Unsworth presents vision for change in taking on long-time incumbent in contentious Ward 13 battle
CALGARY — February 19, 2021…. A new candidate with new ideas has joined the already contentious race for Ward 13 City Councillor in the 2021 Calgary municipal election.
Jay Unsworth, a proud Calgarian with an MBA and more than 25 years managing business operations at Calgary’s top universities, has had enough of the morass at City Hall and believes Calgarians deserve better from their leaders.
“I believe Calgary is one of the greatest cities on earth,” says Unsworth, “But given the historic challenges we’re facing, we don’t have the luxury of doing things the way we’ve always done them — what got us here, won’t get us there. Quite simply, our city can and must change to move Calgary forward.”
Propelled by an unwavering commitment to people, strong business acumen, and an unshakable focus on progress, Unsworth’s vision for Calgary is a city where everyone thrives. Unsworth is looking to build on Calgary’s standing as a world-class destination for talent. And, he wants to create a city where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
“I am not a career politician. I do know Calgary and Calgarians — and I'm ready to reimagine our future,” says Unsworth. “We are at a critical time in our city’s history. Calgary was very different in 2000 when our current councillor was elected and promised to serve only two terms. Now in 2021, as she runs for her seventh term, our city has changed — but unfortunately our leadership and the vision for our city haven’t. And that is negatively impacting all of us.”
Tired by a seemingly endless cycle at City Hall of complacency, fear of innovation, indecision, waste, and dysfunction, Unsworth has launched a campaign focused on accountability, accessibility and affordability.
“I am never one to complain from the sidelines, so I feel it is my responsibility to be a part of the solution,” says Unsworth. “Honestly I am running because I believe it is the right thing to do. I am running to help spark conversation about what’s happening in — and to — our city. I am running because my education and experience give me the tools to make an impact from day one.”
Unsworth believes that the current tone, inter-personal quarrels and endless debating at City Hall are preventing City Council from digging deeper on the actual pressing questions that will propel Calgary forward.
“It seems we are stuck in an era of dysfunctional government. Politics is about public service: providing strong and courageous leadership through the good and bad times, when no one is watching, with an unshakable focus on progress. It is not about power, division, polarization, or distrust. However, that is what we see going on at City Hall. And, it has to stop. We will never move forward in our current state. We waste time and money arguing about past decisions without working together to put forward new ideas.”
In Unsworth’s day job, he is a business operations director for a large public organization. He understands the importance of setting a budget and living within one’s means while also making smart investments for long-term prosperity. Throughout his career, he has gained the reputation of being a “fixer.” He has the ability to see the big picture and, at the same time, dig down deep, with the goal of cleaning up operational inefficiencies, finding opportunities, and strengthening bottom-line performance.
Unsworth is realistic about the road ahead and is not afraid to speak his mind. While he knows going up against a long-time incumbent and the influence of special interest groups is no small feat, he is up to the challenge.
“For a city to be great it has to be great for everyone — it’s about we, not me,” says Unsworth. “ What worked for us 20 years ago will not help us move forward at this critical time. I see myself as the candidate who hopefully will speak for a large group of our citizens who want progress, inclusion, and innovation, and feel disconnected from our current representatives.”
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Campaign to elect Jay Unsworth