Posted on Nov 26, 2016

I take pride and joy in doing the quiet constituency work of an MLA

Re. “Jansen adds heft to NDP caucus,” Graham Thomson, Nov. 22

Democracy is one of the most valuable parts of our heritage, one that recognizes all citizens have a right to representation in government.

Individuals and ordinary Albertans participate in this process through conversations with each other, letters to their MLAs, protests, town halls, petitions, joining groups and associations, and more.

I am one of those ordinary Albertans, from the shop floor. As an elected official, it’s now my duty to hear and understand my constituents concerns, be present in my community and advocate on behalf of residents. I couldn’t be happier about that.

I take pride and joy in doing the quiet constituency work of an MLA. I’m out door-knocking at every opportunity, talking with residents one-on-one about their concerns. I’m working specifically with people who have disabilities, helping them access services to make their lives easier. I’ve worked with small business to ensure our Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) meets the needs of Alberta’s leading entrepreneurs. I’m out and about meeting with multicultural groups, community associations, and other local organizations because they are the people who I represent and I want to do my best – and what’s right – by them. I take all their feedback with me to the Legislature. As a result, I’ve co-sponsored two budgets and look forward to doing more of that in the future.

I’m proud to be part of a caucus of ordinary Albertans.Unlike previous governments, we’ve shown that every day, normal Albertans can represent their neighbours and community members in the Legislature. Sure, my name may not hold much recognition, but I think that’s part of the beauty of it all – I’m just another regular guy, a mechanic, doing his part to move Alberta forward with the residents of Calgary-Currie.

That’s why it doesn’t matter to me where my seat is in the House, or what I’m “best known for.” Because at the end of the day, what I want to be known for is best representing those who have put their trust in me to go to bat for them – no front seat required.
An abridged version of this letter was published on Friday Nov. 25 in the Edmonton Journal.