Ward 5 - Municipal Candidate Response Form (Responses)
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TimestampEmail AddressCandidate NameIf elected, how will you champion the Early Years in your governance work on Council?How will you support Council’s current initiatives focused on young children and their families?Do you have any new or different initiatives to propose that will improve the early childhood development results for young children? If so, what are they?
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8/22/2017 22:00:06contact@mirandajimmy.comMiranda JimmyAmong my top priorities when I am elected will be assisting the vulnerable and marginalized in Edmonton. Having grown up in difficult circumstances myself, I understand first hand what children in poverty experience on a daily basis. I also know that access to proper support can enable these children to thrive, which strengthens our community as a whole. I intend to push Council to develop an Early Years plan that builds on the work of Child Friendly Edmonton. The plan would develop recommendations that tap into the great work of organizations across our city who work with vulnerable people and children. Once developed, I commit to holding Council and City Administration accountable to the plan and to lobbying all levels of government for funding and support.A key priority of mine will be to support and champion the goals of the EndPovertyEdmonton Road Map. It is unacceptable to me that 15% of Edmonton children live in poverty, and supporting parents to overcome barriers will serve to improve the lives of their children.

I strongly believe that stable homes are an essential foundation for children to thrive. City Administration is currently recommending a 10% affordable housing target in all neighbourhoods in Edmonton. When this policy is brought to Council next year, I will champion the adoption of a 20% target to ensure that all Edmonton households living with low incomes will have access to safe and stable homes.

As a former board member at Edmonton Public Library, I know the positive impact early education can have. On Council, I will be committed to funding EPL so that they can continue initiatives like the Welcome Baby and Daily Five Early Literacy programs.

I will encourage to promote Edmonton’s fresh strategy to ensure communities have access to healthy local food. I will direct City Administration to develop pilot programs with schools and child care providers to create opportunities for children to have early exposure to gardening, and greater access to fresh food.

I will push to ensure all neighbourhoods in Edmonton have access to quality parks and play areas, and advocate changes to the Neighbourhood Park Development Program funding model to eliminate the need for matching funds in order to ensure lower income areas have equal access to City funding.

Through the update of the Municipal Development Plan, I will ensure that existing policies for promoting walkable, family friendly neighbourhoods are continued and further strengthened.

I will encourage the continuation and expansion of the Abundant Communities initiative and promote a focus on peer-to-peer support for young families and youth.

I will ensure the ongoing funding of free family events organized or sponsored by the City, such as Movies on the Square, the Green Shack program, and Family Nature Nights, and encourage the extension of free entry at the Art Gallery of Alberta to day-time hours to accommodate young families.
I believe it is essential to tackle problems with full information, and as such will promote the reinitiation of the State of Edmonton’s Children report to help inform and guide the City’s work.

I will explore opportunities to build on the parenting programs at Terra Centre to expand these resources to a wide range of young families with low incomes.

I will encourage City-sponsored parenting programs to take an inclusive approach, highlighting the important role of both moms and dads in raising healthy and resilient children.

I will promote greater use of City-owned facilities for vulnerable communities and youth and advocate for programming that better reflects the culturally-diverse children and families of our city.

I will promote the adoption of zoning bylaw regulations that require a certain percentage of family-friendly housing units in every development to increase the options available for families and children across the city, particularly in areas around transit and other services. These choices can mean parents are able to live closer to work, shortening commutes so they can spend more time with their families.

I will recommend zoning bylaw amendments to allow for more daycares centres across our city, including on-site childcare options for City of Edmonton employees, to ensure a range of excellent facilities for young children.
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8/30/2017 15:32:42nafisa@nafisabowen.comNafisa BowenWorking at the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation has provided me the opportunity to meet many families whose children have had, and still have, health challenges. I have also benefited from learning about the research being conducted by the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute at the University of Alberta. As a mother of a child in his early years, I have participated in library and Community League programming. Because of my experiences, I am able to provide the lens of a mother and of someone intimately familiar with child health research. I believe it is essential that we be proactive in our approach to children’s health issues.

I will work with the Edmonton Early Years Coalition, and other like-minded organizations to advocate for children's wholistic health to be a consideration when developing policies at City Council.
We need to continue and build upon the work started by Housing First, Child Friendly Edmonton and EndPoverty Edmonton and push harder to support children and their families to ensure success in life.

I have experienced the stress trying to find quality childcare for my son. I have experienced the long wait lists, the high costs to be on a wait list, and the lack of spaces available for our children. In the City of Edmonton, this is not acceptable. My experience is not unique. Because of that fact, I fully support EndPoverty Edmonton’s priorities that advocate for affordable and quality childcare in our city.

As a mother experiencing Edmonton with a young child, I can be the voice for parents in this demographic in City Hall. I am experiencing the programs our City has created and will work with the Coalition to fill gaps and enhance our City so that our children start off on the right foot.
I am currently the Northern Alberta strategist for a non-profit called Families That Work, which is advocating for government to be innovative in creating solutions for working families. Some of these solutions include creating programming in schools for after-school care and realigning the school day with the work day to allow parents to hold full-time employment without being financially penalized. I believe we need to continue pushing for innovative solutions so that our children have the best care possible.

The City’s summer Green Shack program is a great program for children. Some communities in lower income areas in Ward 5 have identified children that are at the Green Shack program all day and often without food. Our amazing community leaders have stepped-up to provide food to these children but we need to find a permanent solution. There is an excellent opportunity to link the needs of residents at some of the Green Shack program sites with the resources of the Edmonton Food Bank to ensure our children have adequate nutrition to grow and develop.
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9/22/2017 1:54:25sarah@hamiltonforward5.caSarah HamiltonCity councillors need to be future focused; without focusing on our youngest citizens and our families, we cannot focus on our future.
Edmontonians need access to affordable, accessible, safe daycare spaces. The city can smooth the process for quality daycare providers who are attempting to expand services into under-served areas. No one should be denied a daycare space because the bureaucracy is too difficult to navigate in regard to parking spaces. We need to make sure that every building is safe and licensed to ensure our most vulnerable are safe.
Besides championing greater access to affordable, safe daycare spaces with other levels of government and within our own city, I am committed to supporting the excellent work being done through the Edmonton’s school boards and non-profit agencies. The 100 Voices, ABC Headstart, and Pre-Kindergarten programs being offered throughout the city provide children with the programming they need to start kindergarten ready to learn. Council needs to provide the background support that these programs need in order to deliver the excellent services they deliver.
Council can also support the initiatives that are being offered through Edmonton Public Libraries and various city facilities that provide high-quality, low-cost enrichment programs to families.
The city directly provides incredibly high quality programs to families and young children directly through city facilities and Edmonton Public Libraries. These programs need funding and support.
Unfortunately, a number of families and children live in poverty in Edmonton. Council’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness will also help families facing eviction and housing pressures. Families in vulnerable circumstances need wrap-around support, and the city can contribute to further integrating services or it can use its considerable resources and capabilities to help agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, to cooperate and have the space they need to deliver services to Edmontonians.
Edmonton, even during the recession, is facing the pressures of expansion as new families keep moving to Edmonton and into new areas. As city councillors, we need to do everything we can to provide affordable housing for young families and to increase the number of spaces available for daycare and city programs. Ward 5 needs a new rec centre that will provide the highest quality of programming for our youngest children and for all citizens. Council needs to look at smart zoning to encourage daycare operators to open in new and interesting ways, such as attached to seniors centres. Council needs to encourage innovation, instead of throwing up hurdles to good ideas, because Edmontonians deserve smart leadership and fresh ideas.
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