Kourtney Branagan said regardless of where you are in the city, all Calgarians want the same things.
Safe communities, neighbourhoods where people of all ages can get the services they need and where there are jobs that make the city a global leader.
“It’s a give and take relationship and there’s many different ways to get to that shared prosperous future,” she said.
Just days after current Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas announced his run for mayor, Branagan, a mom of two, former president of the Haysboro Community Association and current tech sector facilitator, decided she would be first to put her name forward to replace him.
The election is scheduled for Monday, October 18, 2021.
Branagan said Ward 11 is a place with exceptional amenities and outdoor spaces. She’d like to see more work in those areas to help continue building an active and vibrant neighbourhoods.
“I think different parts of the city have different challenges and what it means to live, play and work in their neighborhoods,” she said.
“I think Ward 11 especially has opportunities to upgrade our amenities and to capitalize on the wonderful green spaces that we have.”
On taxes and fiscal restraint
Branagan knows that the economy, jobs and taxes are on Calgarians’ minds. She said that balancing the priorities of residents is key in council making those decisions.
“I think having those discussions and listening to residents about their priorities will help us find the solution to how we continue to build our city,” she said.
She pointed out that the city has to submit a balanced budget annually. All councillors have a responsibility to keep an eye on the books.
Again, she said, it’s about ensuring a balance of services.
“It’s about recognizing the services and the amenities that Calgary needs in order to create that sense of appreciation,” Branagan said.
When looking at the projects that Calgary has going on – from the Rivers District to the Arts Commons Transformation, the Green Line – Branagan said it’s not about choosing one over the other.
“It’s how do we integrate them all together and make sure they work to create the kind of city that people want to live in, that they want to visit and that they want to move to,” she said.
Branagan said she’ll be bringing with her the experience of leading the Haysboro Community Association for the past several years.
“I learned that people are really passionate about where they live, and they are invested in their neighborhoods,” she said.
“I see people who want to contribute who want to help out.”
Continuing to support those efforts across Calgary is something she said she’ll do as a councillor for Ward 11. Those types of projects are what help Calgarians connect and engage with their community.
Branagan knows it’s early for candidates to take the leap into the campaign. She figured the time was right with the likely departure of Coun. Farkas.
It also gives her an opportunity to meet the thousands of residents in Ward 11.
“I’m making the announcement now to give people the time to have a conversation with me,” she said.
She wants to be at community events and hear what Calgarians have to say.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity to talk with residents and listen to their hopes for this city,” Branagan said.