Angela McIntyre is ready to listen, learn, and take action in her run for Ward 4’s seat on City Council.
McIntyre has spent the last two decades improving her community through her work with the city’s arts and non-profit sector, as well as serving the role of Fund Development and Marketing Manager at the Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre.
Having also raised three daughters with her partner during that time, McIntyre has learned that regardless of age or background, most people want the same thing from their local leadership.
“We all have the same goals. We don’t want to waste money, and we want our city councillors to be communicators,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre has taken on different leadership roles, including Volunteer Coordinator of Wordfest, Vice President of the Windsor Park Community Association, and Director of Special Projects at the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.
She attributes much of her versatility to SAIT’s Radio, Television and Broadcast News program, which she graduated from in 2000.
“When you run a non-profit, you have to do all the things. You have to take the photos, make the videos, write the articles, and hustle the money,” she said.
“SAIT teaches you that you have to be fluid, you have to be ready to change, and you have to be ready to fail without getting rattled.”
McIntyre has always taken a ‘boots on the ground’ approach when it comes to her work and her family. It’s a philosophy she intends to stick to if she wins the seat on council.
“We need to understand that we’re all learning and growing, and we should always ask ourselves what to do with the new information as it comes,” said McIntyre.
“You can’t be afraid to fail, you just have to put in the work.”
Community engagement and empowerment
City Hall will find no better advisory team than the members of the communities they’re trying to improve, said McIntyre.
“As a citizen, the idea of a politician telling me what they do is a bit silly, when they should be going to their communities for ideas,” she said.
“That’s where you’ll find the innovators, they’re the ones flooding the rink.”
McIntyre believes the skills and knowledge from community members could be used to create free, online “how-to” guides geared towards community improvement, such as how to form a neighbourhood watch, or how to build laneway housing.
“Recently a guy was telling me about this amazing community block watch that they put together, and I said, ‘well, can you tell me how to do that? Not just collecting phone numbers, but how to get to know them. Make me a template and I’ll add it to my website,’” she said.
Since announcing her candidacy earlier this year, McIntyre said she’s received an outpouring of community interest. That’s included the youth-led activism organization Fridays For Future Calgary.
“They wanted to know my thoughts on certain issues, and I said absolutely I’d love to tell you, but this is something you guys have been thinking about for two years,” she said.
“As a youth group who’s done the research and held the protests, I want to hear from you.”
McIntyre said more community engagement from local leaders could play a big role in helping debunk the youth apathy myth.
“Kids these days are more politically engaged than I ever was. My kids go to Pride Festival every year, we all attended The Women’s March this year…they’re out there,” she said.
“To me, they’re my teachers.”
Defrag the police
McIntyre said that community engagement is paramount for reestablishing public trust in the Calgary Police Service.
CPS has received heavy public scrutiny since the “Defund The Police” movement in 2020, and McIntyre believes that simply cutting the police budget is missing the mark.
“We need to understand that the rules of either/or no longer apply. It shouldn’t be a choice between ideals or economy, to give money to police or give money to psychiatrists and social workers,” she said.
“We need to keep what works, get rid of what doesn’t work, and just find the right people for the job.”
McIntyre said growing up with four other sisters taught her the importance of compromise, and the patience to achieve it.
“Maybe it’s because I’m a middle child, growing up you always have to bend and work harder and speak louder to be heard, but it’s where I’m comfortable,” she said.
McIntyre said she doesn’t pretend to have solutions for every issue impacting her community. She wishes more politicians would do the same.
“I have just as many questions as everybody else. I want to know why our tax dollars don’t stay in our community. I want to know what we can do better and how,” she said.
“I’m not going to change things overnight. I’m here to be a conduit for information, and for the innovative work Calgarians are already doing.”