This is the second in a series highlighting the six candidates for Ward 1 Councillor in the upcoming municipal election. The Silhouette will be profiling each candidate in advance of the election on Monday, Oct. 27.

Jason Allen became interested in politics during his time as President of the University of Calgary’s Student Union. As a candidate for Ward 1, he strongly believes in the positive and meaningful effect municipal government can have with people every day.

Jason has worked for Metrolinx as a Quality and Training Leader for the past five years, while participating in a wide variety of community committees and organizations. He is a frequent writer for Raise the Hammer, Chair of the Association for the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton, and is a long time Beaver Scout leader.

His platform advocates for more complete streets that balance public transit, cycling, walking, and driving. One specific dangerous traffic situation he would like to address is Emerson St., through a comprehensive study with the end goal of making the road more accessible to different types of transit.

Allen is also an advocate for a rental housing by-law as a way of addressing both the concerns of Westdale residents and the deteriorating properties around them. If elected, he would provide residents an avenue to raise concerns and have safety inspections done on their homes.

Allen believes that LRT will address student housing issues, as it will give them housing choices further away from campus that they may not have now with the current transit options.

“The buses coming into Westdale from across the 403 are packed in the morning. I know people who work at McMaster and have waited five, six, seven buses for one to finally stop and pick them up,” said Allen. “If you give people a genuine choice on where they live, then students get to experience a really amazing community they may not get to see now.”

However, one of Allen’s most unique plans as city councillor would be the creation of a “customer-service” culture in city hall.

“I want to create a situation where if you call city hall for help or assistance of any kind, any issue large or small, you know you’re going to get the right answer the first time,” he said. “Right now city hall is a patchwork of departments that largely don’t communicate with each other and right now it can be difficult getting a consistent answer.”

Allen is hoping that if there is ever a situation that needs to be addressed, such as landlord conflict or pest issues, students will feel comfortable calling their city for assistance.

Allen is a trained facilitator, and as a city councillor he is hoping to use these skills to bring community members together in conversation to solve city issues and work out disputes.

“I’m a big believer that if you just get people in a room and have a conversation, often with facilitator of some kind, you come to a conclusion very quickly.”

For more information on Mr. Jason Allen and his campaign, visit http://www.jasonaallen.ca/ .

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