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  • Mustafa Ali

    Hey all,

    My name is Mustafa Ali and I'm running in Ward 2 as a city councilor candidate! You can check out my website at http://electali.ca, and our campaign launch video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoFjKywwsI4.

    If you have any questions, let me know! Your concerns are my concerns!

    Sincerely,

    Mustafa Ali
    Last edited by MustafaAli; 01-10-2013, 10:28 AM.

  • #2
    Saw you vid....


    Thanks for your concern about the city.


    Your video shows only one predominantly demographic of our city. This is a major fail!!!!! Why focus on the EPS! Its a Debbie Downer connotation.


    Word to the wise......broaden the scope of the electorate and platform in a video presentation.


    Good luck....You seem like a good guy.
    Last edited by Franky Knuckles; 01-10-2013, 11:05 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey, thanks for the response! I always appreciate hearing back from my constituents!

      I strongly believe in talking to our entire community, not merely one segment. If you look closely at our campaign video, you'll see people of different races, ethnicities, religions, and social class. In our campaign, we've approached progressives and conservatives; we've dropped into youth centres and seniors homes. We've reached out to mosques and churches within Ward 2. I take representing the diversity of our ward very closely, but I cannot thank you enough for bringing up this issue! Representing the diversity of this ward is truly important.

      You make a good point about the EPS. When I go doorknocking, I hear a number of concerns about property taxes, road maintenance, the expansion of the LRT, and other important issues. We certainly aren't running on a single issue. Check out our website for more info!

      However, many people, I feel correctly, that I have met on the campaign trail worry about the violence and prevalence of gang/drug violence within Ward 2. We don't see this as a "Debbie downer": we see this as an opportunity to better fund the future EPS training centre in the north, and to encourage better community policing. What happened to the days when you used to sit down and drink coffee with your local Sheriff to talk about the issues that concerned you? Drawing on the examples
      of other cities that have better improved "community policing", we want to transform the discussion about community safety from being a "Debbie downer" to a point of pride for Ward 2.

      Again, though, if you have any questions, let me know! I can't wait to hear your concerns! Thank you so much Mr. Franky Knuckles! Have a wonderful day!

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Franky Knuckles makes some good points. I also am not sure if I agree on capping property taxes for seniors. With an aging population and an already lack of tax income from the city this seems to me like it could cause more problems moving forward. Additionally, those renting, including low income, aren't directly affected by property taxes, so I'm not sure I see this as a major concern. Having said that, I'm not in Ward 2. Good luck to you.
        EDACC-EAD-YEGDT FTW!

        Comment


        • #5
          Seeing as I live in Ward 2

          Mustafa Ali
          Other than the mayoral/multi ward forums are any other debates scheduled in Ward 2?

          Asking as in previous years there have been, but have not seen any advertised yet.

          To your platform:
          1. Building Stronger and Safer Communities
          a. Pushing for better Community Policing
          b. Reinvest in after-school programming and make sure the provincial government steps up too
          c. Better funded accreditation programs and rethinking immigrant centers for smarter communities and more revenue
          2. Better Infrastructure for a Smarter City
          a. LRT expansion to the northwest
          b. Building community infrastructure for more livable communities – from community league ice-rinks to basketball courts
          c. Work towards healthier roads – less potholes and timely snow removal – for a better functioning and connected city
          3. Sustainable Budgets
          a. Cap property taxes for seniors and low-income individuals
          b. Control city debt with revenue generation from airport redevelopment and make sure Ward 2 get's its fair share
          c. Get the provincial government to return Edmonton a fairer share of industrial taxes
          1) Building stronger safer communities
          a) Additional police presence in, particularly the mature areas, is needed in the Ward...but what is your vision for it and how are we paying for it?
          b) Reinvesting in after school programming could be a good idea, but in which areas, to what goal and how will it be funded?
          - Getting the Province to step up is nice...how?

          2) Building better infrastructure for a smarter city
          a) LRT, how will you accelerate the build?
          - Has CN reached agreement with the City to cross Calder yards?

          Better yet...
          Transit service as it currently stands is awful.
          Mildly tolerable if you're going downtown but anywhere else it is simply not a viable option for most.
          - Do you have a plan to fix this and make Transit a more viable and accessible option for those that would use it?

          b) Building community infrastructure for more liveable cities.
          - Why the concentration on sports?
          - What about Heritage? Ward 2 is home to a number of historic sites.
          - What about Arts? Ward 2 and the North Side have little in the way of Arts/Theatrical facilities.
          c) Work towards healthier roads.
          - What , specifically are you going to do about 127th street from 125ave to 118ave? This piece of road is a hazard and nothing has been done to solve the issues with it. BTW this is only one example of the problem in the Ward.

          Ward 2 has taken an increasing load on its roadways with the growth in the Ward and the easier access from St. Albert/Sturgeon areas. The roads are past capacity at peak times.
          - Whats your plan?

          The Blatchford Development is going to make serious changes in traffic patterns for many years. Starting with construction and eventually the projected resident load.
          - Do you have a plan to make sure Ward 2 residents are accommodated through the construction period and into the future?

