10/17/2013 04:55 EDT | Updated 12/17/2013 05:12 EST

Judi Vandenbrink for Calgary Ward 1

A great voice for the community is someone who listens to the concerns of all stakeholders, researches solutions and strives to achieve enduring, balanced results.

From my observations, an effective Councillor must have a variety of life skills, a history living in the ward, formal education, critical research skills, team building skills, an ability to set priorities and the strength to make hard choices. I have proven that I have these skills.

The candidate who shows real passion for our community is someone who actively volunteers and is in it for the long haul. I volunteer for my current Silver Springs Community Association as the Natural Spaces/Open places committee member and have volunteered with the Bowness Planning and Development Committee for almost 10 years. I was a Bowness Community Association Board Member before I moved to Silver Springs. I am a long time volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, continue to lead volunteer teams for the annual Pathway and River Clean-up and recently developed a project that helps seniors reduce their utility bills by winterizing their homes. I am deeply connected to our City.

I have compassion for everyone, especially the homeless, youth and the elderly. I saw a spirit during the floods that we don't want to let go. I believe we have so many opportunities in Calgary and want to see that continue.

Priorities for Ward 1

1. Fixing aging infrastructure - water/sewer pipes, roads, bridges, recreation centre

2. Re-development - includes community collaboration and providing a variety of choices

3. Transportation - safety (traffic calming), public transit options, walking and cycling lanes

4. Environment - planning for the future.

We are all the same, we all want to be healthy, have a sense of belonging and feel we are an important part of society. Please be sure to know that your voice will be heard if I am elected as your representative.