Peter Demong’s monthly Counciltalk public engagement sessions have been copied over and over. Since 2010, Peter has made it a priority to be at community association meetings in the ward. If he isn’t, there is certainly a representative of his in attendance. Peter sets the standard for how an elected official should keep open the lines of communication with his or her constituents. He is your voice on City Council, and he takes that very seriously. Here are just a few of the ways that Peter Demong makes sure your voice is heard:
- Politicians can easily get drawn into a ‘bubble’ when they begin to spend time in office. They can lose touch with the people who they ultimately are accountable to. That is why Peter invented Aldertalk, which eventually became Counciltalk. What separates Counciltalk from a classic town-hall meeting--which is now overdone--is that they are unscripted. There is no set agenda, and the topics discussed are completely decided by the attendees. These accessible monthly roundtable discussions allow Peter to keep his finger on the pulse of Ward 14. Counciltalk has been so successful that it has been copied by numerous other Councillors, and even MLAs. Counciltalk is indisputable proof that Peter listens to the people of Ward 14. You can learn more about Counciltalk at calgary.ca/counciltalk.
- Community associations are the base on which strong governments sit. They are typically the voice through which a community speaks. Recognizing this, Peter has made it a priority to engage with and empower these organizations. Not only does he make attending community association meetings a priority, but he has hosted a fundraiser for them for six straight years now. The Ward 14 Communities BBQ has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Ward 14’s community associations, added hundreds of new members to their ranks, and has given tens of thousands of attendees a chance to chat with their Councillor. Read more about Peter Demong’s BBQ at calgary.ca/ward14bbq.
- Our democratic system is a blessing, but protecting it is also a responsibility. Maintaining a strong municipal government, and a strong democracy requires an informed and engaged population. That is why Peter Demong created his Grade 6 Essay Contest on municipal government. By engaging children at a young age, Peter is inspiring and educating the next generation of informed citizens and thoughtful leaders. It is also interesting to note these kids are very adept at engaging their family afterward, therefore engaging their entire household. Read more about Peter’s Grade 6 Essay Contest.
- Peter is always looking for more efficient ways for the City to do business, especially when it comes to Calgary’s 311 system. Through a Notice of Motion, some clever allocation of existing funds, and promoting collaboration Peter is making the City more accountable to you. He is paving the way to realtime updates on the progress of citizen requests, and far better service performance through improved efficiency. All of Peter’s work on the 311 process--from request to completion--has paid off. It has resulted in $681,720 in efficiency savings per year, and that is just for the roads department.
- Counciltalk and the Ward 14 BBQ are great tools for keeping in touch with the people in Ward 14, but sometimes that is just not enough. That is why Peter Demong takes every opportunity to survey the constituents he represents. In seven years Peter has door knocked the entire ward (nearly 25,000 households) twice, surveyed the entire ward twice, and conducted phone surveys on topics ranging from the airport tunnel, to secondary suites, to 40 km/hr speed limits.
- Canada’s soldiers clearly deserve public display of support and gratitude for their sacrifices. Peter, along with some of his Council colleagues, proposed a well-earned public display of appreciation for Canada’s serving soldiers.