What to Do in Edmonton with Kids

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« Contest: Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival | Main | What To Do This Weekend in Edmonton with Kids | October 19 - 20, 2013 »
Friday
Oct182013

The “Our Kids” Election

 

The election on Monday, Oct. 21, has been labelled “boring” by a UAlberta political science professor and also referred to as "The Seinfeld Election - the election about nothing.”

Hogwash!


I have not seen an election in my time that is so critical to the future of the city. Since I came here in 1996, Edmonton has changed. It’s changed a lot.


There was no Anthony Henday. There was no LRT south of The University. A majority of its populations was north of 82nd Avenue. Even I will admit the downtown and parts of the city were desolate places void of activities, life and economic potential - it seemed. Edmonton was destined to be a university and government town with lots of suburbs, great schools, but pretty bland and industrial compared to some of the world’s largest cities.


Right there. Do you see it? There’s the opportunity.


We have an amazing legacy of publicly-funded education systems combined with health and community services that are among the best in Canada and the world. We have a population that is more metropolitan than New York City, according to Ipsos Reid’s John Wright. Yep, we have a better chance of meeting someone from somewhere else in the world, right here in Edmonton than New York City, San Francisco or Toronto! Heritage Days is now 365 days a year.


If we can find a way to combine these historic strengths and new-found growth with a long-term vision, we will become a global leader - economically, but also socially.


There is a lot of turnover in city council this time around. Three of them are running for mayor. There are a lot of new and old faces on your school board ballots. The everyday things that affect how and where you live are at stake and in the hands of people right here in this city. We often follow federal and provincial elections with a close eye, but the municipalities are even more crucial to our day-in and day-out lives.


For example, did you know we have dozens of areas with no schools for neighborhoods that are 50 per cent under the age of 14, while some neighborhoods have 50 per cent over the age of 55 with two or three schools? This from a city that has more than 20 per cent of its population under the age of 20 in 2011.


How do we take advantage of what’s already here? How do we create a better balance in every neighborhood? Do we need to be closing five schools to make one big one, or should we incentivize buying and selling in older neighborhoods? Should we increase property taxes or keep them low and find other revenue opportunities?


These questions, the imbalances in many neighborhoods, the cost of housing, my child’s future education and commute to school/work are big issues to me. They affect how and what we do on weekends in and around the city.


All of this is impacted by who we elect on Oct. 21.


Review your counselors’, school trustee’s and mayoral candidates’ platforms and records. They will be making decisions that affect our children and our lives in Edmonton forever. It’s a key time.


Don’t let a few people tell you it’s not. In my mind, this election is all about our kids, and the city you want to see them grow up in.


 

Thanks Jason Buzzell for sharing your passion for Edmonton and encouraging us to make voting a priority. - Jen

 

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Reader Comments (2)

I agree! I am so shocked that people are passing the election off as a non issue. It's a huge deal that will impact the future of Edmonton. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheri
It looks like the people spoke - not necessarily in record numbers - but across all ages and demographics. It's always been exciting to be in Edmonton, but now we have more people it seems who are excited as well - and seem to want to stick here and continue to build on something bigger.
October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

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