Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Canada
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About City Mayors
Mayor of Calgary (Canada)
The winner and runner-ups of World Mayor 2014 will be chosen based on the number of nominations in relation to the size of their cities and, more importantly, on the persuasiveness and conviction of testimonials received during this year's World Mayor Project. Below we publish a selection of comments received to date about WM nominee Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Canada.
Comment: Mayor Naheed Nenshi is an example of a model mayor who continuously displays the characteristics of honesty, integrity, generosity and inclusiveness. He accepts everyone regardless of religious background, gender, colour and socio economic status. He demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment during the Alberta flood crisis and was able to help Calgarians get through this difficult time. I highly recommend Mayor Nenshi for world mayor. (By S J, Toronto, Canada)
Comment: What can I say about Mayor Nenshi that hasn't already been said? Likely not much, but I'll add my thoughts. I have lived in many Canadian cities and have spent 20 years in Calgary. Never have I seen a mayor more beloved by the people - and he has earned it.
Mayor Nenshi is incredibly gracious and will take the time to speak with anyone that approaches him. He represents the idea of government by the people and for the people. His style of communication let's us see that he is above all a human being who wants to do great things for a city he loves. He has embraced social media which has engaged the younger generations in municipal politics - even my kids who are 11 and 10 know who he is, the great work he does and would be beside themselves with excitement if they ever saw him in person. He doesn't speak down to his constituents, but treats every one of us as peers and friends.
His leadership through the floods was outstanding, brought people together and truly established him as a leader. He has been tested many times during his term in office and has met each challenge head on while demonstrating great strength. He has stood his ground with provincial and federal governments to ensure the city of Calgary and its citizens are getting the resources and support required. Mayor Nenshi is an example of what a mayor should be and do for their city. (By Andrea S, Calgary)
Comment: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is my choice for the 2014 World Mayor because he is intelligent, caring, sensitive and excellent mayor. He is the best mayor that Calgary has had so far and Calgarians are touched by his sensitive nature. He has sprung into action twice this year - during the 2014 floods in the city and during the recent electrical blackout. During both these events, he was there in person, shoulder to shoulder, heading a volunteer team of rescuers instead of ordering his staff to do the work. Nenshi has shown that he cares for the city and its residents and we hope he continues in office for a long time to come. He is also not afraid to fight with the provincial and federal governments to safeguard Calgary's interests.
When we compare him to Rob Ford, ex-mayor of Toronto, we see clearly that Calgary has the best and many Canadian cities are envious of our mayor.
Thank you. (By Mansoor L, Calgary)
Comment: I throw mine and my family’s full support behind Mayor Nenshi to be the World Mayor 2014. Having lived both in Calgary and internationally and experienced some great Mayors, who have role modeled and motivated me, no one has inspired me like Mayor Nenshi. He has created significant change in Calgary and Calgarians are truly grateful and honored to be part of his team to make Calgary a better place to live, work and play. Building a better community for the future and our children and grandchildren.
Mayor Nenshi’s personality is commendable, he is genuine, he cares, he is empathetic and believes in equality. He puts Calgary and our communities first and he never waivers from his commitment working tirelessly for Calgarians. .He’s the real deal and a role model across America and abroad.
It is our good fortune to have Mayor Nenshi lead our city and council. There have been many amazing leaders across America but none a patch on out Mayor (By Maryann A, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi has been the most amazing mayor I have ever witnessed. I came to the University of Calgary three years ago and since being here I've been constantly inspired by Mayor Nenshi's dedication to the community. In the floods in the summer before last our city was his first and only priority as we worked endlessly to bring relief, safety, and reassurance to the people in Calgary. Nenshi makes himself accessible to everyone across the city by attending events, meeting with curious citizens, and inviting people to participate more actively in the city's politics. One of his most unique features is his dedicated Twitter presence as he constantly responds to questions, concerns, and more from Calgarians. His heart beats for every person in Calgary and he works to learn about and meet the challenges of every individual's life. I have never known a municipal leader who was so transparently dedicated to their city and people at all levels.
I hope that with this nominations (and many more, I'm sure), that Mayor Nenshi is selected for World Mayor. Please feel free to contact me at this email address if you would like any more information. Thank you! (By Andrea O, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deserves to win! He is intelligent, caring and has a fantastic vision for his city. He is a trustworthy politician - something rare in Canadian politics these days. He is inspiring and so positive and gets stuff done! I would like to enter my vote for Mayor Nenshi absolutely! (By Breffney K, Calgary)
Comment: I would like to cast my vote for Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary and these are the reasons why:
Mayor Nenshi is a rare politician who believes the best practice is to always give the public as much information as is possible. Sometimes this is big, such as the multiple daily press conferences during the flood, and other times it is much simpler, such as his frequent use of Twitter and Facebook to connect with citizens. He is also the only person with the password to those social media accounts - so any communication under his name is actually coming from the mayor.
One of his campaign promises was transparency at City Hall - so he releases the names of people/groups with whom he meets, all gifts received and all expenses.
City council votes during the last council prior to Mayor Nenshi's first election in 2010 were always same 8 to same 7. Decisions appeared to be predetermined before the meetings ever occurred. Under the mayor's non-partisan leadership the councillors now do not always agree but do appear to go into debates with an open mind and will listen to their colleagues and the members of the public whom show up to speak. Cycle track -- worked for a compromise. Working towards same thing right now with secondary suites.
• Not afraid of failure:
In his pre-mayor days Mayor Nenshi advocated for an experiment where a major street along the river would be closed on 1 summer Sunday for a community-building street festival. His attitude was let's try. If it does not work, we'll take what we learned and try something else. In office he used his cut red tape initiative to launch the food truck industry in the city.
• Gives back to the community:
He spends almost every weekend and many weekday evenings at community and charity events around the city. He will often say he had a successful Saturday or Sunday because he attended 10+ events in every quadrant of the city. The mayor then proceeds to spend the little spare time he has out supporting the arts community.
• Inspires Calgarians:
In his first term the Mayor introduced his 3 things for Calgary initiative, encouraging Calgarians to figure out 3 ways in which they could give back to their community and then go out an do them. The ideas could be big, they could be small, it does not matter so long as you are benefitting people in your local community or the larger Calgary community. In the aftermath of last year's devastating floods Mayor Nenshi told Calgarians to just go and help the victims. Don't wait for the city or organizations like the Red Cross, we knew the impacted communities so just put on your rubber boots and go help. People from across the city flocked to impacted neighbourhoods, some they had never visited before, and helped clean out the basements of strangers. This summer saw us mark our first Neighbour Day on the anniversary of the flood, an idea from the mayor's office. The day saw block parties, community clean ups. Every community celebrated differently but all saw neighbours coming together. With the mayor attending about 15 events himself.
• Engaging Youth:
Programs like Mayor Nenshi Reads, the mayor's Environmental Expo and the Mayor's Walk Challenge encourage kids to be good citizens now so they will be better and more engaged citizens as adults.
I am lucky enough to have met the mayor on a few occasions and he is the same man whether speaking to a theatre full of people, at an event in a room full of people, out on the campaign trail or just hanging out away from the public and media. (By Gerri M, Calgary)
Comment: Without a doubt, I would vote in Mayor Calgary for this award. I have known Mayor Nenshi since our days at school and university. From his earliest days, he has had leadership inborn in his personality and make-up. He has a vision but more-so, the ability to implement the Vision into reality. He is extremely humble in so many ways - he has risen from a humble family deeply rooted in values. He is a people’s person - he understands the ordinary person and their lives, their hopes, their grievances, their aspirations, their worries. And he does things that affect, in the most positive way, people who really need help the most. He is very intelligent and uses his intelligence not with any vanity, but in humility to serve others.
