A marketing manager and newer St. Albert resident has put her name forward for city council in the upcoming Oct. 18 election.
Rachel Jones moved to St. Albert in July 2020. Though her move fell right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said she has had no trouble connecting with community, and that connection has inspired her to explore civic engagement.
“St. Albert has this amazing reputation across Canada for being one of the most desirable communities to live in, especially for families,” Jones said. “Since being here, I’m realizing it’s not just a rumour.”
Jones recalled moments where her neighbours took the time to shovel her driveway, and another instance where a friend left their keys in their car, and a young man in the neighbourhood noticed and knocked on their door.
“It’s hard to believe it’s real,” Jones said. “The community’s just so wonderful.”
If elected, Jones said she wants to be a “positive voice” on council, and believes her experience connecting with people through her marketing role will lend well to the position.
“I’ve always worked in communications roles,” Jones said. “I love public engagement and getting out and speaking to people.”
Jones said she has already become involved in city council through serving on the arts development advisory committee. One of her top priorities if elected councillor would be working to make sure St. Albert is a safe and accessible city.
“It’s important to preserve the high quality of life and standard of living we have in St. Albert, but accessibility is important, too,” Jones said. “I want to see we’re actively working to make sure businesses are accessible for families.”
Additionally, she said accountability and inclusivity matter to her.
“As a councillor, I want to make sure people feel comfortable asking questions of, and I’m someone they can be proud of,” Jones said. “You’re going to have differences of opinions, but I’m the type of person who loves to … build really strong relationships with anyone, regardless of what their opinion or background is.”
Jones also said making decisions for the long term, such as promoting nature stewardship, would also be essential. Ultimately, the 34-year-old said she is approaching city council with “an open heart.”
“I might be a newer resident and maybe a little bit younger, but this is the work I love,” Jones said. “When I’m speaking with my neighbours or my colleagues or friends, I’m driven to have a role on city council.”