Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley has announced he will not be seeking re-election in Calgary’s 2021 municipal election.
Woolley took to Twitter on Friday to release a statement in which he said he is immensely grateful he was given the opportunity to serve the people in his ward, but has decided not to run in the fall election.
— Evan Woolley (@EWoolleyWard8) January 22, 2021
Woolley was first elected in 2013 at the age of 32, and then re-elected in October 2017.
“My decision to step back from public life has not come easily,” Woolley said. “When I was elected, the politics of hope and courage were at the fore, and my work as a councillor has been tremendously rewarding.”
Woolley went on to explain that over the span of a single year, he lost his brother to a fentanyl overdose and his mom to brain cancer — with his son born in between both tragedies.
“There were many hours to reflect on my life, and my family,” Wooley said.
“We are, each one of us, afforded only one life, and I want to live mine to the fullest.”
Woolley said he is “keen” to return to the private sector and will continue to build his hometown as a citizen and community member.
“Over the last seven years we have accomplished more than I thought possible,” Woolley said.
“During my two terms as councillor, I became the opposite of what I first expected: I am less cynical about the potential of politics. I am more hopeful for how public service can help build our city. And I believe, more than ever, in the impact citizens can make by showing up and doing the work.”
Woolley said he’s proud of the work he has done for the communities he’s represented, especially those downtown and in the Beltline.
“The infrastructure investments that we have made in my seven years on council is more than the last 20 years before that,” Woolley said. “From fixing up our underpasses, to heritage preservation. We’re making investments in community facilities, cycle tracks, car share, you name it. We’ve made incredible investments in policies and infrastructure and programs that I am really, really proud of.”
The Ward 8 councillor lauded the work he and his fellow councillors have done during tumultuous times, starting with the flood that immediately preceded his election.
“We have had significant events and are seeing a significant structural shift in our economy as we move away from a fossil fuel economy and a huge shift in the economy is something that we have managed incredibly well through.”
Woolley, chair of the city’s audit committee, said he’s not going to “kick back and watch the world go by” in the final months of his term.
“We’re undertaking an audit of the off site levy bylaw,” he said. “We are undertaking a whole bunch of work around governance (of) our wholly-owned subsidiaries.”
“This council has a lot of big decisions to make in the months ahead, and I look forward to continuing to work hard and move a bunch of files forward.”
“Calgary is an outstanding place with a bright future,” he said. “There is still so much work to do in the months ahead, and I intend to do it with the same grit and courage I hope I have shown thus far.”
Calgarians head to the polls on Oct. 18.
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