Alberta's got a bad reputation. We're known as being the conservative stronghold of the country but it's simply not true. Albertans are more progressive than you think.
Not only does polling show that a majority of Albertans (59%!) define themselves as progressive, polling also shows that we drastically underestimate how progressive our neighbors are. And our recent elections show us that a large group of centre-left voters is now the deciding voting bloc in this province. The last two provincial elections and our mayors in Edmonton and Calgary were decided by this group.
So why is Alberta considered rooting-tooting cowboy conservative country despite all the evidence to the contrary? Conservative politicians and their enablers in the media constantly repeat it over and over again the facts say otherwise.
We Are Young:Alberta is the youngest province in Canada. There are more millennials than baby boomers here
We Are Educated:According to Statistics Canada, full-time university enrollment has increased by 225 per cent since 2009 in Alberta.
We Are Diverse:
42 per cent of Edmontonians and 39 per cent of Calgarians identify as racialized or a visible minority.
We Are Urban:
The majority of Albertans live either in or around Calgary or Edmonton. The redrawn electoral boundaries have shifted power from rural Alberta to urban centres.
We Come From Away:
More than 500,000 interprovincial or international migrants have come to Alberta in the past 10 years.
We Know What's At Stake:
Albertans know the destructive effects of austerity because we've been through it before. When Klein's PCs cut the budget to the bone, we felt the pain.
Who is Progress Alberta and Why Does All of This Matter?
We are a non-profit that launched in January 2016 to build a genuine, people-powered progressive movement in Alberta.
We believe that no matter who's in government, if you don't have a large, organized group of people calling for positive, progressive change you won't get it.
The 2019 provincial election is also quickly approaching. Jason Kenney is offering up a regressive style of conservative politics that's not in line with our values or the values of everyday Albertans. Elections matter and who our premier is matters. Our provincial government has tremendous power over our healthcare, education and social services – things that would be at risk in a Kenney-led government.
Progressive politicians and political parties win elections in Alberta. We have to make sure that they don't just win but that we hold them accountable.
Here's what we stand for:
- Provincial and municipal governments that answer to their citizens – not corporate interests
- Building prosperous communities
- Maintaining a healthy environment and a stable climate
- Fair treatment of workers
- An Alberta that embraces diversity instead of fearing it
- Standing up to hard-right politicians and the alt-right
Here's some of what we've recently accomplished:
- Raised $4,000 for Pro-Choice YQL, a reproductive justice organization in Lethbridge, in response to Jason Kenney and the UCP refusing to show up and debate the abortion clinic bubble law bill
- Forced a public school that was charging $12,000 a year in "fees" to join the private school system
- Progress Alberta supporters have sent tens of thousands of emails and made thousands of phone calls to their elected representatives on everything from privatizing public assets to stopping carding
- FOIPed the fact that a Catholic school board in St. Albert had spent more $360,000 taxpayer dollars in order to argue their case that they were perfectly justified for firing a teacher for being transgender
- Moved public opinion in a measurable and positive fashion on the issue of defunding elite private schools
- Made Brad Wall stop taking his $37,000 a year Saskatchewan Party top up after we revealed Albertan companies were pumping millions of dollars into Saskatchewan politics
- Forced Postmedia to disclose the fact that columnist Lorne Gunter had accepted a free cruise worth thousands of dollars from Ezra Levant, an embarrassing revelation for the newspaper chain
- Repeatedly called out and driven news coverage on climate denial by conservative politicians
What's the Plan?
If you haven't already, SIGN UP HERE or or text ORGANIZE to +15874196959 to join us. You'll get a couple of emails explaining who we are and will be asked to fill out a short survey so we can get to know you a bit better. You'll also get our regular weekly email newsletter, the Progress Report.
Research and experience shows that personal one-to-one conversations about politics, issues or how you're going to vote in an election are the single most effective tactic for mobilizing people. Talking to your friends, family and colleagues works, especially when you have a bit of training in order to craft emotionally effective and personal arguments.
Volunteer With Us: Fill out this volunteer form and one of our organizers will follow up with a phone call. We'll figure out the best way we can work together to build progressive people power in Alberta.
Attend or Run Your Own House Meeting: We're having house meetings all over Alberta for the next year to talk about our plans, listen to your ideas, dreams and nightmares and to build a community that can mobilize people en masse all over Alberta.
Get Trained: We will be conducting on-going training for volunteers and organizers on everything from engagement organizing, digital tools, how to canvass, and to how construct emotionally effective arguments.
Become a Donor: Your donation today will help us in our efforts to organize progressives to bring about positive social change and to make sure Jason Kenney never becomes premier. Only organized people power can fight back against the conservative industrial complex and compel our elected leaders to stand with us.
Executive director: Duncan Kinney
Duncan Kinney has lived and worked in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta) for the past nine years, was raised and went to school in Calgary, was in utero in Drayton Valley during the Lodgepole Blowout and his family's Earthship is in Lethbridge County in southern Alberta.
Before Progress Alberta, Duncan worked in non-profit communications and in journalism. Duncan is a committed community volunteer and organizer, a dad to an amazing daughter and an enthusiastic walker of Bruce.
You can check out the rest of Duncan's professional and educational background here.
Communications and organizing lead: Jim Storrie
Jim Storrie has worked in communications since completing his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies at the University of Alberta in 2011, and specifically in political communications since the 2015 federal election.
Specializing in digital content and relationship management, Jim maintains Progress Alberta's digital assets, writes content for our online platforms, and uses a variety of tools to efficiently communicate with progressives across the province.
More information on Jim's background is available here.
Field organizer: Batul Gulamhusein
Batul Gulamhusein is a first generation settler in amiskwaciwâskahikan. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta.
Batul has worked in human rights advocacy, coordinated anti-racism initiatives and organized around the rights of queer and trans Indigenous folks, Black folks and people of colour. She is passionate about addressing the roots of criminalization, building capacity in marginalized communities and supporting the decolonization work of Indigenous communities whose land she lives on.
More information on Batul's background can be found here.
Human-walker, guest-greeter, and lunch-eating-assistant: Bruce
Bruce is a nine-year old liver-coloured Border Collie. He likes to lie around the office and go on walks.