I have admired Mayor Nenshi for many years and it would be an honour to nominate him for the World Mayor award. There are few people in this world who have the ability to make changes that can affect thousands, and Mayor Nenshi is one such person. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves and uses this award, as I know he will, for the betterment of the community he serves and humanity at large.
Although I am a Calgarian Canadian, presently, I live in Dubai, UAE and have also lived in Muscat, Oman and Nairobi, Kenya in my life. In comparing Mayor Nenshi to many other mayors I have seen in my travels, there is a huge difference and breath of positivity when I see what Mayor Nenshi has done for the city of Calgary. (By Asin N, Dubai)
Comment: I grew up in Calgary, leaving in the early 1990s. My family and many of my friends continue to live there, and I frequently visit. The work that Mayor Nenshi has done to revlitalise the city is remarkable.
So many of the reasons that I decided to leave the city: lack of diversity, both in the economy and in the populace, unrestrained urban sprawl, tired and limited arts community; have all been addressed under his watch. He has a strong personality but without the self-centrism that fells so many politicians. He works tirelessly. Nap for Nenshi was one of my favourite twitter campaigns of all time. He is a consensus builder. He's approachable, while keeping his personal life and his personal space, as any sane person would prefer to do. Were all politicians driven to the same extent and by the same motivators, the world without question would be a better, more livable place.
I have taken time to read testimonials for many of the other candidates for World Mayor 2014. They are all accomplished, deserving folks and I wish them will. This contest, however, has only one logical winner. There is no one in the world like Naheed Nenshi. He is a beacon, and a testament to what we as city folk can accomplish together. (By Carlee P)
Comment: I Jamaluddin from Karachi , I vote for Naheed Nenshi , Mayor of Calgary , Canada for The World Mayor Prize year 2014.
He is the first Muslim and bravely decision taker Mayor of Calgary, Canada.
He has signed up to the code of Ethics.
He is the one out of eight Mayor of the world who transformed city.
He aware the clagryian’s how to fight against global poverty.
He win two terms of Mayor office and declared 2nd most powerful person of Canada by Maclean’s due to his remarkable efforts. (By Jamaluddin Z, Karachi, Pakistan) .
Comment: I wish to nominate my candidate Mayor Nahid Nenshi of CALGARY Alberta, Canada as the 2014 World Mayor for the following reasons:
Mayor Nenshi has been a significant presence in his city at the time of a severe debilitating flooding and he has been even more visible around the city after this - even though I live in Toronto Canada, I have seen and read a lot more of his influence on other cities of Canada for his leadership and wisdom. He has spent significant effort and time in communicating with his staff and residents and that in my view is the most significant duty of the Mayor of any city in the world! Sadly I have envied the city of Calgarians for electing their Mayor based on his merit and not family connections! (By Anver J, Toronto)
Comment: I would like to vote for Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary for World Mayor. Recently, Mayor Nenshi spoke at Homeless Awareness Day in downtown Calgary and made a statement along the lines of, "If we do not solve homelessness, we have failed as a community." Nenshi's commitment to marginalized groups is reassuring. He is a leader in the discourse to approve secondary suites and create expanded affordable housing initiatives in our city. For that, I am thankful that Nenshi is at the helm of our ship. (By Karla, R, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi came to the roll of Mayor of Calgary with ideas first - plausible, possible, and helpful ideas. Ideas he was able to implement because they were what our city needed.
His special brand of inclusion brought unity in our city across the many communities.
His methods of communicating made us all, as citizens, feel more proud of our city and its' future in a way never seen before.
Calgary has faced some major challenges and I firmly believe Mayor Nenshi has been the right man in the right place at the right time. He has lead us through strife, and continues to be there for all Calgarians.
He inspires trust in our council, and certainly has the broad global mindedness to lead us into being a better world class city. He could definitley be Mayor of the World.
Further he gives of himself tirelessly to many causes and events across all ethnicities and interests in our city. Always ready with his brilliant smile and a moment to have a chat or a picture taken. (By Trina, Calgary)
Comment: I like to vote for Mayor Naheed Nenshi for the 2014 World Mayor Prize. His political charisma is still strong today, from when he was elected twice as Mayor of Calgary in 2010 and 2013. I do not know exactly, if he was indirectly involved in making Calgary one of the “Ultimate Sports City” finalists by the London-based Sports Business International in April 2014. The result was that the city ranked fifth in that overall category. What amazes me about this achievement is that this year, 2014, was the first time Calgary has entered this contest. Speaking of sports, Nenshi and the other city aldermen has agreed, in principle, to have a field house built for the summer sports. If the money needed for this project is approved by the province of Alberta and the federal government, the potential for becoming one of Canada’s main sports cities would be big.
However, just like any person with authority, Nenshi has some detractors during his tenure as mayor. The biggest one here was the house development lobby, along with the secondary suites controversy. Nenshi wants to approve the legality of having secondary suites in general, by reviewing the city’s zoning bylaws. On the other hand, some residents do not like having such suites coming to their neighbourhoods. On top of that, one of the house development lobby groups was secretly taped that it wanted to pervert the 2013 civic election towards electing “like-minded” aldermen to its cause, in an attempt to stop Nenshi from getting another term as mayor. That idea backfired, when Nenshi was re-elected as mayor in 2013, with over a 70% approval rating from voters. Ever since then, the issue was quietly sent to the “less important” category. A lawsuit was made against Nenshi in this housing issue, but it seemed that it was either dropped or postponed for now. (By Edward A, Calgary)
Comment: Reasons why I vote for Nenshi for 2014 World Mayor Prize are:
· Mayor Nenshi has proposed a plan to densify D/T Calgary by encouraging builders to build apartment / condo complexes, primarily for the purpose of bringing people who work D/T to live close to where they work. This is a win/win strategy for both the City of Calgary and potential residents (who can walk to work). This would reduce traffic congestion at peak times, is good for the environment since it has the potential to reduce GHG emissions significantly and for those choosing not to walk to work to use public transport more efficiently. This strategy will also save the City costs and all the residents significant property tax increases, going forward, as the City limits don’t need to be extended as fast- saving everybody valuable infrastructure costs and revive significant parts of the D/T area.
· Mayor Nenshi played a significant role during the flood of 2013 and, more recently, in the power outage that left the core of D/T without power for several days in minimizing the impact of these catastrophes on individuals and families and was able to secure funding from the Province for disaster relief.
· The Mayor has an open door policy and communicates very effectively with the residents of the City.
· The Mayor works effectively with the Province and the Federal Government and has great influencing skills. (By Nizar J, Calgary)
Comment: The Most amazing thing about this young Mayor Mr.Nenshi is that in spite of knowing the challenges he faced in a total Conservative City of Calgary, where color race and creed "ARE STILL" an issue. He never once challenged these enigma but instead choose to offer The sincerity of his ability and WON. Well Done Mr.Nenshi. (By Meb V, Calgary)
Comment: What an amazing leader & what a breath of fresh air. This man is simply everywhere for everyone with caring compassion, great judgement, humour & brilliant, quick, decision-making.
I follow Mayor Nenshi on Twitter from here in far away Southern Ontario & I’m more proud of him than any other Canadian political leader of this or recent time. I wish he was running our great country so I really could cast a ballot in his favour.
