Get to Know Who's Running: Diana Steele (Mayoral Candidate)
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...
“My name is Diana Steele and I am running to be your next Mayor of Edmonton. I have been a steady community volunteer since I was a teenager and developed the understanding of the concept of giving back. Over the past 6 years I have dedicated myself to the community of Crestwood and surrounding areas. I am currently the President of Crestwood Community League and run two large private community pages on Facebook. I have volunteered with the Festival of Trees, KidSport, Candy Cane Lane, and created the nationally recognized fundraiser Soccer Balls for Syrians. Over the past 18 years I have run 3 of my own small businesses, taught business courses at NorQuest College and developed senior leadership policies for the Government of Alberta. Currently, I am enjoying my role with the Pilgrims Hospice as we prepare to open Edmonton’s first free standing residential hospice. I am also on contract with the Federal Government as a Designated Representative and I substitute teach from time to time. My education includes a Bachelor of Education, a Master’s Degree in Work, Organization and Leadership and a certificate in Organization Development Foundations from Queens University. If elected I would like to examine: Both property and business taxes, rebuilding Edmonton businesses and attracting innovation and new business to our city, purposeful spending, the downtown bike lane system, photo radar locations, and speed limit changes. I also want to protect the river valley, continue working with the Government of Alberta to eliminate homelessness, and ensure all LRT development is completed properly. Finally, I am not part of the political elite, nor do I come from a family dynasty. I am simply a girl with a public servant heart who wants to lead this city with compassion, post-pandemic. We need a leader who will make the best decisions for Edmontonians, because they are the best decisions for our city, with no hidden agenda. I hope you will consider me as your candidate of choice."
I♥E/ Why do you want to run for Mayor?
Diana Steele/ I feel a responsibility to step forward to offer a different kind of political leader. I am nonpartisan. I am not beholden to any political party. In fact, I am not political at all. I am simply here to make the best decisions for the city and its citizens no matter where those ideas may originate from. I have passion and lead from the heart and believe in servant leadership. I am here to serve all the citizens of Edmonton.
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?
DS/ I have Bachelor of Education Degree, a Masters Degree in work, organization and leadership, and a certificate in Organization Development Foundations from Queens University. I worked at Norquest College for almost 10 years where I taught business courses and then I moved over to the GoA where I developed senior leadership policies for our Deputy Ministers. I have run three small businesses over the past 14 years and currently work for the Pilgrims Hospice Society, Edmonton’s First Free Standing Residential Hospice. I have also been leading my community as President for the past 6 years, as well as being actively involved with several neighbourhoods in our city. In addition to my education and work experience, I am on the ground every day listening to the needs of Edmontonians and solving those issues in any way I can. I am known as someone who can get things taken care of quickly, efficiently and with full transparency. I put my contact information on the internet every day and answer every phone call and email that comes my way. Finally, I have been checking in on our city for nearly 500 days, since COVID began here in Edmonton. These videos are sincere and heartfelt and hopefully show the exact type of leader I would be for our city.
I♥E/ What do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?
DS/ Economic and emotional recovery for the city, businesses in Edmonton and families who struggled during the pandemic Homelessness and Mental Health Initiatives Diversity and Inclusion Transportation in our city (new bus system and making sure the LRT expansion is done efficiently and effectively).
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you loved and would like to expand upon?
DS/ Expanding on the winter city concept. We live in a winter climate and I would love to continue to find ways for the city to come alive during the winter like it does in the summer.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you are/were against, and what would you do differently?
DS/ I have major concerns with the continued development of the LRT across our city. I am in favour of public transportation and the LRT, but I am not sure we are developing in the most efficient and effective way. I am also not a fan of the new bussing system as it has severely impacted quality of life for some Edmontonians.
I♥E/ Do you think elected officials, such as City Councillors, should be able to block people on social media sites like Twitter?
DS/ Only if there are threats made to their personal safety on public/city run accounts. They should be free to block as desired on their private social media.
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)?
DS/ This is a difficult question to answer because it is so easy to judge someone else’s decisions after the fact - when we have the benefit of having watched it play out one way or another. Having said that, I will offer this; I have no issues with the decisions made by the city during this pandemic. Provincially, is another story. I struggled with the inconsistency in information being provided to the public and the lack of transparency.
I♥E/ What is your favourite thing about living in Edmonton?
DS/ The people – for sure the people! We have some of the kindest, most wonderful citizens living in our city. That has certainly been my experience. Perhaps I am just fortunate in that I am surrounded by those who live very kind lives, and they allow me to share in the kindness as they spread it around our city.
I♥E/ Can you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
DS/ Non-judgemental, patient, authentic, kind and compassionate are how I hope I am seen.
Thank you, Diana!
Follow along with the candidates on Twitter HERE!