When I say I’m for Edmonton, I mean that I’m one of Edmonton’s biggest fans. And one of the reasons I love this city the most is its people. Edmontonians are compassionate and generous—it’s just who we are.
And as we move Edmonton forward together during some challenging times, we can never lose sight of this. In order to overcome the obstacles before us, in order to build a prosperous future, we need to take care of one another. And that means everyone.
To say our Edmonton community is diverse is an understatement. It includes families in our downtown core, and those in the suburbs; families struggling to stay afloat, the unhoused, and our seniors. And the pandemic has shone a light on all of our city’s most vulnerable. It’s for these reasons—it’s for all of our fellow citizens—that we need a bold and balanced approach to ensuring our decisions today consider those most in need.
A considerable percentage of Edmontonians are concerned about how they’ll pay their mortgages—that’s above and beyond the need for affordable housing and supports for our hard-to-house. So where do we start? I was on Council when we began to make intentional strides towards addressing homelessness in our city. Council’s current Affordable Housing Investment Plan is due to end in 2022.
So, as we look ahead to the next iteration of Affordable Housing Plans and plans to end homelessness, how do we ensure we’re asking the right people the right questions? We need to build a city that values, respects and actively supports the well-being of seniors. What barriers currently prevent our seniors from living fully and independently? We need to build a system that supports our most vulnerable. How can we create the space to listen rather than feed into the homelessness cycle? How are we measuring the results we’ve achieved, how are we looking at the data to see what’s worked and what hasn’t? Do we need a fresh perspective, now that the landscape has been shifted by the additional pressures of the pandemic? Are we listening to our vulnerable citizens so that we truly understand their challenges and their fears?
I believe that the fabric of Edmonton is strongest when we consider the needs of each and every Edmontonian, when we do what we do best and take care of one another. I believe that addressing the needs of our vulnerable people means drawing on the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of our community partners. I believe that we need a leader who can bring our business, social enterprise, and non-profit sectors together with government to find the right, innovative solutions that support our vulnerable citizens sustainably and over the long term. I am that leader.
I am Kim Krushell, and I am for Edmontonians—all Edmontonians.