Municipal Policy Fair 2017

Photo credit Andy Nichols (4) Photo credit Andy Nichols (3)  Photo credit Andy Nichols (2)


(Photo credit: Andy Nichols)

By Katarina Graves

At a time when politics have taken a turn for the absurd and the surreal – does anyone else feel like we’re living out an extended episode of Parks and Recreation? You’ve got to admit, a certain American politician we all love to loathe bears a striking resemblance to Councilman Jeremy Jamm – it’s more important than ever that we have meaningful, constructive conversations about the issues closest to our hearts with those who intend to represent us in government.

Last Wednesday, Vibrant Communities Calgary – on behalf of the Calgary Social Policy Collaborative – invited candidates for mayor, councilor, and school board trustee to attend a Municipal Policy Fair. The Fair was an opportunity for them to learn more about the social service sector, engage with organizations and key stakeholders in the sector, and create dialogue on issues critical to the upcoming election – such as basic income, gender equality, mental health, and poverty reduction.

In Calgary, where the social service sector represents about 1,200 agencies providing over 10,000 services to citizens across the city, it is imperative that our future politicians understand the opportunities and challenges facing us – and, on that note, a heartfelt thank-you to the candidates who braved the early morning start to do just that:

David Lapp, Mayoral
Curtis Olson, Mayoral
Jennifer Wyness, Ward 2
Jyoti Gondek, Ward 3
Blair Berdusco, Ward 4
Alexander Columbos, Ward 6
Grace Nelson, Ward 6
Brent Alexander, Ward 7
Faith Greaves, Ward 10
Salimah Kassam, Ward 10
Issa Mosa, Ward 10
Michelle Robinson, Ward 10
Robert Dickinson, Ward 11
Linda Johnson, Ward 11
Keith Simmons, Ward 11
Adam Boechler, Ward 13
Adam Frisch, Ward 13
Sara Peden, School Board Trustee

And, of course, to the organizations who brought such wonderful energy and enthusiasm – we couldn’t have done it without you:

Further Education Society, Inn from the Cold, Norfolk Housing Association, Carya Calgary, Momentum, the Women’s Centre, Basic Income Calgary, the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, Poverty Talks!, Renters Action Movement, Calgary Service Provider Council, Calgary Reads, Calgary Ability Network,  United Way Calgary, Horizon Housing, the Calgary Food Bank, Social Workers for Social Justice, Propellus, and Calgary Mental Health Association

If you were unable to attend the event, but are curious about the work being done, please reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you.

For photos of the event, please check out our Facebook and Instagram pages.


Katarina Graves is an Engagement and Administrative Assistant at Vibrant Communities Calgary. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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