Council Tracker: Mayoral Candidate Edition



With Mayor Nenshi confirming he won't be running for re-election, and three sitting Councillors now declared, the race to become Calgary's new Mayor has gone up several levels in the last few weeks.

As incumbent Councillors, Jeromy Farkas, Jyoti Gondek, and Jeff Davison have a significant edge, including on name recognition and media attention, and our polling from January shows that this will be hard to overcome for anyone else running or considering a run.

That means that the likely top-three candidates in the race will all have spent four years at City Hall already, and luckily for Calgarians (and our team of data nerds!), that means we have four years' worth of voting records to analyze for all three candidates as well!

Frontrunners Emerge In First 2021 Mayoral Poll



Today, we are releasing the first Mayoral poll for the upcoming 2021 municipal election.

In an effort to understand the early landscape of Calgary's upcoming Mayoral race, we commissioned an independent poll of 1,284 Calgarians, asking questions about both publicly declared and rumoured candidates for the upcoming election, as well the public's opinion of current Mayor Naheed Nenshi's performance.

The Real Facts Behind Defunding The Police



Apparently, some Councillors really don't like us telling you how they vote at City Hall!

Last week, we outlined which Councillors voted for and against a motion to defund police which passed by 9-5.

To be clear, we didn't even take a position on whether the motion was a good idea or not, we simply reported on the wording and intent of the motion and on the results of the vote.

Yet, several Councillors took to social media to make personal attacks against our organization, our staff, and our volunteers.

21 Ways To Cut Council's Spending In 2021



Today, in conjunction with four other like-minded municipally focused organizations, we released a report detailing "21 Ways To Cut Council's Spending In 2021".

While Calgary families and businesses have been tightening their belts for the last five-plus years, councillors have increased spending and hiked taxes.

Even during the downturn, taxes on families increased faster than the combined rate of inflation plus population growth.

True Green Line Cost Revealed



This is a long post, especially for a Sunday night.

But hopefully, you'll agree with us that it's worth it because, despite the vote being tomorrow, the City of Calgary has only just *finally* released a cost-benefit analysis for the Green Line LRT.

Please also forgive the rushed tone of this post as we've just spent hours of our Sunday afternoon analyzing the report for you, and we wanted to make sure you at least had a chance to see this before Council's committee makes their decision tomorrow morning.

The short version is: It's way worse than even we expected. No wonder they didn't want people to see this before the vote!

Taxpayer-Funded Tax Propaganda



When you receive your tax bill in the mail in the next few days, you will also receive a letter from Mayor Nenshi.

This letter is essentially a taxpayer-funded advert for the Mayor, and is full of completely misleading and outright wrong information

Attendance Tracker 2020



At Common Sense Calgary, we believe that Calgary residents deserve to be informed about what their Councillors are doing at City Hall.

In 2021 when your Councillor asks for your vote, you should know how they have represented your interests at City Hall over the past four years.

Today, to help you stay informed, we're releasing Attendance Tracker 2020 - a breakdown of the Mayor and Councillors' attendance since the 2017 council election.

Budget Tracker 2019



At Common Sense Calgary, we believe that Calgary residents deserve to be informed about the crucial votes their Councillors are making.

In 2021 when your Councillor asks for your vote, you should know how they have represented your interests at City Hall over the past four years.

So today we're releasing Budget Tracker - a breakdown of how your Councillor and the Mayor voted on the key votes held during the budget debate.

Business Improvement Areas



Last month, Council debated received a recommendation from Administration to create three new Business Improvement Areas (BIAs).

These new BIAs would be in Crescent Heights Village, Bridgeland, and the Beltline, joining the existing 12 BIAs already operating in the City.

Business Improvement Areas claim to represent the interests of businesses in their local community, like a Chamber of Commerce, a guild, or other forms of business associations have done for centuries.

But Business Improvement Areas are different in one big way - they are compulsory organizations that all businesses in the area must join and must fund through a compulsory tax set by the BIA and collected by City Council.

Council Pay Explainer



It's been a wild week at Calgary City Council.

One councillor was removed from a council meeting by a vote of the other councillors, accusations were thrown around, and lots of misinformation was spread.