As Airdrie’s 2021 municipal election race begins to heat up with voting day just over two months away, City council candidate Jaclyn Dorchak says she is ready to share her platform and bring change to the municipality.
“I am big on advocating and asking questions,” she said. “I am big on honesty, integrity, and communication, which I don’t think often happens in politics.”
While Dorchak has only lived in Airdrie since 2015, she feels it is important to help out as much as possible, as this is the community she loves to call home.
“I am not a typical candidate – I haven’t been here my whole life,” she said. “I can appreciate Airdrie from the point of view [of] someone who was born and raised in Calgary. I’ve watched it grow and become a vibrant and active community, which is one of the reasons I love it here.”
According to Dorchak, given Airdrie’s diversity and the city’s constant growth, it is important for council to reflect the people who live here.
“I don’t feel like there is enough diversity of lived experience that sit on our council,” she said. “I was raised to have an opinion and to speak out. It’s important to speak out and speak for the people who may not have a voice themselves.”
Beyond diversity within council, Dorchak feels the city still needs to find its identity. She said there are so many different areas in which Airdrie excels, and it will be important to find what the city is known for, moving forward.
“If you were to ask anybody out there to tell you about Airdrie without telling you its Airdrie, what do you say?” she said. “We are a stop along the highway? We are a bedroom community? We have to get beyond that.”
When Airdrie finds its identity, Dorchak said, the City will be able to better identify where it should spend taxpayers’ money.
“We can end up being much more judicious and defined,” she said. “We can align future projects with that vision and those goals.”
The use of alternative energy sources, innovative seniors housing, athletics and sport development, tourism, arts and culture are all avenues the City has experience in and could help form Airdrie’s identity, according to Dorchak.
Coming out of economic recessions and the COVID-19 pandemic, and shifting social and cultural boundaries mean the City needs to be able to adapt to the constant shift municipalities find themselves in, she said.
“We don’t necessarily have that – I would like to see that fleshed out a little bit more,” she said.
As a well-travelled and educated individual with a versatile work history, Dorchak said she feels her experiences can help be a positive voice on council. While she currently works in the fitness industry and owns a small real estate company, Dorchak said she spent a great deal of time in education. Her educational resume includes Bachelor’s degrees in law and society and international relations, and a Master’s degree in legal studies obtained from the Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary.
As the election is slated to take place Oct. 18, Dorchak said she also wants to raise awareness about voter turnout, to make sure everyone gets the chance to decide who they want to be on the next term’s council.
“We need to get the community involved and make sure residents have their voices heard,” she said. “People need to be realistic about what any one person on council can actually do. The only way to change that, and have more people come out to vote, is to start with the people in politics.”
She said voters can expect her to tell the truth and be herself as she goes about her campaign.
“I’m not here to make you promises I can’t keep,” she said. “I do have goals and ideas and things I’d like to see happen. I am just hoping enough people want to get on board with that.”
Dorchak is the eighth candidate to register for Airdrie’s upcoming election. She follows in the footsteps of Reggie Lang, Mark Steffler, Jay Raymundo, Lore Perez, Trevor Cameron and incumbent Ron Chapman.
For more information on Dorchak’s platform, her website is available at jaclyndorchak.com