          3) Sustainable budgets
          a) Capping seniors/low income property taxes based on what qualifiers?
          b) Blatchford Development
          - Are you sure there is going to be a net profit to share?
          - If so what information do you have that others don't?
          - Making sure the Ward gets it's share...how?

          Tax revenues go to overall operations. One time revenues (if any) will be a contentious issue.
          c) RE: Getting the Provincial Government to step up.
          - How? What's your plan?

          These are the same questions you're going to get at my front door or in a forum so I am very interested in the answers.

          In my highly biased personal opinion as a 21 year resident of Ward 2
          Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 02-10-2013, 10:10 AM. Reason: clean up formatting

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey Mr. Hinderks,

            How's everything going? Thanks for your questions! You're absolutely right that these are the questions to ask (I certainly have been getting these at the doors), and so I thank you for asking them! I think it is absolutely essential that we not shy away from holding our elected representatives accountable by asking them serious questions about policy; as a student of political science, I think it is possibly the most important part of an accountable democratic system. So once again, thank you so much for taking out your time!

            If you don't mind, I'll answer your questions piecemeal so that the thread stays somewhat organized.

            1) Building stronger safer communities
            a) Additional police presence in, particularly the mature areas, is needed in the Ward...but what is your vision for it and how are we paying for it?

            That's an excellent question. Let me perhaps start by telling a bit of a story.

            When my parents were blessed with the opportunity to come to Canada as refugees, we initially settled in Ottawa. There, I saw first hand, as the children of many other refugees fell in with gangs, and drugs, the ineffectiveness of police response. Police would typically do an evening drive-through of the community, where they would stay in their cruisers and simply drive through the low-income housing without so much as stepping out of their cars. And while crime in Ottawa picked up, and more funding was given to the police, the strategy never changed; they just got better funded at doing the same thing.

            The politically incorrect reality is that, because of many socio-economic factors, including historical racism, an inadequate settlement structure for immigrants, and a failing public education system, drug and gang violence are often located within particular communities. In Ward 2, I know this to be a reality. And, although the problems in Ward 2 are certainly not as bad as what I experienced as a kid in Ottawa, hosting a single "barbeque" by the EPS is not real community policing.

            So, in that vein, we want to look towards alternate methods of encouraging community outreach. This doesn't necessarily mean radically shifting budgets- but it does mean that we have to change our outlook. That means, as I realized in my conversations with EPS officers, encouraging that the new north training centre dedicates a large focus towards community engagement (I will ensure that the community engagement focus, which is already in the works, stays well funded). We can also look into outreach within those communities to improve safety. Look at Minneapolis, for example; they managed a drop of 40% serious reported crimes, in large part due to hiring two Somali American police officers who actually had in roads within that community (http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2...edar-riverside).

            That's not to say that I would encourage a sort of affirmative action program within the EPS; but we do need to look to community policing as the solution in Ward 2. And, with all due respect to my other candidates in Ward 2 (who are incredibly talented individuals, all of whom I deeply respect for their commitment to making the city a better place) my work as a community activist, and helping young offenders rehabilitate in Ward 2, gives me perhaps a unique perspective into making Ward 2 a safer place, while simultaneously ensuring that we do not throw money into a black fiscal hole.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for your detailed answer to the first of my questions.

              Are you able to address the rest?

              TH

              Comment


              • #8
                Absolutely! Just got back from door knocking- will get on answering your questions ASAP!

                Comment


                • #9
                  b) Reinvesting in after school programming could be a good idea, but in which areas, to what goal and how will it be funded?
                  - Getting the Province to step up is nice...how?

                  As part of our push for safer communities, we believe that after-school programs are an important part of keeping our kids safe, and protecting them from getting involved in unsavory activities. This is a position supported by the well-acknowledged research that after-school programs tend to reduce crime rates, etc (http://www.spra.sk.ca/publications/b...Recreation.pdf).

                  Edmonton is unique among major municipalities in Canada in that it historically provided programs throughout the city (http://s3.arpaonline.ca/docs/AfterSchool-Report.pdf). However, recent cuts across the board, including in our municipal and school board budgets, have slashed funding to these after-school programs. I believe that educating young people, and helping them towards careers that will revitalize Ward 2, is worth spending money on. In that regard, I promise to push for re-committing the city to after-school spending.

                  I also believe that the province has an important role to play here. As a political science student, and a member of numerous volunteer organizations, I have had lobbying experience. I fully intend to lobby the provincial government to help fund these after-school programs, which I believe are critical in the success of our community.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    b) Reinvesting in after school programming could be a good idea, but in which areas, to what goal and how will it be funded?
                    - Getting the Province to step up is nice...how?

                    As part of our push for safer communities, we believe that after-school programs are an important part of keeping our kids safe, and protecting them from getting involved in unsavory activities. This is a position supported by the well-acknowledged research that after-school programs tend to reduce crime rates, etc (http://www.spra.sk.ca/publications/b...Recreation.pdf).

                    Edmonton is unique among major municipalities in Canada in that it historically provided programs throughout the city (http://s3.arpaonline.ca/docs/AfterSchool-Report.pdf). However, recent cuts across the board, including in our municipal and school board budgets, have slashed funding to these after-school programs. I believe that educating young people, and helping them towards careers that will revitalize Ward 2, is worth spending money on. In that regard, I promise to push for re-committing the city to after-school spending.

