“In 20 of the 23 neighbourhoods in the ward, I had been the school trustee since 2010. So, many of the children I had worked with back in 2010, to keep their school open, they’re now voting age adults. When I came to their houses, I heard ‘I remember you.’ At one house, I heard, ‘I remember you, because of you my mom said we didn’t have to take the bus. I’m of age now, and I am voting for you.’”
From the first door-knocking visits, he quickly understood that, at least in his ward, the municipal election was not going to be about local issues, but a “referendum on Kenney.”
His election strategies paid off. With no incumbent running in papastew, he got 8,624 votes. Second-place finisher Susan Field was way back, with 4,362 votes.
“People knew I would bring that same animated courage that I brought to the school board, to City Hall.”
The ward takes in many of Edmonton’s well-established south-side neighbourhoods, including Garneau, Old Strathcona, Ritchie, Hazeldean and Belgravia. The University of Alberta sits in this ward.
Even though Janz says the city had a “send Jason Kenney a message election in 2021,” he is a municipal politician, now. And that means having to work with other levels of government, and to identify areas where City Council can make a difference. And, that means going from macro to micro, to look at how even the smallest changes can affect the qualtity of Edmontonians lives.
He already takes part in neighbourhood walks. It’s as simple as it sounds; he meets with residents of a specific neighbourhood at the local community league, and then they walk together to identify the positive and negative aspects of the community.