Calgary’s Ward 12 can expect a push for greater business growth and accessibility from first-time city council candidate Kamen Proudfoot.
Proudfoot intends to run in Calgary’s 2021 municipal election on Oct. 18, 2021, though it’s 14 months away. He’ll be vying to replace outgoing councillor Shane Keating, who announced his retirement June 22.
Born and raised in southeast Calgary, the 26-year old Proudfoot sees Ward 12 as the city’s next cultural and commercial hub.
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“This is the home I’ve always known,” said Proudfoot.
“I grew up in McKenzie Lake. Then, I bought a house one neighbourhood over in Copperfield when I was 20. So I have a very vested interest in my ward, and in Calgary.”
Proudfoot said improving business diversity is the key to Ward 12’s overall evolution, with a heavy focus on accessing those businesses via the recently approved Stage 1 of the Green Line LRT.
“The Green Line should have been built 20 years ago,” said Proudfoot.
“As much as it sucks, we need to bite the bullet and get this thing built.”
Ward 12 covers a large swath of the southeast from Deerfoot Trail to the southeastern boundary of the city, and north to Glenmore Trail. Proudfoot said that area is troubling for Calgarians without vehicles.
“Buses just don’t do well in the winter, so it makes sense that transit users are hesitant to travel to and from here,” he said.
“But I want to see places like Seton and Quarry Park have the same appeal as places like Kensington.”
Green Line is a go, but it needs to go further
Proudfoot said that while he’s glad the city has finally put Green Line into motion, the city needs to prioritize deep south construction.
“With the economic crisis Calgary is facing due to COVID 19, and the boom and bust of the oil industry, we need to be providing better support measures that help our citizens get around the city,” he said.
As south Calgary communities such as McKenzie Towne, Seton and Copperfield continue to flourish, Proudfoot believes reliable transportation is paramount to improving the city’s overall economy.
“Calgarians want to work, they want to contribute, but right now a lot of people are dealing with their own financial crises and can’t necessarily afford their own vehicle,” he said.
“There’s just absolutely no reason to hold off on extending the Green Line through Ward 12.”
Keeping Calgary non-partisan
Proudfoot wanted to get out of the gates early, with Coun. Keating out of the race. He knows that with no incumbent, it’s a wide open contest.
“I’m not beholden to any one person or business or political party’s interests. My campaign is completely grassroots, my team is comprised of trusted and qualified friends and family, and so far we’ve done everything on our own time and our own dollar,” said Proudfoot.
“This city has always been very non-partisan, and I think Council should be voting solely based on what is best for Calgary.”
Despite the added effort of running a campaign with no political backing, Proudfoot isn’t letting the challenges, or even his age, detract from his overall goals.
“I don’t really see my age as a good or bad thing in this campaign. I’ve lived in Calgary my entire life, I’ve been a homeowner paying property taxes for six years, I’ve seen how the city has changed and how it still needs to change,” said Proudfoot.
“What happens to this city, happens to me. And I’m here to listen.”