Using a people-centred approach to decision making
One that has left a deep impression on me is the Recover project that I worked on at the City of Edmonton. At its core, Recover is about city staff working alongside community members, first to listen with empathy to the stories of people who are houseless and living rough, and then translate those lived experiences into actions by bringing communities, businesses, governments, and agencies together.
This project continues today. As it turns out, it’s not that simple.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that these small actions didn’t solve the houseless issue overnight, or fix the distribution of social services in the city. But we did see the benefits of using a people-centred approach and develop a framework for better decision-making, service design and delivery. The Urban Wellness Framework focuses on outcomes as defined by folks on the streets, instead of by institutions. And guess what? It’s all about connections—to family, friends, and community; to land and culture; to the sacred; and to self and personal growth and development—It’s all about people.
I’m proud to continue to contribute to this project and hope it paves the way toward changing culture and how the City engages with Edmontonians.
This is exactly what I believe an effective city councillor should do and what I would do as your city councillor: walk side-by-side with my communities, seek to understand your stories and expertise, and experience firsthand the strengths and challenges from the ground. I firmly believe this will inform and facilitate stronger decision-making by city council.