In the meantime I’m honoured to be able to put forth my fullest & most sincere support for him as World Mayor. (By Neil M, Sebringville, ON, Canada)
Comment: Dear Committee: The other day I was at my book club. The conversation turned to politics then to Nenshi. The group chatted about his pro & cons, most are happy with his ideas and policies. But ALL are very happy with Nenshi as a person, we all agreed he is a very intelligent and logical person and we really respect him. (By Eileen K, Calgary)
Comment: “In Canada and in particularly in Calgary, it’s possible to do and to be anything regardless of where you come from,” - Mayor Naheed Nenshi. I like it idea (By Tamim H, Kabul, Afghanistan)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi is an outstanding leader and certainly deserves my vote. We have lived through a number of civic crisis' this past year and His Worship has risen to the occasion every time. He has excelled at fiscal responsiblity, protection of our city's infratstructure and citizens, and is always looking toward the future...and always in a postive and informative manner. He attends and takes part in all offical civic events and many informal gatherings and is always well received. He has a wonderful sense of humor, endless energy and is just an all round nice guy. I guess that's why we don't even notice or care about the fact he is the only Muslim Mayor in all of North America. You would be hard pressed to find a fairer, more tolerant or dynamic leader anywhere. Thanks for everything, Naheed! (By Erica B, Calgary)
Comment: As a citizen of Calgary, I believe Mayor Nenshi should be World Mayor. Mayor Nenshi of Calgary has really put our city on the map since from the beginning of his term. The following qualities support my vote for Mayor Nenshi:
• He epitomize a leader with a vision for a better Calgary and shows this in his actions
• He speaks passionately and intelligently about our city
• In a crisis, our major flood of 2012, Mayor Nenshi showed the leadership qualities that made our community feel cared for and proud.
• He is progressive in his use of social media engaging all demographics using the various communications channels to reach all citizens
• He has attracted a strong city planner, Rollin Stanley, to support the vision for progressive development of our community
• Mayor Nenshi takes on corporate Calgary when required. During our 2013 flood when CP rail had a derailment, Mayor Nenshi spoke out to make the rail company accountable.
• A freak snow storm early September, and our Mayor was visible to calm our community. City crews have been cleaning up and continue today.
• Last weekend when a portion of our downtown core lost power, it was our Mayor who again calmed the citizens and gave us direction.
It is all of these qualities of leadership & integrity that are what a mayor or any great leader should exhibit, but what is in short supply these days. I believe Mayor Nenshi should be World Mayor. (By J F, Calgary)
Comment: I wold like to vote for Mayor Nenshi for World Mayor. I have lived in Calgary for the past 4 years, and during that time, Calgary has been hit with a number of crisis, from floods, to windstorms, to unseasonal snowstorms, and currently a major electrical fire in the downtown core, knocking out power to many, for several days. During all of these crisis, Mayor Nenshi has been front and centre, tirelessly working to get services restored, displaced people accommodated, and providing endless updates. During the floods last year, he was so visible and available, that citizens of the city began a twitter campaign to get him to take a nap.
I have never seen such leadership in a Mayor before. During non crisis times, the Mayor is an endless cheerleader for the city and is adept at bringing all manner of people together to work for the common good of the city. The Mayor extols participation, communication and an unparalleled sense of community spirit.
Calgary is an incredibly fast growing city. The Mayor has created a sense of excitement as to the city's future and is very talented at getting people on board with a single purpose. He is very down to earth and has no problem telling it exactly like it is. At all times, he is an incredibly visible mayor and is very approachable. he even responds himself to people on twitter.
I think Mayor Nenshi is very deserving of the World Mayor award. Respectfully, (By Marlene N, Calgary)
Comment: Naheed Nenshi deserves to win the World Mayor prize because he truly cares about the citizens of Calgary. He makes an effort to be available on social media, he is a visible person at most public events in the city, and he is a dedicated patron of the arts. When he answers questions or makes comments, he speaks in plain language and doesn't waste the listeners' time with endless self-promotion - he says what needs to be said without political manoeuvring.
It goes without saying that his calm and tireless leadership during the June 2013 floods, one of the worst natural disasters to ever happen in Canada, was largely responsible for the low number of injuries and criminal activities while the floods were ongoing. Nenshi kept everyone well-informed, issued common-sense advice, and assumed Calgarians were intelligent, compassionate, and sensible people. Due to the example he set by his leadership, thousands of people were out helping each other clean up the mud and debris in the few days following the worst of the floods.
We are incredibly lucky to have such a down-to-earth, caring, dedicated and responsible Mayor. Nenshi does not abuse power, does not hold with "back room deals" with developers, and continually reminds Calgarians that he is just a regular guy. No mayor before him has both encouraged citizens to be involved in policy-making and made that involvement so easy. He's popular for a reason! We are so lucky to have him, and I dread the day his term ends. Sincerely (By H Gamber, Calgary)
Comment: I would like to provide my support for Mayor Nenshi’s nomination for World Mayor 2014. I have lived and worked in Calgary for the majority of my life and the time in which Mayor Nenshi has been in office have been the most amazing years. Mayor Nenshi has fostered community engagement on an all new level across generations of Calgarian’s, has fostered and supported new innovations in the arts community and has excelled in community development. As a young and passionate art loving community member I had always dreamed of seeing Calgary participate on a more competitive level in the arts, something Nenshi has made possible by promoting and nurturing the arts scene in Calgary. As an active downtown dweller I had always dreamed of seeing increased urban density as opposed to extravagant urban sprawl, and a more accessible downtown core. Mayor Nenshi has focused his efforts on creating urban density and promoting alternative measures of transportation- with the city seeing its first extension of the c-train heading west and several new bike lanes throughout the core.
As an individual working in the not for profit sector and a passionate promoter of community spirit I had always hoped to see more Calgarian’s connected with each other outside of the demographics of age and community area. In the time that Nenshi has been mayor he has fostered an unbelievable amount of community spirit, so much so that when Calgary encountered its worst flood on record, volunteers appeared in such great numbers that they had to be redistributed and bussed out in huge groups to several different areas.
In short, Mayor Nenshi has created significant change in Calgary and we will be forever grateful to him and his team for the amazing community he has helped develop. We love Mayor Nenshi! (By Hayley R, Calgary)
Comment: I vote for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to be 2014 World Mayor. Since becoming Calgary’s 36th mayor at a young age of 38 in 2010, Mayor Nenshi has worked tirelessly to promote his vision of making downtown Calgary a vibrant and an exciting place to live and to work, and to limit sub-urban sprawl. He has promoted increased density in urban areas, revitalized the east end through the development of East Village, a trendy, high density, self-contained community ideal for young families. He has also increased greenery and park space in urban areas, constructed two foot bridges across the Bow River which flows through the city and provided designated bicycle lanes for ease of cycling into downtown.
He is a great role model for the youth, volunteers his spare time to community harmony and eased the pain of last year’s disastrous flood by spearheading the relief effort and helping communities in their clean-up efforts. (By Mahedi M, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deserves to be World Mayor. And in my mind, even if he is a runner-up (I’m sure there are many good mayors out there) he ALREADY is a World Class mayor.
The City of Calgary is a booming town and has the problems of a big city that is growing fast: traffic problems, line-ups for health care, low vacancy rates, increasing crime, increased stress on all infrastructure (roads, water, waste collection, police, schools, health).
