A More Engaged Edmonton: Reflections and Thank You!

Thank you to all of you volunteers and supporters who came out and covered the ground work, who voted, donated, and took lawn signs! I couldn’t have asked for a more incredible team. I am extremely proud of the outcome of the election and the campaign we ran. I can’t wait for the next municipal election in 2021!

But before looking to what’s next, I want to take a moment to share some reflections on the past year and half.

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Find out how Keren Tang will connect, engage and transform Ward 11.

18 months ago, I had a spark of an idea. I was sitting in my cubicle at the Ministry of Status of Women, after just finishing a meeting about women in politics. It was like a mantra: if we want more women elected, we need more women running. So what was I waiting for?

I was four months pregnant at the time, and began meeting with friends and sharing this idea. Everyone jumped on board.

18 months later, look where we are and how far we’ve come.

When we set out on this journey, yes, I wanted to see better representation in our city government, but more importantly, I wanted to see a more engaged Edmonton. Everyday when I door knocked, I felt I was accomplishing this: connecting with residents, getting them excited about the civic election and caring for their community.

I made a decision early on to ensure my campaign reflected the democratic values I believed in as a new citizen. Call me fresh and idealistic, but I believe that campaigns should be driven by people, instead of corporations and unions—that’s why I took the position of not taking big money in this election. That’s why our campaign was powered by volunteers.

In choosing to run a people-powered campaign, I became a better candidate.

I worked extra hard to raise funds from individuals—over 100 donors and over $20,000 raised.

With the money raised, I used none of that for staffing. Everyone was on their own time because they believed in me. I worked extra hard to recruit volunteers—over 100 people have helped me in some capacity from the beginning. I received endorsements from business owners, union leaders, community leaders I admire, and many ward residents.

With your help, I worked extra hard to get out there everyday. We reached over 18,000 houses (that’s 75% of the ward) through door-knocking and delivering flyers.

I worked extra hard to connect with the folks at the doors, some of whom were completely disengaged with politics and weren’t even going to vote. Over 800 families offered to help me spread the word with lawn signs.

I am extremely PROUD of everything our team has accomplished. We ran a campaign that embodied how we would like to see City Council function and the role of a councillor—one who is connected to the people, one who builds relationships based on trust and mutual respect. We ran a campaign that was fiscally responsible, transparent and accountable to voters.

We did everything we could possibly do and left everything out on the field. And let’s not forget this: When I started, I was a political novice, on maternity leave with my newborn baby at home. Being new to Edmonton, I didn’t have family around to help with any aspect of my personal and political life.

Many people have told me unseating an incumbent would be an impossible feat. But I believe our campaign is a testament to the type of city we live in - one with an engaged citizenry, that is open-minded, inclusive, and energetic.

Ward 11 is an incredible ward that I’ve gotten to know well in this past year and a half. Many thanks to all the people who placed their confidence in me. I will do my very best to continue building relationships and being a strong voice for everyone in the community.

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