The following is the response I gave to the survey from the Edmonton Social Planning Council. You can view a full list of my survey responses here.

Can you please identify what the City of Edmonton's top priorities should be to reduce poverty in our community?

Reducing poverty is very important. For the purposes of this question, I'll be addressing poverty itself and not the related problems of homelessness.

The City needs to focus on initiatives that lift people out of poverty. We know that effective and affordable public transit is a key component to lifting individuals out of poverty. When those living in poverty do not have access to better jobs which may be further from where they can live affordably, the cycle of poverty can persist. These problems can become exacerbated with single-parent families where children need to be dropped off at school or daycare - if a bus ride is over an hour per destination, it can become impossible to care for children and take inefficient public transport to a place of employment.

We need to focus on improving public transit to better enable all citizens in Edmonton to reach their potential.

The other important piece is the integration of affordable housing into developments with full-market housing options. We cannot ghetto-ize those who simply need some help, and creating developments with mixed incomes allows for a much more effective lifting of those in poverty. If those in affordable housing get evicted from their homes as soon as their incomes exceed a certain threshold, we put an economic disincentive to better their situation, which is absolutely counter to our goals.