Election Re-Cap 2017
What an incredible journey this has been! Running in an election takes guts, but it takes an incredible amount of time and resources to do it properly as well. And it’s not just about me either, but those that were a part of this journey with me, too.
Those who know me weren’t surprised I chose to run in the municipal election. I’ve been involved in politics since my early twenties but I’ve never been a member of any political party. Partisan politics bother me and the idea of having to follow party policy or blindly agree with your party leader even when you disagree never sits well with me. It’s why I enjoy municipal politics- there are no parties and you can really listen to the people and make the best decisions for your city, rather than what’s best for the party (or its donors).
Planning to Run in the Election
I started planning for a potential run back in April and announced my intention to run in June. All summer I was busy putting together my website, creating content on all of my social media channels including videos, writing articles and sharing parts of my life so people could get to know me. I also got out into the community and connected with residents. I felt it was a pretty strong strategy.
By the time the election came around, I was prepared with my issues and had somewhere to point residents to when they asked my position or thoughts on a particular subject. I had professional photographs taken and I got my printing and signage done locally. I limited my fundraising (only those that approached me and asked to donate contributed to my campaign. I did not choose, for my first election anyway, to ask for donations).
I had huge support from family and friends and I honestly don’t know how one could run a campaign without the support and sacrifice from them. My dad Hugh was my campaign manager and he was just perfect for the role.
My brothers and dad were out with me every day, doorknocking and handing out brochures as we hit up every neighbourhood in Spruce Grove. We visited nearly 12,000 residences, working up to the very last evening delivering our message to residents. My nephew joined me a few times as did my some of my closest friends. You can’t thank your team enough- they’re putting in their time and working their butts off (literally) to help you get elected with only the simple expectation that you’ll do what you say you are going to do should you be elected.
Getting Out There and Door Knocking
And then there are the people you meet and interact with on the way. I reconnected with people I hadn’t seen since my high school days at SGCHS or from my church days. It was fun for me to see my dad reconnect with people he’d lost touch with, too. I was hearing from lost friends and complete strangers asking to have an election sign put up on their lawn. I was getting emails from people I’d never met before telling me they’d been to my website and were excited for me (and voting for me). I heard from many people as I went door-to-door how appreciative they were that so many of us were getting out there and connecting with residents and listening to their concerns and issues and answering questions they had.
The excitement from the residents was incredible. I enjoyed door knocking more than I ever thought I would and I learned so much. We took pages and pages of notes and will be turning all of those notes (or summarized versions of what I hurt) into the City so we can take action on some of the smaller issues and ensure that the issues we heard over and over again are addressed as a new council. But most of all, the desire for change and a new energy was palpable, and being a new candidate, fed me right up until Election Day.
I’m very proud of my team and how hard we all worked. I can’t thank them enough. Sure, I get the “glory” of the election win and having my name lit up in green, but this is a win for my team and every single one of you who supported me in any way during this election. Some of you took lawn signs, many of you followed me on social media and shared my posts, commented on the issues and encouraged others to participate, and then many of you by word of mouth expressed your support for me. We’re a growing city but we’re a connected city and I owe all of you a debt of gratitude for sharing your support and giving others a reason to vote for me.
Election over, Councilling Begins
The journey is in its infancy and it’s only the beginning of my public service to the residents of Spruce Grove. You’ve elected an amazing group of people to City Council and I’m very excited to be working with such a dynamic and smart and progressive group of people. We’re not here to sit and collect a paycheque, but to bring new ideas and opportunities to our City. While I’m one person, there were six other amazing individuals elected on Monday as well and I can’t wait to get to know them better and learn what we can accomplish together.
If I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with you since the election, please accept my thanks and gratitude. I’m still blown away that the campaign and the election results went as well as they did and obviously I’m happy to be on the winning side.
I won’t let you down. I know it is my responsibility to be an effective council member and I will do my best to be the best member of council that I can be. I set out to accomplish many things and I will hold myself accountable by regularly visiting those talking points and communicating with you about them. I will communicate regularly. I will be transparent and I will be accountable. They may seem cliche and buzz word like, but there’s a reason we bring them up time and time again, so the goal will be to walk the walk and talk the talk.