Our Mayor has the brains, determination, and honesty to deal with these problems and make the City of Calgary a better place. His response during the flood last June July in 2013 was stellar. The overall coordinated efforts of the Mayor, City Council and emergency responders was fantastic. The call for Volunteers during the flood brought thousands of citizens into organized working units to help their neighbors. I personally spent ten days in the flood zone (near the neighborhood that I grew up in!) and I could not get over how efficient the teams were. People were ripping out drywall, cleaning mud, hauling garbage for a few days. And then the garbage trucks and crews of citizens came around to haul it all away. There was very little crime (anecdotal stories of theft), NO violent crime, no disease outbreaks, and I think friends were made for life throughout the process. I overheard a Red Cross responder who had come up from the USA say that he had never in his life seen such a coordinated response to a flood. HE was impressed.
The inner city work and the East Village is BEAUTIFUL. Great work there!
The Mayor is an empathetic man. He’s the real deal. There was an terrible murder of 5 young adults at a University of Calgary party this spring. These kinds of murders are very rare in Canada and it was the first in the history of the City. The Mayor didn’t turn it into a photo opp. He issued a press statement. He went to the funerals. My nephew’s wife lost her little sister, and she said that the Mayor was unbelievably kind. She was really impressed by him and how he spoke with her and her family.
I have nothing but respect for our Mayor. (By Susan F, Calgary)
Comment: Here are six reasons why Naheed Nenshi is the best Mayor in the world.
1. He keeps it real! He is like having a kind neighbour. Not an elitist bone in his body and I have seen him at functions not sitting with the VIP section but just a regular citizen sitting with the masses. NEVER an aloof politician and always approachable.
2. He has a sharp mind and LOVES civic politics. I have a political science degree and I have always felt that city politics was a bit ..how you say ..boring. Nenshi's love of his city and the workings of the civic decision making process is infectious. He makes sewage, garbage collection, road building and civic infrastructure debates spell binding. His enthusiasm in turn makes us the citizens of Calgary want to participate in making our city the best it can be.
3. He has a wicked sense of humour. His use of social media has proven his ability to make us laugh and his twitter account comments have been shared all over the world via the internet and facbook.
4. He is an awesome politician. During our flood disaster a year and a half ago the premier. the prime-minister, and our mayor all gave a short speech on how they felt about the situation. Not only was Nenshi's speech the most eloquent it was hands down more insightful and heart felt than the other two leaders by a very long stretch.
5. Not afraid to take on any opponents big or small. We are by nature a "Corporate Culture" in Calgary and sometimes the Corporations get away with things not in the best interest of the citizens. Nenshi has taken that kind of attitude full on and changed their minds. He has made some enemies doing it but he has made many many more friends.
6. He loves the arts. I'm biased on this one being an artist myself but I have never seen a previous Mayor attend anything in this city. I see Nenshi at tons of gallery openings, plays and even small events put on by the homeless. He is a huge supporter of our cultural mosaic.
Some say he should be our next Prime Minister. Forget that! Nenshi for ruler of the World! (By Kirk M, Calgary)
Comment: I live in Calgary and have lived here on and off for more than 40 years.
Naheed Nenshi represents the new Calgary - young, liberal, well educated and forward looking. He is a simply remarkable leader of a simply remarkable city and his election has resulted in Calgary leap frogging ahead of larger Canadian cities to become the preeminent city in Canada.
His win over the bought and paid for candidates of the downtown oil industry swept aside decades of same old, same old and ushered in a new era in Calgary's future. His energy and humour infuse everything that goes on in the city.
I believe him to be a very worthy candidate for World Mayor 2014. (By Dave C, Calgary)
Comment: I can’t imagine any Mayor deserves this recognition more than our Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Ever since his service began several years ago, he has been capable of getting everyone in our city engaged in the process of developing our own city... We have had an unprecedented opportunity to contribute our ideas and opinions about actual projects in the city, as well as priorities for the annual budget. He has fostered the notion that this city is OURS... You want your street to look nicer? Get your neighbors together and do something for your street!
Through all of this, Mayor Nenshi has been accountable, transparent, visible and accessible... He attends so many festivals and events in our city, and promotes our city with passion. Finally a politician I trust. (By Chris T, Calgary)
Comment: I am thrilled to be able to vote for the Honorable Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Alberta.
Mayor Nenshi is a great person. He is intelligent, articulate, compassionate and funny. He truly cares, truly listens to everyone. He is as comfortable discussing policy with world leaders as he is talking with vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens. He puts a proud public face on our amazing diverse city, and we love him.
His endless work during the floods of 2013 proved that he is a man with a heart, and a mayor for the people he represents. He was up to his elbows in muck along with the rest of us, then faced the media to assure the public, and worked hard to get disaster-relief and resources in place as quickly as possible.
Mayor Nenshi loves and respects his constituents of all ages and genders. He maintains an active Twitter account, a Facebook page, and is present at so many local events and festivals, with a special note to his support for the Calgary Pride Parade and LGBTQ community.
Mayor Nenshi is single-handedly responsible for Calgary being the envy of all of Canada. In an already-wonderful city, we are proud that he represents us to the world. Please give him full points for this prestigious award. He truly is a Mayor of the World! (By Lori H, Calgary)
Comment: Hands down he is the best Mayor the city of Calgary and the country of Canada has ever had. He is down to earth & hasn’t become an egocentric airhead; he connects with the people and has a very keen sense of what this city & it’s inhabitants need. He certainly has his priorities straight and unlike others, he’s not afraid of calling others out even in his own department - most politicians seem to lose their integrity when their voted in to office but not Naheed. He practices what he preaches, walks the talk & is often challenged because of it. During the flood of 2013 you didn’t see him hiding behind his council; he was front & centre ensuring the safety of people was the top priority. Unafraid to roll up his sleeves & get his hands dirty, going without sleep for a few days didn’t phase him; he did it because of his commitment to the people, their safety, wellbeing & quite simply, he felt it was his duty. Its my sincere hope he continues to be our Mayor for many more years to come; he’s one of a kind, a true gem - ethical, politically intelligent, great communicator, personable, honest & sincere. (By Lisa, Calgary)
Comment: Once again I support Mr. Nenshi to win the 2014 World Mayor Prize. He has brought a new energy to municipal government in Calgary. Most of us the Toronto area are envious of Calgary because we could desperately use someone with Mr. Nenshi's character, values, ethics and accomplishments for his city.
Mr. Nenshi has accomplished much in his tenure in building a better, healthy, vibrant and an open and inclusive city and government. However, more importantly he is not satisfied to bask in this glory but instead is focused on continuous improvement with a simple but powerful guiding principle - "How does what the Council is doing make it better for people to live in Calgary". How refreshing! (By Farouk A, Toronto)
Comment: I would like to vote for Mayor Naheed Nenshi, of Calgary, Canada to become the next World Mayor. This man works tirelessly for our city! In June 2013 we had a major flood! Lives were lost and many communities were devastated!
Mayor Nenshi was there 24 hours a day to help our communities. There were days when he didn’t even sleep! He is an outstanding and dedicated mayor and human being! (By William N, Calgary)
Comment: He Listens, listens and listens! Many, many cities in North America would trade in their Mayor for Nenshi.
First Calgary Mayor to highlight the the excellent work the City employees do.
Great communicator. Articulates his ideas extremely well. Always keeping low profile .
Engages Calgarian in future development of the city.
Brings his adversaries to the table and solves issues in the interest of Calgarians
Where he needs to challenge the Provincial and Federal leaders, he does so without anyone loosing face.
Humble, intellectual, great sense of humour, empathetic, sympathetic, thoughtful ... (Lots more)
Too many more but this is plenty! (By Zahir H)
Comment: I vote for Mayor Nenshi for his excellent contribution to the city of Calgary. I have heard his speeches in person last year and witnessed his personal involvement during the Flood of Calgary - the worst in the Alberta history.
