Indigenous candidate launches campaign for Ward 5 council seat
Jimmy says she would be the first 'self-identified Indigenous woman' to serve on city council
Twelve months before the next municipal election, an Indigenous candidate for Edmonton city council has thrown her hat in the ring.
On Sunday, Miranda Jimmy launched her campaign to represent Ward 5 on council. If elected, Jimmy says she would be the first "self-identified Indigenous woman" to serve on Edmonton city council.
I think in the past there have been a lot of factors that have discouraged individuals from marginalized communities to run for office.- Miranda Jimmy
"We're in the era of reconciliation, and to achieve reconciliation, we need to have people that have been previously marginalized to be raised up to positions of influence and decision-making on all levels," Jimmy said.
"I think in the past there have been a lot of factors that have discouraged individuals from marginalized communities to run for office."
Ward 5 is in west Edmonton and consists of neighbourhoods such as Edgemont and Laurier Heights. Michael Oshry is the area's current councillor.
Jimmy, 35, has been a long-time resident of Ward 5. She is currently program manager with the Edmonton Heritage Council and has worked in and with the provincial and municipal governments.
Jimmy also co-founded Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton, an initiative for Edmontonians promoting reconciliation.
Michael Phair, a former Ward 4 councillor and one of the first openly gay politicians to be elected in Canada, attended Jimmy's campaign launch.
"I think people with a variety of backgrounds and diversity bring some other thoughts about how a city should develop ...- Michael Phair
Phair said when he was a councillor, he served with six women.
The current 13-member city council only has one woman — Ward 2 Coun. Bev Esslinger.
"I think people with a variety of backgrounds and diversity bring some other thoughts about how a city should develop and what is important for people in the city," Phair said.
"People like myself can hear some of that but it's not the same as someone who has actually lived it and can bring that lived experience."
Jimmy said that while many Edmontonians may not know her name, she has been active in the community for many years and has been trying to make Alberta's capital a better place.
"Some people have questioned why me, why now? But I think the timing is right for me. I think I'm of the age that represents Edmontonians. I represent the voice of west Edmonton. "I'm not coming out of nowhere."
The next municipal and school board election will be held Oct. 16, 2017.