Michael was elected to Edmonton City Council in 2013. Prior to his election, Michael spent two decades working as a community organizer and public policy consultant. In 2000, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his work with the homeless while working at Bissell Centre. In 2009, he was chosen as one of Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Magazine for his work as a champion of neighbourhood revitalization and smarter urban planning. In 2013 Michael was selected as one of Alberta’s Next 10 most influential leaders by Alberta Venture Magazine.
Michael grew up in Drayton Valley AB. where his family worked in the oil industry and in Winfield AB. on his grandparents cattle and grain farm. A family illness formed Michael’s passion for public service. Growing up in poverty taught him the values of community, “people first” public policy, education and hard work.
In his first term on City Council, Michael was a Council lead for public engagement, affordable housing, energy transition and climate change adaptation. In addition to his regular duties, Michael also served on numerous Capital Region Board planning committees, the Annexation Negotiating Committee and the Community & Curriculum Advisory Committee for the University of Alberta Planning Program.
Michael and his wife Kara live and raise their two children Isaac and Samson in Ward 10.
During his first term, Michael achieved results for Ward 10 by focusing on the following priorities:
- Neighbourhood infrastructure with an alley renewal program, sustained Neighbourhood Renewal funding, significant investment in drainage upgrades and better rules and enforcement to achieve higher quality infill housing.
- Smarter Bike Lanes & LRT planning by replacing painted bike lanes like those on 40th Avenue & 106th street with multi use trails safer for all ages and approving the policy tools ensuring future LRT lines get separated at busy intersections.
- Fiscal and environmental sustainability a new Edmonton Metro Regional Growth Plan that will save $5 billion in infrastructure and 250 ¼ sections of farmland over the next 40 years and create better planning polices for new suburbs.
- Quality of life for Seniors by ensuring the voices of seniors are heard in the ETS transit review, land for seniors housing and increasing pedestrian safety near seniors residences.
- A stronger economy by supporting the lowest tax increases in 10 years, supporting neighbourhood businesses with expanded grants and programs and collaborating closely with the South Edmonton Business Association.
- Better project management by hiring a new City Manager to ensure increased oversight and accountability for project management and city operations.
- A new plan for Century Park that creates 1125 permanent park and ride spaces, 400 units of seniors housing and 225 units of affordable housing, a vibrant commercial main street and transit oriented housing for thousands of Edmontonians.
- A better approach to public engagement by leading an initiative to overhaul Edmonton’s public engagement policy and practices modelled on real action and results in Ward 10.