Why vote for me? With a number of candidates running in Ward 11, voters have options. I am often asked what makes me different? I think that is an excellent and important question. Here are 11 reasons I am the right choice for Ward 11 City Councillor:
- I have strong corporate and not-for-profit experience. I've worked for multinational corporations, local entrepreneurs, membership organizations, start-ups and seasoned institutions - you name it. Why does this matter? I have the knowledge and understanding of how multiple types of organizations operate, and how they are structured. I know how different companies work with the City and what they need to succeed here in Calgary.
- I have worked on initiatives with City Council and Administration with four of my professional roles as well as one volunteer Board of Directors role. I know how the City works (and where it could work better). This working knowledge of the City and its structure will allow me to hit the ground running. (Learn more about my professional background here. Learn about me as a human here.)
- I have managed projects and departments. I know how to create a budget, forecast revenues/costs and read a balance sheet. I am skilled with working with others to create consensus and achieve goals and objectives. I can manage multiple tasks and responsibilities at the same time. I have worked with big budgets and I’ve also created profitable/successful programs on a tight budget.
- I have a vision and a plan. We all want great things for Calgary - but without a plan, we just have ideas. On my website I've taken the time to outline several steps and strategies to get us where we need to go, on a number of key issues (more to come). To me, the "how" we do things is critical.
- I am a hard worker. I continue to put in the effort to complete tasks and projects even when things get difficult. I have rarely met a challenge I didn't like. To me challenges are like puzzles; there are always solutions if you look for them.
- I am empathetic. This helps me better understand where people are coming from. It makes me a better listener and communicator. It enables me to bring people together and build meaningful connections.
- I love Calgary. Yes, I didn’t grow up here - but I chose it as my forever home. This is a place of opportunity, where effort and determination are rewarded. We have beautiful landscapes and amazing people. There is no place I would rather be and I want to work to make sure other Calgarians have that experience - whether they are new to the city or have lived here all their lives.
- I am a community volunteer; I believe in giving back. I have volunteered with over a dozen Calgary organizations including Heritage Calgary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, The Kidney Foundation and Momentum. I make time for helping others and working together to achieve a common goal. In 2012 I was recognized as a Top 40 under 40 for some of my volunteer efforts.
- I am a strategic big picture thinker who also rolls up her sleeves to get things done. I have predominantly worked in small and medium sized organizations where I have needed to create strategic plans and then implement them. I appreciate that every decision has intended outcomes but that there are also ripple effects you need to be prepared for. I know that sometimes plans need to be adapted and shifted if desired results are not being seen - even if it means taking an entirely new direction.
- I think outside the box. I know there are always multiple ways to solve a problem. I believe I need to do what is right, not what is easy - and sometimes that means putting in extra time and energy to find a solution that benefits more people, even if it’s not the way it has always been done. Improvements don’t happen if you don’t try new things.
- I work well with others - respect is an important value to me. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t developed strong interpersonal skills. I have honed my teamwork skills over 20+ years of professional experience as well as continuing education courses in workplace communication, conflict resolution and negotiations. I know how to create consensus and manage conflict.
I am not going to align with anyone’s views 100%. But I am always going to put the work in, be open minded and care about our ward neighbourhoods, ward and city. I have a track record of going above and beyond, learning very quickly and caring about people. I have put a lot on the line to run for council - I saved up funds to run for over 4 years so knowing I would need to leave my job (despite being a single income household). I have spent hours learning as much as I could about the City and Calgary as a whole. I have skin in the game and am deeply committed to serving Calgarians. I have done this because I believe I can bring something different to City Council and give back to the city I love. On October 18 (or in the advance polls) please vote for me, Lauren Herschel to be your next Ward 11 councillor.