                    I also believe that the province has an important role to play here. As a political science student, and a member of numerous volunteer organizations, I have had lobbying experience. I fully intend to lobby the provincial government to help fund these after-school programs, which I believe are critical in the success of our community.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      2) Building better infrastructure for a smarter city
                      a) LRT, how will you accelerate the build?
                      - Has CN reached agreement with the City to cross Calder yards?

                      Expanding the LRT up north is absolutely critical to the development of our Ward and city. This is clear, and important for the many residents of our community who transit to work and school in public transportation.

                      That being said, I want to make it clear that I will not be attempting to accelerate the build, but instead to keep the LRT on its original building schedule in terms of opening the Metro Line in 2014. In terms of the long-term expansion (http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...ts/nw-lrt.aspx), I will attempt to help set a sustainable budget that is affordable and can be absorbed by tax-payers. I am also open to the idea of exploring P3 partnerships, although we would have to conduct significant, context-based scenarios to ensure that the public interest would not be compromised in a private-public partnership. If there appear to be forthcoming delays in the LRT, I commit to organizing a task force to find out how best to keep my promises to the electorate.

                      I can't comment on a CN deal, as I don't have the information on this particular point. I have tasked one of the researchers for my campaign to explore the area further. I will attempt to get back to you as soon as possible further on this issue!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Better yet...
                        Transit service as it currently stands is awful.
                        Mildly tolerable if you're going downtown but anywhere else it is simply not a viable option for most.
                        - Do you have a plan to fix this and make Transit a more viable and accessible option for those that would use it?

                        While we do not have a simple solution to make our serious transit issues go away, we have three policy points on the issue of transit that can make Ward 2 easier to deal with in terms of transit. And I can tell you; my father, who drives a taxi for a living, is always telling us at the dinner table about how traffic in this city is not improving.

                        Firstly, we believe that expanding the LRT can help reduce road traffic by providing alternate forms of transportation. Secondly, we want to improve our road quality, especially with snow clearing. As I'm sure you're aware, Edmonton spends more money on snow removal than any other city in Western Canada (http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/01/1...a-figures-show), but I believe that policy changes can help make Ward 2 more accessible. While the current triage system of highways as ultimate importance, and then everything else in decreasing importance, is effective in most areas, in Ward 2, with many very mature communities, this system doesn't work effectively, as residents are often left waiting with icy-snow covered roads within the Ward. I commit to working on working on snow-clearing policy with the city to ensure that mature neighbourhoods within Ward 2 get the attention and coverage that they need.

                        Thirdly, I want to ensure that transit expansion is being done responsibly and effectively. There is little doubt that the current massive construction-spree in Edmonton is halting traffic in a way that is unsustainable; with better planning and staggering expansions/renovations, I believe that much can be done in terms of making the city more traffic friendly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you for your replies to date

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            b) Building community infrastructure for more liveable cities.
                            - Why the concentration on sports?
                            - What about Heritage? Ward 2 is home to a number of historic sites.
                            - What about Arts? Ward 2 and the North Side have little in the way of Arts/Theatrical facilities.

                            Those are great points. We wanted to specifically draw attention to "parks"-esque related issues because there is often a feeling, when I speak to home owners, that our parks, basketball courts, and ice-rinks within Ward 2 feel run-down and unsafe (many specifically complain about the quality of the ice-rinks). I want to work to change that, and to make sure that parks, have adequate lighting and maintenance so that residents of Ward 2 feel safe with their families.

                            However, you're absolutely right about heritage and culture. One particular project I feel that deserves support is the Edmonton and District Historical Society (http://www.historicedmonton.ca/), which actually teaches Edmontonians about their amazing city. I would say, and I only have anecdotal evidence to support this, but most residents of Ward 2 are not aware of the historical and cultural sites within their wards. Promoting initiatives like the EDHS is thus one of my priorities.

                            In terms of the last question, I'm not sure how we can encourage a more vibrant arts culture within Ward 2. I've talked to a lot of home-owners about this subject, and many feel very hesitant about putting more tax-payer dollars towards the arts in our Ward. This is an area we'd really welcome your input, and the input of others, in terms of developing policy around encouraging arts in Ward 2.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              However, you're absolutely right about heritage and culture. One particular project I feel that deserves support is the Edmonton and District Historical Society (http://www.historicedmonton.ca/), which actually teaches Edmontonians about their amazing city. I would say, and I only have anecdotal evidence to support this, but most residents of Ward 2 are not aware of the historical and cultural sites within their wards. Promoting initiatives like the EDHS is thus one of my priorities.
                              Mustafa

                              Are you aware Ward 2 is home to the Canada's 3rd largest Aviation collection at the Alberta Aviation Museum on Kingsway?

                              This Museum has won 4 national awards in the last 4 years. Has an extensive array of Education programming and working with it's partners in the Royal Canadian Cadet programs offers youth programming (inculding sports and music) 4 nights a week from September to June at no cost to the parents.

                              TH

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