My family lives in Calgary for the past 40 plus years and I live in Miami Florida but my heart is always in Calgary - my second home and with this New Mayor all the more!!
Most of all he is a PEOPLE'S MAYOR humble and hard working with no POMP & SHOW . He works for the People of his city Caring and Loving Mayor. Mayor Nenshi deserves the World Mayor Prize for 2014!! (By Taj K, Miami)
Comment: I'm from Montreal, but have long wished we had Nenshi as mayor. His knowledge of city planning and demographics, his enthusiasm for the city, and his constant presence and service to Calgarians both in person and virtually make him a perfect candidate for this honour. (By C L, Montreal)
Comment: I vote for the candidacy of Mayor Nenshi to win the 2014 World Mayor Prize. Mayor Naheed has shown his leadership skills consistently over the last 6 years. He is focused and is able to articulate issues in plain English whereby an ordinary person can understand. He leads by consensus and at the same time is persuasive on some sensitive matters whereby his team of Aldermen can vote in the interest of the City. He has faced some difficult situations such as the 2013 floods and the long cold winter of 2013/2014. He has shown courage and compassion to restore the confidence of the citizens of Calgary. He cannot be influenced by big money and lobby groups where the interest of the City comes first.
He has demonstrated exemplary leadership to the whole country and is ready to take on more challenges such as the Premiership of the Alberta Province.
He comes from humble roots and is a well-educated modest person. His value systems are pluralistic in nature.
He is a well rounded person and thinks outside the box to come up with some pragmatic solutions for emerging issues such as housing, public transportation, safety, social services, education and taxes. (By Amir J, Calgary)
Comment: The mayor is one amazing man!!!! I have the utmost respect for him as an individual and politician. He has been there through the best and worst events in Calgary always!! (By Jaqueline B)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi has to be, by far, the best mayor!!!
When the floods hit our city last year, that man was on as much social Media as possible helping the city be calm through our struggle. He kept us up to date and would not rest because he knew how much the city needed him. To the point that everyone on Facebook and Twitter started the hashtag #napfornenshi just so he would take a nap. He is a such a good man and makes the people of Calgary pay attention to what is going on in our city and doesn't talk condescendingly like other politicians.(By BB, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deals with politics like a ninja and a human. I love the way he deals with things head on and speaks authentically and while being relatable, eloquent, educated, and poised. Nenshi is super human because of how he does it all and stays human. This man makes me happy to hear, see and be in the same city as. He reflects the varied values of this community with a strong voice and grace.
Mayor Nenshi is the best mayor ever. His love of the city is absolutely infectious and is a constant reminder of how lucky I am to live here. I am proud to be Calgarian more now than ever. Thank you Mayor Nenshi!! You've done amazing things and I'm so grateful to you for doing 'you' so well. (By Nicoel, Calgary)
Comment: I'd like to nominate Mayor Nenshi for a number of reasons.
1) He is a genuine person with a genuine love for Calgary and it's citizens.
2) Nenshi works VERY hard during the week. He then spends virtually every weekend visiting neighbourhoods & events in all sectors of the City. He claims this gives him a chance to engage and hear from people from all walks of our citizenry.
3) He is a LEADER. During the floods of 2013, an event that did over $1 billion damage to the City, Mayor Nenshi inspired everyone, from emergency workers, politicians and ordinary citizens to pull together and rebuild. We ended up with a stronger City as a result.
4) Mayor Nenshi GETS THINGS DONE! He has an uncanny ability to mediate dissension between parties, be they political, corporate or private, in order to move important projects forward. (Ie: the airport tunnel & runway)
5) He has a clear vision of what it will take to make Calgary, which is already a world-class city, even better. And he shares that vision with our citizens at every opportunity.
Mayor Nenshi is the type of politician that only comes around once in a generation. We are so lucky to have him and would be honoured to see you bestow to him the title of World Mayor 2014. (By Brad O, Calgary)
Comment: I am a teacher and have taught for 20 years. All my grade 5 students know who Mayor Nenshi is and what he does for the city. When we go on a field trip to the Mayor's Environmental Expo, the students are so keen to look for the Mayor who is usually very easy to find. One year he was working on the janitorial crew.
He is brilliant and works hard for our city. During the horrendous flood of 2013, he relentlessly worked hard to make sure everyone was safe. Not a single life was lost in our city due to his emergency initiative.
Lastly, I like the work he is doing for bike commuters by making bike lanes more accessible and safe. As a result more people are willing to ride to work thus decreasing car congestion. (By Bina W, Calgary)
Comment: Naheed Nenshi should win for World Mayor because he connects with the people through many different mediums such as social media and traditional outlets like a regular column in the Calgary Herald. Thanks to his posts on Facebook I am more in tune with what's going on at City Hall, more than I've ever been before.
• Naheed Nenshi is smart. He believes in education and encourages young people to read through his reading program for kids.
• Naheed Nenshi is real and speaks in full sentences, unlike most politicians today who learn how to speak in sound bites.
Naheed Nenshi is honest. You believe what he is telling you, unlike most politicians.
Naheed Nenshi is a true leader as seen in last year's floods when he worked tirelessly keeping people informed, thanking the hard working folks who work for the city and thanking all the Calgarians who were helping one another.
Naheed Nenshi is a passionate advocate for our city and has a vision for the future.
Naheed Nenshi engages people in discussions about the city's future. This is very rare in politics these days with apathy running rampant.
Naheed Nenshi has courage to stand up to the developers in Calgary who are getting rich at the expense of the city. He's taken a tough stand against developers encouraging them to invest in development within the city instead of urban sprawl that costs taxpayers dearly. A vibrant downtown core is important for cities and his position of encouraging urban renewal and investment will ensure we have a downtown core that the younger generation is looking for.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate. (By A H, Halifax & Calgary)
Comment: Hi, my name is Arlene and I've lived in Calgary, AB, Canada for about 40 years. I was born here in the 60s and moved to the United States during the 70s but have been back here since 1979. I am writing to you to tell you why Calgary's Mayor - Mayor Naheed Nenshi - is the World's Best Mayor.
Mayor Nenshi is the best Mayor I have seen in Calgary in all these years primarily because he is an amazing leader. The best example of this is the the most incredible job he did getting us all back on our feet after Calgary had the worst overland flood ever, just over a year ago. He did daily broadcasts and kept everyone informed via twitter as well. He told us what we needed to do, where we needed to go, where we could to get resources and where to go to help out people in need. He inspired many Calgarians to get out and help their neighbours. It was awe inspiring.
I am proud of how Calgary has embraced Naheed Nenshi because we have often been considered a redneck town and our Mayor is not someone I would have believed Calgarians could embrace as we have. We all love him. We love him for his leadership, his values, his integrity.
I would be so proud if you would recognize our great Mayor as well and award him the World Mayor Prize. It would be so nice to give back to a man who gives so much of himself. He is such a hard worker that we had a twitter campaign during the flood to get him to take a nap (#nap4Nenshi) so I would love to see his hard work acknowledged and rewarded in this way. Thanks for listening. (By Arlene, Calgary)
Comment: I live in Calgary, Alberta and Mayor Naheed Nenshi so very much deserves to win the 2014 World Mayor Prize.
Alberta is a province not necessarily known as the most urbane, tolerant, or even intelligent of the Canadian provinces. It has a stereotype that many love to wrap us in, of being a bit "redneck" and conservative. Nenshi is our statement and symbol to the world that we are not our outdated stereotype. He is urbane, and he proudly and classily wears his stetson and jeans throughout Stampede. He is intelligent. He is smart. He talks politics in full sentences. He uses big words. Often. He makes people use their dictionaries. He can talk about anything intelligently and thoughtfully. And he is intelligent and thoughtful when he talks - even when he is calling people on their bullshit.
