My name is Jamie Post. I'm a 28 year-old resident of the Jasper Place area. My background is in I.T. (multi-platform networking), while my volunteer time is dedicated towards community advocacy, working with the Glenwood Community League, Jasper Place Revitalization, and the Edmonton Federation of Community League’s Planning & Development committee, and several sub-committees dedicated to civic issues ranging from family friendly neighborhoods, to the vitality of our community schools.

A move from technology to politics is obviously not a common progression, and for me it’s been my volunteer work, both on behalf of my community, and in larger civic matters that have led me here. It was out of concern for the health of my community, and with the support of concerned neighborhood residents, that led me to join the Glenwood Community League as its Civics Director. As part of my responsibilities I became involved with both the Jasper Place Revitalization and the Stony Plain Road Business Revitalization Zone, working with the Stony Plain Road BRZ on community events and matters of mutual interest and concern, while joining the JPRS Steering Committee as a representative for Glenwood, and volunteering time to the revitalization’s “Building our Community” Planning & Development Committee, and within the last few months, accepting the editorship of a multi-community/business newspaper with a monthly distribution of over 15,000. It was the West LRT line that led me to become involved with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. With Glenwood’s proximity to the chosen route, and its influence on the Jasper Place Revitalization and the four communities invested in it, I joined a sub-committee reviewing and providing feedback on the upcoming TOD Transit and Land Use Guidelines. My interest in the EFCL’s impressive body of work on issues, bylaws, guidelines, and planning matters affecting our entire city, both immediate and well into the future led to me seek the unfilled position as a Planning & Development Committee representative for West-Edmonton. While I withdrew from that election process upon deciding to seek a council seat, I remained involved to help provide perspective on planning matters in the Westend. As part of this, I’ve had the priviledge of serving on a number of the Federation’s subcommittees, which have studied and helped develop position statements of issues ranging from our neighborhood schools, to social housing distribution, to family friendly neighborhood development (which you can participate in here on C2E).

It’s been a wide body experience, from local neighborhood issues, to multi-neighborhood/business planning and revitalization, to exploring issues affecting our city as a whole, and along the way I’ve had the priviledge of meeting some of the most dedicated and ingenious people who help to guide our city, and have seen first-hand the effort, successes and frustrations that all of us involved in our city experience. As the saying goes, “All Politics is Local”, and It’s nearly impossible to be an advocate for your community and not see the importance of Local Representation, the importance of placing long-term planning and vision ahead of short-term whims. I’m seeking this seat because I see the importance of providing for all of the factors that comprise life in our city, whether it’s the safety of our neighborhood crosswalks, Capital Region cooperation, or the biggest expansion of light rail transit in our city’s history.

Ward 1 is a unique place. Home to a number of industrial areas and business districts (including two Business Revitalization Zones), a population mixed between urban and suburban neighborhoods, West Edmonton Mall and the unique issues and challenges experienced by its surrounding neighborhoods, a multi-community revitalization effort, and the bulk of west-leg for our future LRT expansion. The Ward also contains direct routes to some of our largest Capital Region partners in Spruce Grove and St. Albert.

Perhaps the largest catalyst for my decision to seek a Council seat is the unique issues within Ward 1 in which I’m deeply involved. The best example being the completion of major design work for the West LRT, which will require a Councillor with a strong grip on the effects it will have on communities from Suder Greens to West Jasper Place, from Smart Growth, residential infill, and the Transit and Land Use Framework the incoming Council will need to complete, to neighborhood revitalization in Jasper Place (an effort which deserves the opportunity to finally move forward this September, and whose dedicated volunteers deserve the support of a Councillor who has worked beside its dedicated volunteers on matters affecting all the communities involved).

My platform starts with balance, and the importance I believe we should place on building our city brick by brick, via vibrant communities and business districts. The importance of long term vision and planning, and combating sprawl through quality infill, and ensuring family friendly development and amenities in our core communities. Capital Region cooperation both with our neighboring municipalities, and provincial representatives whose constituents are served by the many services our city provides.

With an aging population comes the importance of providing for those in need of support. I strongly believe we should work towards incorporating an attractive mix of amenities and housing choices in all our communities, I’ve chosen to highlight seniors due the diverse set of individual needs it must serve, and ability I believe families should have in keeping their loved ones close to them.

For industry, the goal of building vibrant districts, a revitalized downtown, and safe communities with a wealth of amenities, is to make Edmonton a world-class destination, and an easy choice for employers who operate on a local scale, and those that drive economic activity on a national and international scale.

Support for community schools - The loss of community schools makes it that much harder to draw new residents and young families back to our urban neighborhoods and goes against everything community groups are trying to accomplish. Parents of school age children should feel comfortable in approaching their Ward Councillor, School Trustee, and local Community League for help in the fight to keep local schools open.

Efficient and effective community standards enforcement - The cost of owning a derelict or disorder property in Edmonton, is simply not high enough. While the property taxes for a derelict property drop, the property becomes an expense for all of us as Alberta Health Services and the Edmonton Police Service are forced to deal with the negative activity that often goes hand in hand with disorder properties. Council and affected communities need real solutions, starting with a tax levy for negligent property owners, ending with the ability for the City to quickly resolve the issue at the owner’s expense, and with the opportunity for Council to make cleanup of the site a prerequisite to approving rezoning applications.

Well designed affordable housing - Family housing located near public transit and community schools. I believe residents of our city, who require some form of affordable housing, deserve both choice and amenities. For families, that means easy access to community schools, and for persons who choose not to, or cannot afford a vehicle, easy access to rapid transit.

Encourage the building of eco-friendly homes. While the cost involved often makes these more costly than a traditional home, I have been impressed with the handful of projects which currently exist in the city and would like to see further projects develop.

Encourage growth and involvement in neighborhood community leagues. Leagues provide a valuable service, and have the influence to affect positive change for a neighborhood, and it's my goal to encourage league involvement. That starts with recognizing the efforts of volunteers. It means treating them with respect, recognizing that they don't have executive assistants, researchers and time to spend entire days at a public hearing. I fully support ensuring that Leagues have access to information in time to make informed decisions to benefit their communities (timely access to reports from city administration - newsletters to inform Leagues of impending issues of which they may not be aware), meeting with League Executives individually to discuss key issues, and overhauling our public consultation processes.

Fiscal responsibility - wise use of tax dollars. Whether it be an untendered contract, or a costly software licensing agreement, I approach our city's budget looking for the thousand paper cuts which bleed crucial revenue away from much needed neighborhood projects/initiatives and repairs and upgrades to a mass of civic infrastructure that takes a yearly beating from our climate.

Support and develop Edmonton's open data initiatives Through events such as Change Camp, and Open Data workshops, and similar efforts in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, the awareness and development of Open Data and Open Government initiatives has grown rapidly in Edmonton in the last year. I've been involved in the Edmonton initiative since it began, and will continue to do so as a member of Council with the added goals of introducing open technologies and standards into the city's infrastructure, and pursuing collaborative opportunities with other cities moving along similar lines.

You can view the rest of my platform, at JamiePost.com. As it is not a static document, I’ll be updating it and posting position statements detailing various aspects over the coming weeks. As well, as a followup to two previous successful events, my campaign and I will be holding four round table discussions leading up to nomination day. These are to be held on August 10th, 24th, and September 7th and 15th. Details are available on my website, and on mailouts which will be arriving in Ward 1 mailboxes in the next few weeks. Information and discussion are valuable things, and as such please feel free to call, email, or start a discussion on my website if you have any questions.

-- Jamie Post
Edmonton City Council Candidate in Ward 1