motivated me to be a public servant for more than 30-years and then be inspired to run for office was the chance to serve this community that I love. I hope that by opening up more channels of communication we can get the Greater Downtown Plan, Cultural Plan, Green Line LRT, and various other strategies right so that Calgarians for generations to come can enjoy this world-class city in all the ways that I know we can be proud of now.
I thank citizens who have already taken the time to express personal stories and engage with me – sometimes we can discern together that discomfort does not warrant danger and other times we surface deficiencies in policy or infrastructure which could lead to tangible safety improvements in Ward 7. I don’t want to lose this momentum and I hope to hear not just more stories but also your ideas for improvement.
Categories: Council of Communities, Ward 7