The man is an embodiment of what the best parts of ourselves want to be. He is unabashedly proud to be where he is, doing what he does. The jaded, professional politician could learn a lot from Nenshi - but they won't because they don't understand him. they want his popularity, and fans - yes, our Mayor has Fans! Mayor Nenshi has our support because he isn't jaded, or just doing a job. He is the best of us, and he is the best Mayor in the World. (By Mary B, Calgary)
Comment: Nenshi is non-partisan, hilarious, inspiring, genuine, brave, coalition-building, reflective, humane, honest, smart-as-a-whip but accessible, and rocks a purple tie. He is 50% why this city is worth moving to. (By Lynsey B, Calgary)
Comment: Naheed Nenshi is the Mayor every city prays for, dreams about - this is not a campaigning ploy or empty words - Nenshi is living the role so naturally and demonstrating this in such an unselfconscious way that similar words have been involuntarily drawn not only from Calgarians who simply adore him but from those as far afield as Toronto who expressed the heartfelt wish that they had a 'Nenshi'!
Nenshi is that rarity - a politician for whom faith and society both work around an ethical framework which includes a spiritual commitment that holds universal values. His leadership style has become his trademark - the flooding crisis when Calgarians experienced this is only one example of many - I saw and heard first-hand, grateful constituents falling over each other to applaud Nenshi's way of handling the myriad aspects that emerge from such a calamity. His resourcefulness, his forward-thinking, not only in resolving immediate issues but in safeguarding solutions into the future, his constant physical presence amongst his people, never belitting issues whilst simultaneously doling out hope. Calgarians begged each other to get him to go home to sleep - how often do constituents have to beg a politician to do that?! And when necessary, he scolds! Whether with individuals and groups or institutions and industry, public or private, Nenshi engages in honest and real dialogue, which he then includes in socio-economic, cultural and educational strategies that bolster up the city - there is a track record! These are not high-falutin' lofty platitudes but real, honest-to-God practical resolutions that people see falling into place on a daily basis. It is difficult even for his political opponents to fault his natural aptitude and feel for this mammoth task - keeping the population happy whilst introducing transformatory measures in a no-nonsense way is no mean feat but Nenshi seems to be achieving it!
Humility and competence. I would say Nenshi fits the mould of World Mayor most gratifyingly. (By Dr Naznin H)
Comment: My name is Jason and I live in Calgary, Alberta. My vote goes to Mayor Nenshi of Calgary Alberta. Living in this city has given me first had experience and how wonderful a human being he is. During the floods in Calgary last year he was the one that Calgary turned to for support. Not the prime minister or the premier. He is well loved by most of us in Calgary. He has also been supportive of the gay community here. He was the Marshall of the gay pride parade. I truly believe that he cares equally for everyone in this city. Thanks. (By Jason L, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Canada has brought a new life and name recognition on the face of earth for Calgary.
Calgary is most vibrant and diverse city of Canada, but since Nenshi became Mayor of Calgary, more people globally became known to Calgary, just because of his leadership, vision, management abilities, his ability to foster great relations between communities from different backgrounds and integrity, his day to day activities and upliftment of the City of Calgary.
His work ethics, progress report is discussed and highlighted here in various Chicago conferences, seminars and in public activities and due to his great work ethics and social and economic developments, his name keep surfacing in such public places. Therefore, in my opinion he excels in qualities amongst many other mayors of the glob.
I am a resident of Chicago, USA and I have heard of him and his work many, many times and more than my own Mayor here in Chicago. If I were to make a decision, I would vote in favor of Mayor Nenshi for the 2014 World Mayor Prize. (By Sadruddin N, Chicago)
Comment: My wife Barbara and I would like to cast our votes in favour of Calgary’s terrific mayor, Naheed Nanshi. We’re both in our 70s, and have loved in various cities across Canada, but have never encountered a mayor who was anywhere near as effective as he is.
Early in his first term he had do demonstrate his political skills by persuading a majority of a reluctant City Council to support his proposal to build a road tunnel under a future new airport runway. This was a very costly project, but had it been put off until it was truly needed in 15-20 years time, we feel certain that it would never have been feasible to construct. Future generations will, we feel certain, look back on this decision as far-sighted and wise. (By Barbara & Barry S, Calgary)
Comment: I am voting for Naheed Nenshi as the World Mayor for the following reasons...
1) Totally committed to the people of Calgary
2) Works exhaustively on behalf of the people and The City of Calgary
3) Is a brilliant person who can analyze situations quickly, pick up the nuances, and form concrete solutions
4) Is not a yes man for other levels of government demands the services we in Calgary are promised
5) The poor people are just as important as the rich
6) Is not bias because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
7) Does his best to keep election promises
8) Not too busy or important to take a minute of his time for others
9) No matter where he is he will stop for people and help even have his picture taken with strangers in airport terminals when approached
10) Believes in the best for Calgary, best practices for City operations
11) Completely understands all concepts involving City operations and listens to the people doing the job
12) Always shows respect for others whether in City Council or on the street and will demand the same respect for others from colleagues around him
13) Brings excitement and a level of expectation wherever he goes
14) Extraordinarily well spoken with an ability to convey his message to others
15) From all evidence, trustworthy, loyal with no hidden agendas
(By Lois W, Calgary)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi seems to be so genuine and authentic in his love for Calgarians and his city, Calgary. He is responsive to our city's needs without making knee jerk reactions but rather thoughtful and carefully. When he calls us to action, we trust him and respond in droves. He needed 600 people to clean up the streets of Calgary after our major flood but 7000 showed up in support! He cares so we care too! I happily put in my vote for Mayor Nenshi. (By Nancy)
Comment: I recommend mayor Nenshi for the 2014 World Mayor prize for the following reasons:
• He did an outstanding job reacting and supporting his city and Province during last year’s flood devastations
• He is honest and full of integrity and a well liked Mayor!
• He is involved at all levels in his City and supports the residents, businesses in all aspects
• He is well regarded and respected by his peers in Canada and by the government of Canada.
• He is always available through social media, phone etc. for the residents of his city and responds immediately (By F S, Ontario)
Comment: Definitely a top candidate. Just look at his achievements you have the list. Canadians at large love him. I live in Toronto, Ontario and I wish he could be our Mayor. This mayor is young, from an ethnic background yet from Harvard, he is bottom up and top down his ideas are state-of-the-art.at all times and in all circumstances. He is a total transparent that is his leadership transcends all borders and all divides in all circumstances in an open, crisp and meaningful manner. This is your finalist. (By Noorjahan H)
Comment: Mayor Naheed Nenshi deserves to be awarded World Mayor for 2014. In fact I believe he should be awarded World Mayor for this century. Nenshi has proven time and again that he is not only intelligent, but empathetic, courageous, sensible and 'Mayor of and for The People'. In the face of adversity Naheed won the votes and hearts of Calgary people and since being in power has proven that their support and love was worthy. One rarely sees qualities such as these in a public figure... particularly in a politician. We are extremely lucky to have him as our mayor and he deserves recognition for his attributes and abilities.
