By Sophia Lopez, August 6 2021––
Calgary’s next municipal general election takes place on October 18, and 23 candidates are running for mayor this year.
Jeff Davison wants to help make his native Calgary a more attractive city by focusing on creating new job opportunities. As a Ward 6 councillor, and having served on the Board of Directors for Calgary Municipal Land Corporation among other positions, Davison plans on using his experiences to help navigate Calgary’s recovery plan to become a more opportunistic city.
“Calgary doesn’t recover if every Calgarian doesn’t recover,” said Davison. “I look at it as we got to be able to compete differently in a rapidly changing world. If we don’t have the right jobs here we’re not going to recover. We have to create a world where people want to be in Calgary, not need to be in Calgary, and until we change that we’re going to lose a lot of talent and investment and opportunity.”
Davison discussed his efforts in making transportation more accessible for Calgarians, and supporting students by making it more affordable for those who commute to university.
“I’ve been the chair of the city’s transportation and transit committee for a few years now and the goal is to really think about making transit much more accessible and reliable across the city,” he said. “But when it gets down to the student level, it’s also about advocating for things like the UPass and ensuring that it’s not just about having accessibility. It’s about having affordability as well, and encouraging people to take transit.”
While it is important for all eligible Calgarians to vote, Davison noted that it is crucial for students to participate in the voting process in order for them to help advocate for the opportunities they wish to see in Calgary.
“We have an incredible team of young people that are working on our campaign because it’s not just about encouraging young people to get out and vote — it’s giving them a reason to get out and vote and a reason to want to be involved in their city and create the place that they want to grow into,” he said.
After finishing their education, many young Calgarians are leaving the city in order to find more job opportunities, and Davison wants this to change. He discussed the importance of listening to students and their needs in order to make Calgary a place where the younger generation still wants to stay.
“People aren’t leaving because it’s cheaper in Toronto and Vancouver –– they’re leaving for a different way of life and they’re leaving because there are things to do, there are other opportunities,” explained Davison. “Our job is to talk to students. Those voices are really getting left out and that’s why we’re seeing people leave, so we’ve got to do better to have the conversations to ensure that Calgary continues to grow.”
As a born and raised Calgarian, Davison has a very strong connection to the city and he wishes to see it continue as one of the top five most liveable cities in Canada.
“It’s incredible — I’m born and raised in the ward I currently represent, which is an absolute privilege and it’s thrilling,” he said. “Calgary’s always been a place of open doors and open opportunities for everyone and I’m running to keep it that way because it tells me that we’re on the right path if we can do that.”
Davison further emphasized the importance of young people involving themselves in the municipal elections, as they are the next generation to come in and help transform Calgary. By participating, voices can be heard and actions can be made to support citizens.
“This is an incredibly important election in particular for young people — it’s about the type of city you want to see us build and it’s about having your voice heard,” said Davison. “Again, it’s not about just encouraging people to get out and vote — that’s an easy statement to make. Get to know the candidates and what they stand for and think about who is going to take this city forward for you.”
As Ward 6 councillor, Davison is already working on trying to provide good, secure job opportunities for students after they graduate. He concludes by ensuring that students are definitely in mind when thinking about improving the city of Calgary.
“We want to be able to provide good employment opportunities for students when everybody right now is very concerned about what’s going to happen tomorrow, where is the world going,” said Davison. “I think we’ve got to be able to provide some sort of certainty and security that the jobs are going to be in Calgary when you finish school — and that’s what I’ve been working on for four years.”
The municipal general election will take place on October 18, 2021. For more information on Jeff Davison or the other mayoral candidates, you can find their contact information here.