For the Record: Running Where You Live

I declared my intentions to run for councillor in Ward 7 on July 23, 2009, one day after the new wards were confirmed by city council. The reason was simple: I want to represent the area that I live in – the area where I know the issues best – and I wanted it to be clear why I was running in Ward 7 before the political musical chairs began.

Three out of the five candidates running in Ward 7 live here. Tony Caterina and Scott McKeen do not. Here is what they have said on the issue and where they live; the rest is up to you.

Tony Caterina (Declared May, 2010)

In 2007: “I will run in Ward 3 and have lived in this ward for 31 years. I believe it’s important for the candidate that represents Ward 3 to live in, be a part of the community and understand it’s challenges.”

On his website: “Elected as City Councillor of Edmonton Ward 3 in 2007, this year Tony is seeking re-election in Ward 7, the neighbourhood in which he grew up and raised his family.”

Where he lives: Steele Heights in the new Ward 4, where three-term incumbent Ed Gibbons lives and is seeking re-election.

In 2010:  ‘”I don’t think it matters at all.” Caterina and others say that what counts are the communities and the issues. If you know the area and the people, they say, your address shouldn’t count.’

Scott McKeen (Declared September 17, 2010)

In 2007: “Harvey Voogd, a worthy council candidate, lost in Ward 3 because of a credibility gap. Voogd doesn’t live in the ward. It’s difficult to convince citizens that you intimately understand and can advocate for their concerns if you don’t live among them.”

On his website: “My heart is in these communities. I’m a north-end boy. I was raised here, schooled here and raised my kids here. As a journalist, I kept returning to my north side roots to find the most inspiring people and stories.”

Where he lives: Downtown in the new Ward 6, where three-term incumbent Jane Batty lives and is seeking re-election.

In 2010: “While he currently lives downtown, McKeen said he would move to the ward.”

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