Get to Know Who's Running: Steve Weston (Ward Nakota Isga)
There happens to be a Municipal Election coming up in Edmonton on October 18, 2021, and I think it's important for locals to get to know the City Council candidates running for their particular ward (as well as their Mayoral candidates, of course). I chose to get more involved in the election this year and so wanted to give each candidate a chance to tell us a little about themselves, their vision, and why you should vote for them. I have sent a 10-question questionnaire to each of the 2021 Edmonton Municipal Election candidates and will post their responses (100% as written) here as they come in. With that said, let's get to know...
Ward Nakota Isga
“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to represent the ward I grew up in, and currently reside. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you, and hearing your concerns. Ward 1 has a new name, it's time for a new voice!"
I♥E/ Why do you want to run for City Council?
SW/ I was thinking about the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on the community, and wondered how I could help people regroup after it’s finally over. Shortly after that, I was reading about the changes in the upcoming election, and decided that being a city councillor would allow me to help on many different levels.
I♥E/ Can you tell us about your past or current experiences that you think could possibly benefit/ translate to your position as a member of City Council?
SW/ I’m the kind of person who sees a problem, and solves it by finding the root, and fixing it from there. I was a manager of a construction company for years, and understand that everyone has different needs, and they need to be dealt with in various ways. Although it’s not even close to the scale of a city budget, I spent nine years of my life as a single parent, and had to deal with a very limited budget. I was able to locate where money was being spent unnecessarily, and found a better use for it. I believe my leadership skills would be quite useful in leading this ward into post pandemic recovery.
I♥E/ What do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?
SW/ The homeless population is an issue everyone should be concerned about. These are human beings that are suffering, and we have to put an end to it. Many of them are dealing with drug addiction, and/or mental illness as best as they can, but shouldn’t have to do it alone. Being a professional driver, I have many concerns with not only the drivers on the roads, but the actual roads, themselves. Another major concern is the growing seniors population. We need to do more to improve the lives of those who have paved the way for us to live our lives with the freedoms we have. Transportation, senior friendly rec centers, improving volunteer opportunities, and increasing funding for health care, and accommodations for Edmonton’s elderly are all very important.
I♥E/ What do you think are some of the issues/struggles affecting your particular ward that you would like to focus on most?
SW/ I think all of the issues I mentioned in question three pertain to Nakota Isga. There is a mini tent city not far from my house, and I see multiple people with signs on the corner, saying they’re homeless, asking for money. I honestly believe that many accidents could be avoided by better educating our drivers on simple things, like turning their lights on, for example. When speaking to the residents of the most western communities of this ward, they all mentioned how much of a nightmare Winterburn Rd is for them, and that it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Even though Nakota Isga has a large seniors population, the issues regarding the elderly, are city wide.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you loved and would like to expand upon?
SW/ After deciding to run for city council, I did (and am still doing) a bunch of research. One of the issues I learned about was the city’s plan to end homelessness. I think it’s a good plan, and needs to continue. With some revamping, and constant updating, I think it’s a battle that can be won.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you are/were against, and what would you do differently?
SW/ To be perfectly honest, I think Andrew is doing a a good job, and I could learn a lot from him. There is always room to improve though. I believe that sometimes to continue to progress as a city, new voices are needed.
I♥E/ Do you think elected officials, such as City Councillors, should be able to block people on social media sites like Twitter?
SW/ Yes, they absolutely should be able to block people who cross the line of decency. If people can’t be respectful social media, they shouldn’t be on it. I am new to Twitter, and see how some people interact with elected officials, and it is often uncalled for, no matter the level of frustration.
I♥E/ When it comes to COVID-19 restrictions, what do you think we got wrong (if anything) as a city or province, and is there anything you would want to do differently (municipally OR provincially)?
SW/ I think we could have done more for to protect the vulnerable, during this pandemic. I’m not going to pretend to be a COVID-19 expert, and to be honest, I believe less than half of what I read about it. I just think with the amount of deaths, we could have prevented a lot if them.
I♥E/ What is your favourite thing about living in Edmonton?
SW/ There are so many things I love about Edmonton, I'm not sure where to start. I love the diversity of people in any given crowd, and how welcoming, and friendly they are. The festivals, and activities here are great for all ages, and cultures. The city itself is very beautiful, and our river valley, and green areas are something I'll never get tired of viewing. Last but certainly not least, the local hockey, football, and baseball teams have kept me entertained for as long as I can remember.
I♥E/ Can you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
SW/ Hard working, honest, and open minded.
Thank you, Steve!