The City of Champions - An Economic Renaissance

Whether it's overcoming a devastating tornado or recovering from a global pandemic, resiliency is one of our city's greatest strengths. For me, the City of Champions is more than a name -- it embodies who we are as Edmontonians.

As we come out of one of the worst pandemics in recent history, we will need to rebuild and recover just as we did in 1987 after Black Friday. This means rolling up our sleeves and doing everything we can to support one another. We need leadership that doesn't shy away from hard work and is more concerned with supporting real Edmontonians and their needs instead of focusing on sound bites and lip service. 

Let's be real here, COVID-19 has crippled and scarred a lot of the beloved small businesses and charitable/non-profit organizations that call our city home. This doesn't even include the record number of people who are looking for work after being laid off. Edmonton needs an economic renaissance, period. We need to elect a city council that understands this and will get to work on aggressively rebuilding Edmonton on an economic level. Not only will a strong economy bring back our workforce, it will do wonders for our reputation as a great place for entrepreneurs to make their vision a reality. Our city is an excellent place for small start-ups to take off and our next city council needs to ensure we set up new small business owners for success.

A strong local economy will also greatly benefit the relentless non-profits and charitable organizations that took a huge hit in donations and fundraising due to tight health restrictions. We may not always be able to rely on our provincial government for all the social supports we need, but there are amazing organizations out there that ensured no one was left behind in the last few years and continue to do so. Furthermore, charities and non-profits make up for roughly 9% of our local economy and it's important that we protect the good people who choose this noble line of work.

Let's not forget about festivals and celebrations that honour the diversity of our city and support our vastly talented local artists. We need to make sure that the many shades of Edmonton's beauty and vibrancy is centre stage for the world to see effective immediately. When we come together and celebrate each other, our city will blossom once again. Like our small business owners and charitable sector, Edmonton-based festivals have taken a huge beating and we need to do everything we can to protect our art and culture.

A little-known fact about me, but I was born on Black Friday right here in Edmonton and the City of Champions mindset was engrained in me from a very early age. I think it's important that we embrace who we are as a people and officially bring the name back. Having a public name prominently showcased over the next two years will unite us in meeting our city's great potential and I think that's worth fighting for.