10/19/2013 07:39 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Alla Ternikova for Edmonton Ward 5

I am Alla Ternikova. I am running for the city councillor position in Edmonton's 2013 Municipal election. This is my first attempt to run for a city councillor.

My family ran away from the Soviet Union 23 years ago. We spent about a year-and-a-half trying to find a country that would accept us. We received permission to land in Canada. We started our life here with two little children (2 and 6 years old respectfully), 20 kg of personal possession per head (that was all that Soviet Government allowed us to take along) and $10, 000 debt to a charity that helped us to move away from Soviet Union and arrive in Canada. The first years were tough on us because we had no English, no friends and no family to rely on.

We established a commercial renovation company in Edmonton and did quite well, so my husband and I were planning to retire at age 55 and 50 respectfully. When Karen Leibovici decided to run for a mayor position, I decided to put my name for the councillor position in the area where I lived since I arrived in Edmonton.

Here is why I decided to run for city councillor.

First of all, I truly believe that people cannot solve problems with the same mentality that created them in the first place. I have a good, proven record of creating solutions that are innovative, people friendly and economical. This skill I am planning to use, if I am elected as a city councillor. I also have a long history of being a board member on many boards in Edmonton, so I can use those skills to help create a positive, solution oriented city council.

I also believe that:

Our city must live within our means. Municipal tax increases soar well above the rate of inflation, while our overall debt burdens continue to increase.

Small business is essential to our local economy. It is a major driver of jobs and is being strangled by unnecessary red tape.

Road maintenance has to be proactive and long term effective. We can provide incentives to Edmonton's significant engineering resources toward the development of effective road repair and construction...and then sell this knowledge to other jurisdictions that are challenged with road repairs, just like we do it with our waste management.

Edmonton families deserve adequate support. Many Edmonton families struggle with inadequate quality child care. Lack of affordable housing is especially difficult for seniors and larger families. We need to have a more stream-lined system to enable inclusive, accessible and user friendly support.


Smart Spending and Savings

I will propose a "Spend Smart" initiative to review priorities, propose best practices, incentivize creative solutions and reward ideas that result in cost savings.

Support Small Business

I will work with small business groups, associations and other stakeholders to identify system challenges and bureaucratic barriers to reduce "red tape" that inhibits growth.

Quality Streets and Roads

I will dedicate my efforts to research international best practices in roadway planning, construction, repair and maintenance. I will also examine Edmonton's capacity to become a leader in area of roadway construction that rewards quality cost-effective practices. I will also address the excess noise pollution on Anthony Henday.

Community Involvement

I will continue to build upon my years of connecting and collaborating with grass roots community organizations and initiatives. I will be an active and engaged spokesperson for Ward 5 residents when they need service and resources from their government.

As a long term active community builder my work has benefited the residents of the city and Ward 5 for the last eighteen years.

Community Development:

As a president of Willowby Community League, I spearheaded change that broadened the programming scope from predominately children sports to a wide range of activities designed to meet emerging community needs for older members, ethnic citizens, along with members of different economic backgrounds.

As the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues District Director, representing 16 west Edmonton community leagues, I was a spokesperson for the needs and desires of those communities. I was also a member of Planning and Development Committee. In this role I actively participated in important city-wide initiatives, such as redefining access to river banks through the private property, proposing efficient use of community resources and enhancing living standards for low income and subsidized housing.

As a member of Tripartite Facilitation Group, I helped to create a substantial governing agreement between all 155 community leagues, the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and the City of Edmonton that governs present relationship between those three parties.

Children's Healthy Development

As a board member of West Edmonton Early Childhood Development Project, I helped to map learning trends in west Edmonton and support community engagement.

I served simultaneously on three Parent Advisory Council for local schools.

I was a board member of the committees in charge of choosing the equipment and design for Callingwood Skate park and Callingwood Spray Park.

Supporting Persons with Special Needs

As a polio survivor, I continue to be a member of the Wild Rose Polio Society, helping people with restricted mobility focus on their abilities and desires, rather than disabilities.

I tirelessly promote the inclusion of people with special needs into community life and advocate for infrastructure that supports accessibility.

Welcoming Newcomers to Edmonton

At the Changing Together, the Center for Immigrant Women, and the Mennonite Center for Edmonton Newcomers, I taught city newcomers of all ages financial literacy and English as a second language.

I initiated and was a member of Community Outreach program with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, which enhanced city newcomers accessibility to, and involved with, community league programming.

Building successful business

I am personal financial analyst with education in statistic and applied mathematics.

I have over 32 years of experience in many successful small businesses.

I am the co-owner of a commercial renovation and construction ventures that run in three different countries.

I process seed grants and provide funding for start-up businesses in Dominican Republic.

I have been a relocation and adjustment consultant for Edmonton newcomers.