Erin Stevenson on swing

Because You Matter: Councillor Erin Stevenson announces re-election campaign

Councillor Erin Stevenson announces her re-election campaign for Spruce Grove City Council

Because You Matter

“The past four years as a Councillor, representing the City of Spruce Grove, has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Four years flies by and while my time on council was effective, there is more to do. I’m just getting started. I would be honoured to serve this city as a councillor for the next four years.”

During her first term, Stevenson (she/her) brought many ideas forward including more transparency at council with recorded votes in the meeting minutes and posting council expenses online. “Transparency and accountability are key tenets of what I believe council should be doing at all times. We are stewards of a $100 million-dollar budget and our tax payers have every right to know where those dollars are being spent and how. Residents and local businesses should not only know how we voted, but how we support the vision council has for the city and what we’re doing to contribute in a meaningful way to get there.”

Stevenson was (and still is) passionate about making an inclusive and welcoming city, recognizing the diversity that already exists but also creating the space to be even more inclusive. “We changed our titles from alderman to a more inclusive and gender neutral title of councillor- literally five minutes after being sworn in. We celebrate Pride. Our pride crosswalk has been in front of City Hall now for 3 years. We put up the pride flags and participate in the GSA’s car parade. I brought the motion forward to ban the practice of conversion therapy in our city and had strong council support to get it passed. We have been encouraging more women to apply on our local boards and committees. We are the first city to run a recruitment drive for all women firefighters and it was so successful, we’re doing it again. We’ve worked with our Indigenous communities to begin the process and take seriously our role in Truth and Reconciliation. We must not wait any longer. We fly the Treaty 6 and Metis flags proudly at Jubilee Park. Yet we can do more.”

Erin Stevenson is running her campaign this year under the “Because you Matter” theme, describing her foundations for good decision-making and pushing ideas through, ideas that matter to the residents and businesses in Spruce Grove. “Local government is complex and the decisions we make affect residents and businesses directly and almost instantly. You may not feel the effects of a federal or provincial initiative right away, but the second your garbage is missed, or changes are made to your utility bill, you notice it and we hear about it!”

“We have many constituents to consider when we make our decisions at the council table. So many different groups, of which most of you belong to many, matter to us and we, as Council, attempt to find the balance to make decisions that will benefit not just an individual, but a collective.  It can anger some, but we do our best to ensure the decisions made are what’s in the best interest of keeping this city growing and progressing forward.”

Erin Stevenson strongly supported the initiatives taken to keep property tax increases affordable, moving away from proposed 10 years of 3.9% tax increases to manageable increases during the last term: 2018- 3.08%, 2019- 3.27%, 2020- 0%, 2021- 1%. Stevenson was also supportive of the unanimous decision to freeze council salaries in both 2020 and 2021 to 2019 levels.

“The pandemic was not on anyone’s bingo card when I ran in 2017. Facing a global crisis like we did made us come together not just as a council but as a community to work together and do the best we could to do what we could to keep everyone safe and businesses alive. Very tough decisions were made. A mask bylaw was brought in, the way we did business out of city hall had to change and our businesses did amazing things to adapt to the circumstance. We had many people step up and ensure we supported our local businesses and non-profits. I was and am still so proud of this community because we really did pull together and rally. The residents here are resilient, responsible and did the right thing to keep each other safe.”

Over the next few weeks and the course of the campaign, Erin Stevenson will be releasing her “Because You Matter” platform which is two-fold—focus on community well-being through healthy foundations and actionable ideas to make this city even better and attractive to new businesses and residents. “It’s important as a Councillor to understand the role we’ve been elected to do. We are governors and we create smart policy that drives the vision and goals for the city. Administration operationalizes our policy and bylaws. With good policy comes great ideas, and I have a few. I’ve heard from many residents and businesses over the last four years and I’ve taken notes- lots of them! I’m not short on ideas and I’m happy to continue to bring them forward and see them come to fruition. I had many ideas when I ran in ’17 and am so happy to see so many completed or in progress including a community garden, more support for the arts like the new mural on McLeod, a revitalized City Centre (shovels are in the ground), Smart City initiatives that start with the laying of broadband, and a broader scoped but less expensive civic centre. I’m listening and want to hear from you, because you matter. It’s that simple.”

“We have a beautiful city, a great city to live and work and play. Cliché as it sounds, it’s true. And what a great and enviable position to be in- to build off all the positive aspects we have going for us. There’s always more to do, but let’s be proud of what we already have, who we already and build upon that. As a Councillor, I intend to keep doing just that.”