Your neighbours, your issues in the Edmonton election

We took to the streets to find the most pressing issues for voters in their neighbourhoods.

The CBC spoke to hundreds of Edmontonians about their neighbourhood concerns before the municipal election

Three of the residents photographed during our project on voters in Edmonton. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

For our municipal election coverage this year, CBC Edmonton wanted to shed light on both city-wide issues and individual neighbourhood concerns that might drive voters to the polls.

While looking for the best way to engage the public, CBC Edmonton borrowed the Humans of New York model and its social media engagement. 

The idea was to merge both Edmonton's civic and school board elections coverage with accessible street photography. 

The CBC spoke with hundreds of people as they spent time at the library, shopping for groceries and hitting the gym. We also went to their doorsteps. 

What we heard most from Edmontonians a week before the election was that many still had not researched their city council or school board trustee candidates. 

Some said they were not going to vote. The turnout for Edmonton's last election in 2013 was only 34 per cent. 

Those that did talk to us and agreed to be photographed raised a number of diverse issues such as traffic, LRT development and better education programming.  

Emily Law, 30, is a stay-at-home mother living in Yellowbird (Ward 10). (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"For me right now, I'm thinking about putting my children through pre-school. Education is a huge decision ... I hope [council] provides programming that actually focuses on the needs of children and thinks about the families."

- Emily Law, Ward 10 

Anas Bsata, 53, is the executive director of Churchill Manor and lives in La Perle (Ward 1). (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"We had an accident just about two weeks ago on the Whitemud and of course the police, part of the protocol, is they cut off the highway, but they cut it off from 4 p.m till 11 p.m. That is massive for thousands and thousands of cars going to the west end. I had to attend to a personal emergency and it took me an hour and 45 minutes ... Cutting off a major artery in Edmonton, it's really a very big deal."

- Anas Bsata, Ward 1

Adriana Montgomery, 18, is a student at Harry Ainlay High School in Blue Quills (Ward 10). (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"I was just very upset that the buses don't run on time because I'm trying to get home, it's cold outside and when it's the coldest, the #41 doesn't come. I get it if they're late but they shouldn't not be coming. It's happened too often."  

- Adrianna Montgomery, Ward 10 

Doug Knight, 60, is a retired cartographer living in Lee Ridge (Ward 11). (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"The age of the houses in this neighbourhood; they're getting older, about 40-50 years old. If you don't do renos, some of the houses can easily start falling in."

- Doug Knight, Ward 11 

Hermione Lund, 25, lives in the Orchards (Ward 12) and works with children at the Richard Secord Out of School Care Society. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"We have a large group of children, like 10-15 with the staff, and when [crosswalks] aren't marked, we've found that we have cars coming at it really fast and then they just stop ... it seems almost like a really sketchy situation."

- Hermione Lund, Ward 12 

Edwin Witzke, 78, is a resident at Churchill Manor (Ward 11) and moved to Edmonton in 1982. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

"I want the city to provide good services and to stop wasting our money. The Northlands LRT is an example — blunders left, right and centre."

- Edwin Witzke, Ward 11 

Maricon Hidalgo lives downtown in Ward 6. (CBC)

"Living downtown, you need to be active and to have active transportation, and doing that safely with the bike lanes is great."

- Maricon Hidalgo, Ward 6

Dawit Solomon lives in Edmonton's southeast (Ward 12). (CBC)

"I moved here from Fort McMurray and I've been here for about a year ... I know my mayor. I will vote, I am interested every time."

- Dawit Solomon, Ward 12

See the whole project on Instagram @cbcedmonton

Want to contribute to this Neighbourhood Project? Email: anna.desmarais@cbc.ca or tweet @anna_desmarais

With files from Rick Bremness