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...
|Muhammad Herman Gill|
"I have always believed in creating a community and working for people wherever I am, and this foray is an extension of that. I firmly believe that I am the right person for this job. The biggest difference between me and everyone else running is that I have no inhibitions. This is my passion. Public service and leadership is what I want to excel in. Working for you will be my full and unbridled focus. That is my promise."
I♥E/ Why do you want to run for City Council?
Muhammad Herman Gill/ I wanted to run for city council because I have a background in public service and taking community initiatives, and I genuinely believe that I can make a positive difference in the ward and city. At the core, helping people is what I strive to do and running for council is my way of trying to further that.
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?
MHG/ Well, I would be a newcomer in the political circuit for sure, but let me assure you that I have a lot of experience in taking organized initiatives to help people where I live. Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to be a voice of positivity in schools I’ve attended and towns/cities I’ve lived in. The opportunity to serve on the council would be a humbling extension of that. Please, do visit my website to learn more.
I♥E/ What do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?
MHG/ Okay, so, for me there are three big issues that Edmonton faces at this moment, which I would like to tend my focus to. The first has to do with intolerance and reconciliation. It is no secret that the world at large is having problems escalating to violence in which members of some communities have begun to harbour and push an “Us vs. Them” mentality. We hear these incidents and think of how far away they are. Well, recently, they’ve hit a lot closer to home. Whether it be the mass grave of indigenous children uncovered in BC or the horrible attack on a family in London, Ontario. We need to be more diligent and united than ever. I think that aiming for tolerance isn’t enough. We need to reconcile, and learn to love one another. I know that Edmonton can and will be a leader in this fight, and I want to help do that. The second issue is housing. I believe that houses are unaffordable at this point especially for first time buyers. If elected, I would explore all avenues in the city’s power to deal with this. Whether it be through working with the public or private sector, I would pledge to find credible solutions to the housing problem. The third area is economic growth. Edmonton is already a beautiful metropolitan city, and I would like to work to go to the next step. Edmonton should be a hub of business opportunities, tourism, and family life. I want to take initiatives to take these steps.
I♥E/ What do you think are some of the issues/struggles affecting your particular ward that you would like to focus on most?
MHG/ I feel that my ward in particular is facing an increase in homelessness. I would focus heavily on individuals that need assistance in this area. For example, I would like to invest in soup kitchens, goodwill, real estate, and job fairs to help out those in need.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you loved and would like to expand upon?
MHG/ I am a big supporter of Edmonton’s green initiatives like the “Just So You Know” among other environment and climate change ventures. I would love to continue working on these programs.
I♥E/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you are/were against, and what would you do differently?
MHG/ I wouldn’t stay that I am against any of the initiatives, I believe good work is being done. I would just like to streamline the efforts and work towards faster and more reliable solutions.
I♥E/ Do you think elected officials, such as City Councillors, should be able to block people on social media sites like Twitter?
MHG/ I don’t think elected officials should be able to block people on social media. In fact, I believe that individuals that have platforms like that should use the fight against hate and misinformation. If certain users are propagating hate or disinformation, elected officials should highlight and correct them on 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)?
MHG/ As far as COVID-19 goes, I feel that the solutions are easy and approachable. Many Edmontonians and Albertans have already completed them. Get the vaccination, wear a mask, and avoid large gatherings. The city did well with bylaws that were put in place over the last year, but I believe that the rules were pulled back prematurely. As a consequence, we have had to go back into isolation orders, etc. Moving forward, our approach should be concrete and unified. Vaccination must be mandatory, and public health orders should stay in place until experts deem that the virus is no longer a threat.
I♥E/ What is your favourite thing about living in Edmonton?
MHG/ My favourite thing about living in Edmonton is that even though it is a big city, and has all the bells and whistles associated with being as such, it is still a tight-knit community. I like it when I see people aiding each other and showing compassion. I feel that sets Edmonton apart.
I♥E/ Can you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
MHG/ Determined, advancing, and always learning.
Thank you, Muhammad!
Follow along with the candidates on Twitter. See Muhammad's Platform/Priorities HERE. Visit Muhammad's website HERE.
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