During the devastating floods of 2013 he not only visited the devastated areas but rolled up his sleeves (and pant legs) and got in there along with local people and helped to clean up the mess. Other politicians are quick to give lip service but rarely dive in to help out. Nenshi deserves to be World Mayor for 2014. (By Cathy N, Calgary)
Comment: Naheed Nenshi has been an amazing support to the people of Calgary. When elected he ran on fairness and equality. About being smart, and making smart decisions for the right reasons, not political ones. He's accessible by any social media site and responds to comments directly instead of PR. A year ago we had the worst natural disaster in Canadian history: a $5 Billion flood that destroyed Calgary right before the Calgary stampede. WIth his leadership, instead of feeling sorry, he instilled hope and here we are a year later, with almost no emotional scars, and a feel of hope! (By Dr R S V, Calgary)
Comment: I'd like to vote for Naheed Nenshi for worlds greatest mayor as someone who lives in Calgary, and has been a huge supporter from the beginning. When he climbed the polls from 6% to the largest landslide in our history (twice), we all new something special was happening. A geeky professor, a child of visible minority immigrants, a man who deeply cares about his community and those most vulnerable within it... We are so very lucky to have been touched by his ideas and grace these years.
Calgary used to have the reputation as a redneck city, behind the times. Nenshi has propelled us to be the best we can be, a city with heart and soul, one that we are immensely proud to call home under his leadership. (By Christine G)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deserves to win World Mayor award because of the leadership he shows. He is professional in all he does. The floods of Alberta were horrendous. The community (thousands of volunteers) that came out, took time off from work and businesses, just to help all the people that were affected will be forever in the memories of many. Mayor Nenshi showed that with effective leadership anything is possible. People have goodness in their hearts and our mayor brought out more goodness then anyone could imagine.
To say that I am proud of our mayor is an understatement, to say that our mayor is held in the highest regard by all I know is true. (By a proud Calgarian, Jennifer S)
Comment: I vote for Mayor Nenshi.
I am an avid news reader/viewer and have loved hearing about this mayor. I live in Toronto, where the issues with our mayor are astonishing. Mayor Nenshi is the polar opposite. He seems to be full of integrity, and be for the people, doing this job to better the lives of his city and its people, rather than only for himself. I love that Calgarians seem to love him, that says alot. He seems incredibly humble also and I love his big smile. Finally a leader to look up to and celebrate. (By ZK, Toronto)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi has been a dedicated mayor from day 1. Last year during Calgary floods, he did not sleep for 2 days and worked tirelessly to help the residents in and around Calgary who were affected by the floods. He continues to fight the bureaucrats for what is right and wants to make Calgary the best place to live in CANADA. I live in Calgary and would love it if he were recognized as he surely deserves it. (By Ashif R)
Comment: I live in Calgary, and I would like to vote for our mayor, Naheed Nenshi, because his judgment and vision are guided by common sense and by sound, ethical business practices, rather than by political ideology or vested interests. Formerly a university instructor in non-profit business management, he has strong management skills, as well as social and environmental consciousness. He is very active, dynamic, and accessible. His charismatic leadership helped to bring Calgary through the worst flood in its history in 2013, when he inspired volunteers from all over the city to come together to help flood victims, and he organized provincial and federal aid for stricken areas. (By Georgia H)
Comment: I vote for the mayor of my city, Calgary, because he is simply the best mayor in the world! He leads our city on a local, regional and national level. He is extremely supportive of arts and culture in our city, he is accessible! He answers if you inquire, retweets and promotes all the awesome initiatives that take place in our city, and he does not seem to sleep as he works at city hall and then is at all the great fundraisers, events and meetings that make our city a thriving community. I feel so confident that Mayor Nenshi is in the lead at city hall, with Calgarians best interests in mind always. (By Angela Anderson)
Comment: Dear Sir/Madam:
1. Mayor Nenshi's concept of building better Calgary resulted in many positive changes to build better Calgary.
2. Nenshi's Policies to exercise greater control over urban growth and manage the urban sprawl was one of his campaign promises. As a result Nenshi and his council are regularly colliding with the key associations of the Housing Industry.
3. Nenshi ordered a corruption graft probe into the finances of city-owned.The city constructed its first of many bicycle lanes in the downtown cored utility compan.
4. Improvement of Calgary Transit.
5. The city constructed its first of many bicycle lanes in the downtown core. (By Nasy P)
Comment: I believe Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary Alberta deserves to win this prize. Naheed has provided exemplary leadership to the City of Calgary since becoming mayor of our city. He has rallied city councillors from disparate backgrounds, and worked with them as a team - believing and supporting his team as a force for doing good in our city. He has stood up to developers who he believes are not always working in the best interests of the city and of the province - trying to stem some of the urban sprawl that is eating up important agricultural land surrounding Calgary. He has not been afraid to point out that their interest lay in enriching themselves, not in good corporate responsibility. He is there for many many events supporting various communities within the city. I have seen him at arts events, at the Stampede Parade, and out and about working tirelessly to support Calgary. He is always articulate and thoughtful in his communications with people, and with the press. He has shown compassion and good humour in supporting Calgary. When he supports controversial projects, his reasoning is always clear, and he knows why he stands behind them. He is a Muslim mayor, in a very multicultural city, but one that was founded by ranchers and the Northwest Mounted Police, with a maverick spirit. He provided leadership and support during the floods of 2013 that hit many Calgary communities hard, and celebrated our volunteer and community spirit during that difficult time. (By Tania Sablatash)
Comment: He is the first East Asian mayor in Canada and the first Muslim mayor in North America. This is quite an achievement given that Calgary is a city more know for is prejudices. He is very well spoken and is not afraid to speak his mind. However, his words are carefully chosen so as to be meaningful rather than being "blabber" (By F H)
Comment: I’ve travelled to a number of the other cities and although each city has issues and as a visitor you can only see a small portion of the those issues, I believe that Mayor Nenshi has dealt with his issues in a way that defines his tenure. Calgary is one of the fastest growing cities in the world bringing with it the social issues of any large city. One year ago Calgary went through a disastrous spring flood. Mayor Nenshi is standing up to big money (developers) to ensure that growth in the city is fair and sustainable. Mayor Nenshi while being a consummate politician knows the importance of a good bureaucracy and supports all the employees of the city. Mayor Nenshi is thoughtful, upbeat and a visionary leader who will take Calgary into the future with the optimism of a true leader. (By Alvin M, Alberta)
Comment: I have been a Calgarian for 19 years as of June 1, 2014. I have never worked for the City of Calgary in any way.
I met Mayor Nenshi twice, once during the election campaign and when the 2012 west LRT opened. The first time I met him, I asked him a question and he answered it so thoroughly even though he was in a rush, that no other further research was needed. I found out that he worked with my niece at Mount Royal University (College at the time) and she said he was smart and pleasant to work with.
Mayor Nenshi does love the spotlight. I don't see that as a bad thing only because that's exactly what we want in a Mayor to promote our city, it's image and attract business.
The main reason I want our mayor nominated is only because of the Calgary flood of 2013. I so deeply respect the mayor for always feeling the need to keep Calgarians informed during the crisis of what the city was planning in terms of next steps to deal with the disaster. He went to communities, he was at the Calgary Emergency Management Agency and spent so much time, with little sleep, doing in my opinion what a mayor should do. The Mayor always seems to be in campaign mode as some people see it, but I see it as him being genuinely interested in the lives and future expectations of Calgarians.
