Alanna Jankov is running for Charlottetown City Council Ward One–our downtown ward–and I’m going to vote for her.
Alanna and I worked beside each other for many years when my office was on the second floor of The Guild, right next to hers. So I got to know Alanna originally as my landlord, and then got a front row seat as she helped to transform the facility from near-death to robust health.
Alanna has two qualities that are rarely found in arts administrators: she isn’t bitter or cynical, and she can get things done.
Rather than being worn down by lack of cultural funding and support and going to ground, Alanna figures out how to make things happen, using a combination of guile, creativity and connections. She is ambitious. She has ideas. She’s a good listener. She is also, apparently, unflappable: never in six years of texting her about plugged toilets and unexpected fire alarms did she ever react with anything other than good humour.
City Council is a strange beast: unlike provincial and federal levels of government, with political parties and their platforms, each city councillor is independent, and things only get done at City Hall if they are able to find ways of working together, of overcoming the downtown-vs.-uptown-vs.-royalty rivalries, of truly collaborating. No city council in recent memory has appeared particularly good at this, and the city has suffered for it.
You cannot run an arts centre, with its irascible constituencies of artists, board members, funders and patrons without significant collaborative abilities; Alanna has those abilities. And, somehow, she remains centred and upbeat about the endeavour.
Alanna’s platform speaks to many of the issues I hold dear–transparency, transportation, housing–and I have confidence that if she’s elected, she will be an accessible, responsive councillor.
I decided to vote for Alanna late last week; she sealed the deal for me by knocking on our door at 100 Prince Street yesterday looking for Oliver, our first-time voter. She’s already been actively engaged with Oliver about the issues on Facebook, and in the candidates debate two weeks ago; but she took the time to sit down with him yesterday for almost an hour to answer questions about the myriad issues he’s concerned about.
I’m voting for Alanna Jankov because I’m convinced she would make an excellent representative for Ward One on City Council.