Get to Know Who's Running: Ashley Salvador (Ward Métis)
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...
"Ashley Salvador is a doer and has never sat on the sidelines. She has been active at the municipal level long before she decided to run for office. Ashley is an entrepreneur, vocal community advocate, urban planner & award-winning scholar who loves our City. She has a track record of working hard to deliver value for Edmontonians and is committed to making our City the best place to raise a family, retire, open a business, and live a healthy, active life. She has worked with Alberta Municipal Affairs, the University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability, the City of Waterloo & World Health Organization's Age Friendly Cities Initiative, and Abundant Community Edmonton. She's self-employed as the Founder and President of YEGarden Suites, which has driven over $15 million of investment into our mature neighbourhoods. Ashley has a background in Sustainability and Sociology and has served on the Board of Directors at the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Old Strathcona Business Association, Infill Development in Edmonton Association, and on the Street Speeds Committee with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues."
I♥E/ What do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?
AS/ Climate Change
It is incumbent on all levels of government to take action on climate change. I’m focused on implementing and accelerating Edmonton’s new Community Energy Transition Strategy and Action Plan, which charts a course to a low-carbon future by focusing on a renewable and resilient energy transition, a low carbon transportation system, emission neutral buildings, and nature-based solutions, including the protection of our River Valley.
Edmonton is uniquely positioned to attract investment, diversify our economy, and succeed in the 21st century as a leader in climate action. This is an opportunity to bring sustainable jobs to Edmonton, and safeguard our future so that our city is a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous place for years to come.
Edmontonians want to see homelessness addressed. For Edmontonians who are experiencing homelessness, we must take a compassionate and systemic approach. While shelters are a temporary solution, we must invest in permanent supportive housing with wrap-around services, including mental health supports, addiction supports, employment supports, etc. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s also the economic thing to do.
The City of Edmonton needs to leverage our partnerships and underused land to create an efficient pipeline of shovel-ready projects that we can use to attract funding from higher levels of government. These projects need to be well-located, so that they are not all concentrated in certain areas of the city and are still close to key services like transit, social supports, and everyday needs like grocery stores.
Growing our Local Economy
Recovering from Covid-19, and retaining and attracting talent will be essential for our long-term success. We want our talented family and friends to stay here and contribute to our shared prosperity. To do that we need to make Edmonton the best place to get a job, own or rent a house, launch a business, start a family, and work remotely. This means supporting the amenities, services, programs and infrastructure that contribute to a high quality of life and low cost of living. Ensuring our neighbourhoods have equitable access to affordable public services, libraries, green spaces and recreation centres helps build our competitiveness and lays the foundation for a sustainable economy. At the same time we must reduce barriers for local businesses, support local entrepreneurs, and invest in our main streets. This will help drive Edmonton's economic recovery while fostering community hubs.
The way Edmonton has developed over the last century has resulted in an expansive, low-density city. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it is costly to maintain and repair. Outward expansion means we are eating into surrounding farmland and contributing to a high cost, high-emissions transportation system. If we’re serious about finding ways to provide value for tax dollars without cutting the services we rely on, we need to rethink the way we grow. This is where the new City Plan comes in, which calls for all growth to be accommodated within our existing boundary.
I will be focused on implementing Edmonton’s new City Plan and continuing to find ways to more effectively utilize the infrastructure we already have by supporting gentle density within existing neighbourhoods, and along nodes and corridors. Through District Planning, Zoning Bylaw Renewal, Growth Management Framework, and the Bike Plan I will help support the development of walkable, 15-minute communities, where people can access the essentials of life within a 15-minute walk, bike, or roll from their home.
Community Safety and Wellbeing
I’m focused on ensuring that all people have opportunities to engage in community life by supporting those who are isolated, marginalized, or facing injustice. That means addressing systemic racism in our communities and institutions, eliminating poverty and homelessness, combating ageism, and supporting the physical and mental health of all residents. Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and we must look at how we can modernize our approach to community safety and wellbeing to better serve all Edmontonians.
I’m focused on properly funding social services and programs, encouraging the development of permanent supportive housing with wrap-around supports, ensuring our city is accessible and safe to navigate in all seasons, and assisting people experiencing trauma, distress and homelessness.