Important Questions For The Next Mayor
There may be more than 100 days until the 2014 Winnipeg Civic Election but that just means we’ve got plenty of time to figure out where all the candidates stand on the issues affecting downtown. That’s why the DCRA has put together a questionnaire which has been sent to the all of the declared mayoral candidates. The questions cover everything from parking to proposed development and you can review the full text below.
We’ve requested the candidates provide responses by Friday, July 18th. Once each candidate has has the opportunity to respond we will be posting what we receive (and noting what we don’t) so that all downtown resident’s can make a more informed decision on October 22nd.
We are the Downtown Community Residents Association, representing residents of the area between the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, Osborne Street/Memorial Boulevard, and Portage Avenue. We are also involved with the newly formed Winnipeg Neighbourhood Coalition, which seeks to promote citizens’ voices in city policy and hold elected officials accountable to their constituents in representing genuine needs and interests of communities.
We are compiling answers from mayoral candidates to questions on the most pressing issues and concerns of our residents. We will post each candidate’s answers on our website for our residents and other supporters of our organization to take into consideration for their mayoral vote. Please read through the questions below and provide us with responses by July 18th.
- There are many proposed new developments for downtown properties, including business, residential, and mixed use. As mayor, what kinds of developments would your policies encourage, and what incentives would you provide?
- Parking is a significant concern of the downtown residential population, with recent changes in policy removing the residential parking pass that other densely populated neighbourhoods still receive. What actions would you take to address the needs of street parking for residents?
- Basic amenities have become a hot issue over the past year and a half since the closing of Zellers in the basement of The Bay downtown. Immediate and essential problems with accessibility, affordability, and healthy variety of groceries and other basic living needs affect not just downtown, but other central neighbourhoods in Winnipeg. What actions would you take as mayor to implement a sustainable solution for these immediate needs?
- The downtown core does not have a community centre or other public facility to serve as a meeting place for organizations like ours, except for the Dalnavert House which may not be able to provide this service anymore. As mayor, what policies would you implement regarding accessible public meeting spaces for residents and community organizations?
- Through Winnipeg Transit, the Active Transportation Network, infrastructure maintenance, and traffic laws and their enforcement, as mayor how would you plan to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians to make these more viable transportation options for citizens? In particular, what actions would you take to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe on downtown streets where traffic can be dense from rush hour or major SHED events?
- Our downtown community has roughly 7,000 residents in the Broadway-Assiniboine and South Portage tracts. As mayor, what would be your goals and policies for future growth, if any, of the residential population downtown? Would there be any incentives for further housing, and if so, would it be aimed towards rented or owned units?
- Studies and best case practises from around the world have shown that the downtowns that are visited and lauded are the ones that are vibrant, interesting and, most importantly, walkable. How would you improve the walkability of our downtown neighbourhood and draw Winnipeggers and visitors to our city and our core?
- There is a disconnect between city leadership, decision makers, and residents of communities in regard to proper consultation, conversation, and overall trust in how our communities and our city are managed. How would you rebuild this trust? How would you improve communication between these parties? What changes are needed to address these problems?
Your response would be greatly appreciated. There will be no endorsement of a candidate by our organization, but we want our residents best informed on the most suitable mayoral candidate for our community.
Board of Directors, Downtown Community Residents Association:
Jomar Manzano, Co-Chair
C. Khris Lister, Co-Chair
Lisa Latour, Secretary-Treasurer
Cody Pierson, Communications
Carl Shura, Communications
You can also download a .PDF version of the file here. Keep an eye on the DCRA website, Twitter feed and Facebook page for the responses (or lack thereof) from the candidates. You can also send us your own questions for the candidates or suggest other ways for us to get involved on your behalf by dropping us a line.