News / Calgary

Women hope to bring diversity to Calgary council in more ways than one

Candidates bring aboriginal, LGBTQ perspective to the race

Michelle Robinson saw first hand how difficult it was to convince women to run for political office when she volunteered with provincial and federal Liberals. She’s now planning a run for council in 2017.

Brodie Thomas / Metro

Michelle Robinson saw first hand how difficult it was to convince women to run for political office when she volunteered with provincial and federal Liberals. She’s now planning a run for council in 2017.

The list of women’s names on the city’s election registry continues to grow, with ladies now taking five of the 31 spots on the registry.

Amelia Marie Newbert filed her papers on Monday morning, and she’ll be the sixth.

She said she’s been approached to run in politics many times. The women with the Ask Her organization gave her the final push to run.

As someone who identifies as a trans woman and a lesbian, Newbert has done a lot of work as an advocate and community development agent for LGBTQ organizations, with a special focus on trans rights.

She wants to increase the choices and voices of women on city council in 2017.

“I think its important to see the texture and diversity that exists within our community reflected in its choices and in its government.”

Newbert said she’s planning to challenge incumbent Coun. Evan Woolley for Ward 8.

Michelle Robinson said she always knew she had the backing of people in her community and friends in political circles, but Ask Her gave her the push she needed to put her name on the registry.

“I’d always seen it as something that was unattainable,” said the political activist and mother.

 “I realized if I don’t at least try, I won’t see why I felt it was so unattainable.”

Robinson has been involved with the provincial and federal liberals in her community, and currently serves as Calgary Greenway Liberal Constituency Association’s vice president  

She also serves as the Alberta president for the indigenous peoples commission of Canada.

It was while working with the Liberals that she got an idea of how difficult it is to get women to run. She approached many others about running, and saw the hesitation each time.

Robinson wants to address cost of living issues because she sees hard-working people in her neighbourhood struggling to make ends meet.

“There are issues with secondary suites and issues of poverty here in Calgary that I want to focus on, because that really does affect the greater Forest Lawn area,” she said.

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