free responsive web templates

JYOTI'S APPROACH

THE NORTH IS RISING.     I AM YOUR VOICE.     ARE YOU READY?

Mobirise

MISSION AND COMMITMENT TO CALGARY

I have spent my professional life understanding complex urban issues and proposing ways to improve both our ward and our city. My mission has been consistent over time: To identify practical, proven ideas that can be adapted and implemented to make Calgary successful for our collective future. Better transit options in north Calgary, improved pedestrian crossings and innovative financing solutions for recreation facility upgrades are a few of the ways I have fought for our local needs through my volunteer positions.

In addition, I have collaborated with Calgary Economic Development and the City of Calgary to identify ways to repurpose downtown office spaces, including changes to restrictive bylaws that limit our city’s ability to attract and retain diverse businesses. My commitment to working with Calgary’s business community is based on the fundamental belief that employment must be a priority for all levels of government, and City Council must do its part in demonstrating fiscal responsibility while investing in the growth of our people and communities.

At this critical time in our city’s future, members of City Council must be aware of how their decision-making can either hurt or support our plans for economic recovery and stability. Your lives and mine have been impacted by the downturn, so we must work together to chart a new path. As your neighbor in Ward 3, I’ve already been hard at work to tackle many of the issues you have identified at the doors. As your Ward 3 Councillor, I will be ready to continue to take on the challenge of making our lives better and focus on solutions that allow us to move forward into prosperity. 

LEADERSHIP IN THE CALGARY CONTEXT

City Council in Calgary operates differently than some other metropolitan areas. The City of Calgary has grown and expanded into a “unicity” model. Rather than having a number of separate municipalities assembled together to form a city, Calgary’s downtown, established neighbourhoods and new communities are all within our municipal boundary.
This unicity model has had distinct advantages for Calgary in terms of consistency in the quality of services across the city, as well as economic benefits that come from lack of duplication in delivering those services. However, managing a municipality of this size also brings specific challenges. It means that your ward Councillors must be aware of community needs and overall city needs. Representing both the ward and the city is not an easy task, and one that requires an understanding of municipal finance, intergovernmental relations, infrastructure and urban growth issues.
Effective representation requires first understanding the needs of the community. My time volunteering, engaging on community issues and speaking with you at the door has strengthened my understanding of the issues and priorities of Ward 3 residents.
As important as understanding and stating community needs is the much more difficult task of connecting the dots between those needs and the processes to actually get things done. This is where my involvement on City of Calgary committees, research background and professional experience can translate the issues into solutions that improve quality of life for all of us.
My priority as your Ward 3 Councillor will be to fight for the things we need in north central Calgary to make our everyday lives better. I will continue to do the research and consultation needed to identify more efficient ways to fund the infrastructure and servicing we need in our ward and in our city. I will lead in collaborating with stakeholders to demonstrate how we can be more effective and resilient by working together.

APPROACH TO COLLABORATION AND EFFICIENCY AT CITY HALL

Calgary is an incredible place to live because we are more than the sum of our parts. We must recognize the contributions that our different residents, communities and business make to our collective success. This means putting an end to the language that divides us and the stereotypes that weaken us.
The past four-year term of Council has been one of incredibly strained and fractured relationships. Issues like parking, cycle tracks and secondary suites have divided Council and Calgarians. Creating polarized positions has become an entrenched habit. For example, providing better parking options has been painted as a suburban privilege that diminishes the value of urban spaces. Improved accommodation of biking infrastructure has been positioned as a war on cars. Enabling ease of secondary suite development has been advanced as an infringement on neighbouring homeowners’ rights. How did we get so far off track?
Moving forward, City Council needs to acknowledge that collaboration and serving the needs of a diverse population makes for great communities and a progressive city. Calling our important north central communities “suburban” implies an inferior way of life, one that is somehow less valuable than “urban” areas. Creating opposition between modes of transportation that ultimately work best together defeats our efforts to build an inclusive city. And a resident’s choice to be a renter or a homeowner, or a decision to live in an extended family, should be celebrated rather than shamed.
With your support, I will also be the champion for increased efficiency and effectiveness of City Council in the following ways:

  • Better facilitation of meetings. Hiring an external facilitator to manage Council meetings is a waste of money. By implementing a pilot project to have a rotating Chair or Speaker will help identify the strongest Council member for the job of facilitating meetings. A more streamlined City Council process will further allow City Administration to do its job more effectively, saving both time and money.
  • Increase transparency in decision-making through less time behind closed doors. Open decision-making will lead to improved and common understanding of perspectives and processes, resulting in greater trust between stakeholders.
  • Improve partnerships with businesses, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other levels of government. Collaborative approaches will generate solutions based on evidence and lessons from the successful experiences of other places, allowing Calgary to implement proven solutions for a prosperous future.
It is my belief that these basic steps can foster a healthier and more productive working culture on City Council and across the City of Calgary.

Ward 3 Councillor Jyoti Gondek    |    Calgary