Nenshi Is My Homeboy

Nenshi Grafitti Kensington

[twitter]One year ago, things changed in Calgary. The political system was set on its ear as the voice of the people was heard and a mayor who listened was elected to office.

I watched the results at Beckham’s Pub on Centre St at a party hosted by some local political bloggers.

Over in the corner, alone, was Danielle Smith. My friend and I introduced ourselves and spent the evening watching the news break with the leader of the upstart Wild Rose Party. That was pretty cool, watching an outsider take the Mayor’s office with another outsider hoping to do the same to the Legislature in Edmonton.

Once the outcome was determined, we went on a Nenshi chase. First landing at Amsterdam Rhino where his supporters had gathered before crashing his campaign headquarters as members of the “media.” To hear the man address the masses sometime around midnight.

(The above footage made into the @nenshi4mayor documentary from Pyramid Productions about Nenshi’s rise to the Mayor’s chair).

My friend and I were both morning radio hosts at the time. The festivities went far past our bedtime but it didn’t matter – we were witnessing history.

I first met Naheed Nenshi on Twitter when he was recommended to me as someone who got social media and the city scene. Then I met him as a candidate at a community pie eating contest. In the past year, I’ve spoken with him half a dozen times and tweeted him far more often.

He is the same now as he was then. A passionate Calgarian who wants to make a difference and will engage to people to make that difference.

On the occasion of the anniversary there are some reflections being made. The Mayor himself wrote a reflection piece for the Calgary Herald.

I’ve had the great honour of being your mayor for a year now. The opportunity is humbling, and I still wake up every morning excited at the chance to serve the citizens of this great city.

I’m proud of what your new council has accomplished. But much work remains. The core principle of this work is simple; as your municipal government, we must constantly ask the question: “How does what we are doing make it better for people to live here?”

Together, we are building the better Calgary in which we all want to live and work. And it will be amazing. [source]

I’ve gone back and re-read the piece I wrote just after the election about how Nenshi was elected. Still, one of the greatest behind-the-scenes looks I’ve seen at the campaign was written in Swerve. The Campaign in Full Sentences is a must. read. for any politico wanting to make a connection with the electorate in the modern era.

20110904 mayor nenshi at pride

There’s a reason he was quickly given the title of “Canada’s Mayor” – people love this guy. And how can you not? He’s smart, methodical, reasonable, approachable and a breath of fresh air in a stale political arena.

Happy Anniversary, Your Worship.

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  1. Dax Justin October 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Best year there ever was in yyc. Bringing communities closer and paving the future of politics.

    Bona Fide Nenshi.

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