By Cristina Paolozzi, June 16 2021—
Calgary’s next municipal election takes place on October 18, and eight candidates are running for Ward 7 councillor this year.
Born in Russia, Daria Bogdanov has grown up in Canada most of her life and said that Calgary has always felt like her home base.
However, recently, she’s noticed that Calgary has lacked strong leadership and believes despite unforeseen circumstances, more transparency in city hall is needed.
“In the past few years I’ve just seen the city deteriorate — there’s been a few unprecedented circumstances that took place that were out of our control, but I believe that we’ve also had a lack of leadership in this city,” said Bogdanov. “Things like transparency and financial responsibility could use some improvement. I think I’m the right person to bring those forth.”
Bogdanov also believes that the financial struggles students usually face can also be addressed with the right leadership. She mentioned that she is open to feedback from students as to which issues are affecting the student community the most, and how municipal leadership can play a role in finding solutions.
“I definitely think there are some financial hardships for students, and there always has been, because it just happens to be that time of life where you’re not making a lot of money and you’ve got a lot of expenses. It goes without saying it’s going to be a little bit tough for students, but I do think we can alleviate some of those issues with the right leadership,” said Bogdanov. “I’m looking to gauge what some of those issues are, what students want — I’d like some feedback from how students believe that those issues could be alleviated.”
“Vibrant” is a word that has been used a lot to describe the kind of city candidates would like to see Calgary become. When asked how she would include the student voice into the creation of a more vibrant city, Bogdanov believes that by managing a strong budget, municipal leadership can support students by creating a more stable employment sector.
“’Vibrant’ is a funny word because you can have so many meanings to that word,” said Bogdanov. “In terms of the vibrancy, I do believe we really need to work on both industries that we have in the city, but as well as potentially bringing in new industries with the changing of the times to ensure that students coming out of university have options for workplace and there is demand.”
One of the key issues for students in the city is finding employment after graduation, as many post-graduates consider moving away to find work instead of staying in Calgary. Bogdanov believes that through her experiences on the Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB), the soaring property taxes in the city contribute to businesses leaving, influencing post-grads who need work to do the same.
“Our property taxes are through the roof, and those property taxes greatly affect businesses,” said Bogdanov. “We’ve seen so many businesses leave because they simply can’t afford the property tax or they’re doing their budgeting and thinking ‘Well, we’re better off in Edmonton,’ because there’s an expense cut. Both on a residential level and a corporate level, we need to do everything possible to keep those property taxes down. Based on my experiences, I’m finding that is a big reason why companies are leaving and hence why the workforce is leaving.”
Bogdanov also said that students are an important part of this election, as community involvement is something she believes to be a major factor when addressing the key concerns people in Calgary are facing.
“I believe that students need to be involved in these kinds of decisions,” she said. “The more support within the community for students to know more about the election and know more about what the issues are and being able to express their concerns — a lot of it is about community involvement and students being a part of that community.”
The municipal general election will take place on October 18, 2021. For more information about Daria Bogdanov, or the other Ward 7 candidates, you can find out how to contact them here.