By Emil Tiedemann
There happens to be a Municipal Election coming up in Edmonton on Monday, 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 tastawiyiniwak (ᑕᐢᑕᐃᐧᔨᓂᐊᐧᐠ)
"Hi, I'm Karen Principe. I am running for city council in the 2021 Edmonton election. I live in tastawiyiniwak and I love the Northside. It is made up of hard working, caring, community-minded people. Choose a leader who will represent you with honesty, integrity and commitment."
I♥E/ Why do you want to run for City Council?
Karen Principe/ Many constituents have expressed their disappointment with the current state of tax dollar mismanagement. We need more accountability. I am concerned with the direction my community is headed. Within the ward of tastawiyiniwak there is increasing densification and decreasing services. This just doesn't make sense and has potential to create an imbalanced, unhealthy community. I have been an active member of this community for 23 years and realize we need change. I know I can make a difference.
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?
KP/ My varied life experiences make me an ideal candidate. I am a married mother of three (and a rescue dog), a Registered Dental Hygienist, an instructor and an active volunteer. Growing up in a family with 6 siblings (and one washroom!) taught me patience and understanding. After my father passed away when I was young, my mother struggled to support our family. We relied on the Food Bank and were fortunate enough to have a cousin who took us into his home when we didn't have a place to live. The struggles I have faced keep me grounded as well as appreciative of all I have and motivated me to work hard.
I♥E/ What do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?
KP/ 1.) Increasing taxes2.) Crime
I♥E/ What do you think are some of the issues/struggles affecting your particular ward that you would like to focus on most?
KP/ 1.) Wasteful spending2.) Crime
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you loved and would like to expand upon?
KP/ Arts/culture and sporting events. Edmonton is a wonderful host city.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you are/were against, and what would you do differently?
KP/ Bike lanes are a grand idea when implemented properly during good economic times. They are not suitable for Edmonton's climate and infrastructure. Speaking with many members in my community has given me insight to the general disappointment with the amount of money spent on constructing and maintaining bike lanes, while servicing only a small percentage of the population.
I♥E/ Do you think elected officials, such as City Councillors, should be able to block people on social media sites like Twitter?
KP/ No, elected officials should not be able to block people on social media. Unless they have a valid reason such as feeling unsafe, it should not be allowed.
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)?
KP/ The issue with the COVID restrictions is that there were too many changes and not enough enforcement. Expecting millions of people to follow seemingly constant changes in restrictions was short-sighted. I realize the pandemic has a wave pattern, but it is difficult to have millions of people to conform to changing restrictions. Too many small businesses were negatively affected by closures whereas many larger businesses were allowed to remain open. Simply not fair. Also, too much money and energy was focused on contact tracing which appeared to me as being a failed attempt at controlling the spread.
I♥E/ What is your favourite thing about living in Edmonton?
KP/ The best thing about living in Edmonton is the sense of belonging. I feel so connected to my community. We are also a great host city where visitors feel welcome. It is something to be proud of as Edmontonians.
I♥E/ Can you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
KP/ Hardworking, community-minded, caring, resourceful, fun.
Thank you, Karen!
Follow along with the candidates on Twitter. See Karen's Platform/Priorities HERE. Visit Karen's website HERE.
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