Getting to Know Your Candidate
"Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." Believe it or not, that's not a quote from a great statesman or captain of industry: It comes from one of my mentors, legendary football coach Vince Lombardi and—in my opinion—captures the very essence of what politics should be all about.
My name is Jodie Gateman, and I’m running to be the UCP candidate in Cardston-Siksika—committing myself to our community's "group effort.” I believe that if you're not working to be a part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.
Having been a life-long member of this Southern Alberta community, Mossleigh in particular (our patriarchal farmstead goes back nearly a century), I was raised on politics. Some of my earliest memories are of falling asleep beneath our family's dining room table as my parents hosted political meetings. Yet, I'm miles away from being a career politician. In fact, it's the last thing I want to be.
I often hear politicians say, “Here is my vision of the Alberta; here are my goals.” But I believe the people you represent get to tell you that information, and you bring that to the table. At times you will have to look at the province in it's entirety and bring up items that affect your riding, but in the end, you are the voice for your ratepayers.
Over the years, we've watched as people have lost trust in government. Politicians' commitments seem more and more to be a "group effort" that doesn't involve the very people they're supposed to represent. That needs to change, and I would like to be part of that change. Encouraging growth which will expand the tax base in the county, needs to be a priority for the next council. Having people sit on council who genuinely understand cause and effect, look at things from multiple points of view, and think outside the box will be essential. I look forward to bringing those skills to the table.
As an MLA, it is important to ensure that people have the proper information to make decisions. As a member, your job is to provide the constituents with the correct information to make said decision. If they do not have access to that information, then the MLA is not doing their job.
As an educator, business leader, public servant, wife, mother, and entrepreneur, I've spent a great deal of time finding solutions. The educational and business success I've enjoyed, from multiple degrees to "Teacher of Excellence" nomination, from Avenue Magazine’s "40 under 40" to a 2018 election win as VP of Comms for the UCP, has been in furtherance of the idea that it's all about helping. More importantly, it's about creating an environment where people can make informed decisions to help their own families, neighbours, and communities. I will bring those skills to the county council table.
My rich diversity of experience and unique approach to public service has led some to call me an "odd little duck." It's a mantle I wear proudly. I believe politics these days needs more “odd little ducks”. The "status quo" is what got us here. Besides—as Dr. Seuss says—"you have to be odd to be number one."
I'll work hard to make us all "number one.”
Please get out and vote on March 21st.