Election 2013 questionnaire response: Sean Amato, Ward 1

[We sent your questions to all the Election 2013 candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.] 

Sean Amato, candidate for Ward 1

Sean Amato, candidate for Ward 1

1. In the context of our City’s growth, how will you support the development of existing communities as opposed to new neighbourhoods?

 

Edmonton has a major issue with urban sprawl. The facts are there, and denying this is just ludicrous. So we need to start looking at new infill options and incentives that will encourage re-development as opposed to new development. There are areas of Ward 1 where redevelopment is already happening, because older, smaller homes are crumbling. This is good, but we need more of this. We can do that by supporting older neighbourhoods with quality roads, sidewalks, and drainage so they are still attractive places to live. We also need to look at alllowing garage suites, so it’s affordable for families to purchase and rebuild in our City’s core.

2. How will you support and promote independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?

 

#1 for me is always to shop locally, when I can. My father is a small business owner, so I recognize the benefits of having these businesses in our City. We must also strive to keep taxes affordable while giving businesses good value for what they’re paying. I believe the West LRT project will be good for local business along Stony Plain Road. Revitalization is happening there, but it’ll be even better with good, urban-style transit.

3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?

 

I have a garden, many in my family garden in Ward #1 as well. I think it’s important. I also allow friends, who don’t have a yard, to garden in mine. Anything the City can do to encourage this is a good thing.

4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?

 

I am part Cree myself. So this is important to myself, my family and many of my friends. There needs to be a formal recognition that this City sits on Treaty 6 land, and then the follow up to prove that that is important. Aboriginal people want, and deserve to be recognized as the original keepers of this. And the Native perspective needs to be considered with all City Hall decisions. I think appointing a City Hall Elder would be a good move. Completing the ‘Kihchi Askiy’ project is important. I’d also considering a localization of services for Aboriginal People in Edmonton. Right now there’s approx. 70 organizations providing services to Native people. But they’re all spread out and hard to access. We need to look into working with these groups to localize these agencies into a handful of centers in parts of our City. That way people can easily access the services they need. Because right now many are going without, because it’s not very convenient.

5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?

 

I envision West LRT First. That’s my major platform. I don’t believe it’s fair or efficient to put 2 LRT in South Edmonton, before we have 1 in West Edmonton. This is a mistake that Council has made and it needs to be re-thought. I’d like to see LRT in all parts of the City, but my concern is that we may not be able to afford to do that as quickly as we’d all like. So we have to be fair about how we allocate our LRT dollars. And the current plan is simply NOT FAIR.

6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?

 

An advantage I have is that I’m young enough (28) to relate to this demographic. I know what it’s like to be a young professional trying to get a job, buy a home, get to school, etc. What I will do is engage young people, and not ignore them because they typically don’t vote. This includes being active on social media, keeping up to date web information, and attending events where young people are and actually engage them in conversation and listen to what they have to say.

7. Councillor candidates: What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What solutions would you seek?

 

Transportation. The west end is growing fast and people are concerned about traffic, bike lanes, and lack of LRT services. I will listen to people, and then fight hard to address the concerns they have. We need to re-think our bike lane strategy. Removing lanes of traffic for bike lanes is not safe or efficient. We need better options for encouraging cycling. And we need someone who will FIGHT FOR WEST LRT and not just say, “oh well. We got ripped-off.”

8. How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?

 

Please contact me!

electamato.com
@JSJamato
Facebook: Elect Sean Amato
seanamato@mail.com

Thanks and good day!

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