Election 2017 questionnaire response: James Kosowan, Ward 8

[We sent five questions concerning green living, local economy and inclusiveness to all of the Election 2017 council candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.]

James Kosowan, candidate for Ward 8
James Kosowan, candidate for Ward 8

What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What policy solutions would you seek if elected?

I believe the biggest challenge facing Ward 8 is in-fill development. The city is growing rapidly and transitioning from a medium-sized city to a major center of over 1 million in population. This is bringing development pressure to mature neighbourhoods and requires much greater community engagement and involvement to plan out appropriate residential options and amenities for the affected community. I would be a strong advocate for respecting existing Area Redevelopment Plans and seek to ensure a greater degree of affordable housing options in future zoning approvals.

How will you help Edmonton become a greener / more environmentally friendly city?

I recently built a net-zero home with 27 solar panels on my roof, because environmental responsibility is a deeply held value of mine. Additionally, I have always looked for practical methods and applications through which I can make a positive personal impact. I will certainly do likewise for Edmonton and my constituents. For example, I would fight to provide programs like PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy) so residents could upgrade the efficiency of their homes and provide local jobs in the process. I would also advocate for improvements to our transit network and expand bicycle lanes and multi-use paths for a greater degree of commuting options.

How will you strengthen Edmonton’s local economy and support our city’s independent, locally-owned businesses?

I would like to see the city foster more community-based business in neighbourhoods. I see this happening through initiatives such as neighbourhood revitalizations and BRZ’s, but also through things such as improving the walkability of neighbourhoods. An example would be the 101 Avenue area of Fulton and Ottewell, where the city could assist in revitalizing this area in partnership with the local businesses and landowners to make the area more vibrant and pedestrian friendly, thus encouraging greater economic activity.

How will you make this a more inclusive city and support Edmonton’s marginalized communities?

Although the city does do lots of consultation on major projects, I think it needs to be much more proactive in hearing from the voices of those more reticent to speak up about particular issues, whether it concerns planning and development or other social issues. These groups should not be pushed to the side like they were during the arena development. I would work to ensure these groups get a seat at the table.

How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?

Website: www.jameskosowan.ca
Tel: 780 752-7778
Email: contact@jameskosowan.ca