In Alberta, the Community Associations were formed years ago, by people who wanted to bring the small town feeling into the big city. Our modern society drives us in the exact opposite direction, individualism and more individualism. And still, as this pandemic shows us all, we need our neighbours more than we need our government. When you are quarantined in your house it’s easier to team up with a neighbour and help each other. When your electricity is down it’s easier to call your neighbours and check if they have the same problem or not. Panicking and calling all public institutions you can think about won’t solve your issue or put your mind at rest. Knowing your neighbours and planning with them for different scenarios seems a better and more pleasant alternative. We have a social gregarious character embedded in our DNA and we can use it to build great neighbourhoods.
As a councillor for Calgary’s Ward 12 I will work towards building stronger neighborhoods using the Community Association as a focal point. Loneliness during Covid shows us how fragile we are, how much we need friends around us, neighbours to interact with, to socialize.
The Community Associations have the legal work frame and the knowledge to bring neighbours together, to build a strong united voice that carries weight when interacting with the local government. In the first seven months as an elected councillor, I pledge 1/3 of my net salary towards the operation budget of the seven Community Associations in the Ward 12. This will help them ease the financial hit everyone took during the pandemic and help them stay afloat. I will personally meet with every Community Association Board in Ward 12 and look into ways of better reaching within the community, of finding more dedicated volunteers to build strong Boards of Directors. We need more far-reaching projects within the communities and way more exposure.
The seven Community Associations in Ward 12 are:
- Shepard CA
- McKenzie Towne CA
- New Brighton CA
- Copperfield-Mahogany CA
- Auburn Bay CA
- Cranston CA
- Seaton HOA
I will put together all the good projects/ideas from the Ward 12 Community Associations and help the Boards of Directors pursue new venues and have more support from the City. A strong foundation and a broader access to resources can bring positive change at the community level and furthermore, at the city level.
In the recent months, Councillor Shane Keating ramped up few initiatives for more help and exposure for the Community Associations. There are a lot of good interesting ongoing projects like the “Abundant Communities” initiative that was implemented by the Copperfield-Mahogany Community Association, but more projects are needed. More good people and more resources are needed and this happens when enough people know about and are willing to be part of the Community Associations.
Interesting fact – most of the local elected officials volunteered on the Board of the Community Association in their neighborhood. This is the perfect place to learn how local politics work.