“But, Edmonton has a precious relationship with the people at City Hall. It’s like you’re not allowed to tinker with City Hall.”
He said TAP’s goals are to build engagement with Edmontonians, to amplify their voices so they can be heard by the mayor, council and administration. He sees TAP being a “partner” to council, in helping it improve its relationship with the city.
TAP plans to install a “champion” for each ward in the city — in some cases, more than one. These people will focus on the issues and hopes for their particular neighbourhoods. Whether these people end up running for office or not will be their own decision, says Hansen-Carlson.
“What these people won’t be are the usual suspects,” says Hansen-Carlson. “The usual suspects already know that they can just simply call the mayor and he’ll respond. This is for everybody else.”
A stated goal for TAP is to increase Edmontonians’ political engagement, so that voter turnout for municipal elections tops 50 per cent. Voter turnout in the 2021 election, which saw Amarjeet Sohi elected to the mayor’s chair, was 37.6 per cent.
Hansen-Carlson says he made the final decision to take the presidency of TAP because of his daughter. She’s nine — and he wants her to make Edmonton her forever home.
“There is no doubt, there is a sense of frustration out there right now,” he says. “A lot of people are telling us that they are concerned where Edmonton is going. Right now, the city is kind of bumping around, and there is no direction. I accept that this is an experiment, and I’m not afraid of that.”
Savvy AF. Blunt AF. Edmonton AF.