When Mayor Nenshi first won in 2010, he grabbed the world spotlight because he was the first non white male to win as Mayor. Actually, the running joke is Toronto should have mayor Nenshi and Calgary should have Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto if stereotypes are to be believed. I am extremely happy Calgary did not end up with a mayor who acts like Rob Ford, it's not an amusing situation at all. (By Gary M)
Comment: Naheed Nenshi is a fresh, common sense, and progressive liberal in a region that is typically known for its conservatism. He encourages critical thought, expects people to think intelligently and treats them as such, and shows compassion and empathy for all. His support of the arts community is incredible, attending and congratulating the actors, musicians, and creative souls who help colour this city. He is not shy to change or forward thinking, and embraces social media with humor, professionalism, and humanity. And of course, he is an incredible leader, through both prosperity and hardship. His efforts to improve both road and transit infrastructure show a concern for respect to the environment and the daily plight of the working classes. His tiresome efforts to support and manage the flood recovery efforts in 2013 were such that the entire country marveled and were a bit jealous. But throughout all of these things, Mayor Nenshi never assumes he is better than his citizens, or claims a sense of entitlement for his social and public rank. He is simply a brilliant yet humble citizen of Calgary who can do his job extremely well. I would trust him in any political leadership position - even as high as Prime Minister, but I am happy to continue voting for him over and over again as mayor of Calgary. He deserves this award many times over. (By Ian R)
Comment: Hello World Mayor 2014, Our Mayor Naheed Nenshi ought win this contest because since he has been our Mayor he has consistently and willingly thought only about the betterment of our communities, our citizens' well being and the over-all sane management of our city. Under his watch, he has garnered the support of a team of top notch managers/administrators in a variety of field/disciplines who now function (even under times of severe crisis - flood of 2013) as professional, experienced, thoughtful and respectful (and respected) leaders from 'City Hall'. This is quite the change and one that can be seen in all departments that stem outwards from the Mayor's Office. One notices no conflict no complaint, rather one notices a city that works to get the complex workings of a city done in harmony with its civic taxpayers as well as with its provincial government sisters/brothers to the North (Edmonton) and its national cohort to the east in Ottawa. Naheed Nenshi has reshaped the civic cultural community map so very much in a significantly short period of time. (By Mary S)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi is an absolutely fantastic man. I have been living in Calgary since 2011 and I've never known a Mayor that has loved his community more than Nenshi. Last summer during the Alberta floods, Nenshi didn't sleep, he worked as hard as he could to update the people of Calgary on what was happening in their city. He supported those affected by the flood and tried to visit as many clean-up efforts as possible. A year later, he declared June 21, 2014 neighbour day and every neighbourhood is supposed to have a party. I believe that Mayor Nenshi has the ability to pull together a large city of people who were going through a horrific experience. A couple months ago, there was a mass stabbing of five university students. Mayor Nenshi immediately released a statement and attended the memorial service held by the University. Mayor Nenshi has the ability to lead without a power trip, he leads by example. (By Bridey)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi has been the driving force for positive change in Calgary and it was visible very quickly after he was voted into office. I can think of many examples, but will share the one that had the most significant impact on my life: A public transit user, he radically improved the sorry state of our LRT cars and service; short wait times, free parking at transit lots, electronic signage to know when the next train is arriving and when the current train is departing (at the end of the line stops), and increased service and longer hours during the Calgary Stampede to make public transit a positive and effective method of transportation for tourists and locals alike. (By Tracel Z)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deserves global recognition for these reasons that are important to me:
1) Handled the flood situation in 2013 extremely well- worked round the clock to get basic utility services restored in the D/T core.
2) Has come up with the D/T densification project to promote D/T living. This will enable people to live close to where they work, saving them to drive in and at the same time it will make transit more efficient. This also slows down the advance of low density housing with the City, not spreading outwards as fast. To provide the infrastructure to enable low density housing to flourish is very expensive and if it continues at the rate at which it has in the past many years it would drive up property taxes significantly. The rate at which property taxes have been rising in the past several years (~ 5%/p.a.) is not sustainable in the long run. All these actions will also have a positive impact on slowing down the rate at which GHG emissions have been increasing.
3) Provides great leadership and has brought Calgary to the world map.
(By Nizar J)
Comment: Major Nenshi is not just our Major, he is part of our community, he is humble and kind and he acknowledges those around him that support him and the City behind the scenes. Mayor Nenshi does not only focus on our City but he looks beyond our City limits and he encourages and supports the surrounding communities hard hit by the floods and he encourages us to do so as well. Mayor Nenshi makes me proud to be a part of my community, proud to be citizen of Calgary and proud to be a resident of this great Province of Alberta . Congratulations Mr. Nenshi for teaching us to see beyond ourselves. (By Trena, Calgary)
Comment:: I am a Canadian, but not a citizen of Calgary. I did, however, visit Calgary from Toronto in the weeks following the floods of 2013, to be with my grandmother, an elderly resident of Calgary whose care facility was significantly impacted by the floods.
I was struck by Mayor Nenshi's measured and dedicated respond to the floods. He demonstrated empathy, leadership and immense grace under pressure during a trying and painful period in the city's history. He was in the trenches with all of the aid workers and citizens and yet managed to demonstrate the calm and rational leadership that the city needed at such a difficult time. He was tough when he needed to be, supportive at all times, and implemented a well thought out strategy for the city's emergency response. I was truly impressed and touched by how he and his team worked to ensure that every citizen impacted by the floods was cared for as best as possible, within the powers allocated to the mayor and his staff. I commend Mayor Nenshi for his leadership and vision and vote for him to be named the 2014 World Mayor. (By R S, Toronto)
Comment: I wont talk about the Rock that was Mayor Nenshi during the flood last year. Others will do that I am sure.
I will talk about Mayor Nenshi and the Arts. Mayor Nenshi walks the talk. He says he supports the Arts, but really, he LOVES the Arts. And how can I tell? Because I see him at so many and varied public arts events, not just for a 5-minute handshake and wave, but he stays and watches the show! If I had seen a previous mayor at cultural event (theatre, dance, visual art performance), I would have been very surprised, it would have been a little weird, and frankly suspicious. We in the Arts Community NORMALIZE his attendance now. Dont get me wrong, we LOVE it when he shows up onstage. He's cool. See him all the time. He comes to everything." We (the Arts) are finally part of the cool kids. He has endorsed our community, he recognizes our value, and we stand a little taller because of it. (By Donna S)
Comment: My name is Genevieve, and I currently live in Frankfurt, Germany, although I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Nenshi is the best mayor ever, because he is hilarious on Twitter, and truly stood as a leader during our devastating floods last summer. He is open, intelligent, and a nice guy! (By Genevieve)
Comment: I have believed in the Honourable Naheed Nenshi from the moment he entered the running for our city mayor. I believed in the values he stood for and that he would be an honest man that would lead our city into a new chapter of growth and development. I believe in this man, and I am so very proud to call him my neighbour and mayor. (By Sarah S)
Comment: I live in Calgary, and am writing this note in support of Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Alberta, Canada for World Mayor. Mayor Nenshi has proven to be a world class Mayor in every sense. He represents Calgary on a global scale at trade meetings and at big city discussions throughout North America yet he makes time to use his popular Twitter account to help Calgarians promote community events or recover lost animals.
His selfless work during last year's floods in Calgary, which were the worst natural and most costly disaster in Canada's history, was truly remarkable. He brought together the city, recruited thousands of volunteers to help out and he led the city to a new way of thinking about their city. Neighbors are helping neighbors like never before and the city has come alive with more pride in their community. Mayor Nenshi works very hard every day to make Calgary a better place to live. Thank you for this opportunity. (By Kathy M)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi deserves the award for World Mayor 2014 because he is redefining the modern definition of ‘politician’. Lao Tzu taught us “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
Naheed Nenshi understands that his role as Mayor is fleeting; he is grateful for the support and confidence, but understands his actions and decisions reflect his supporters - and non supporters. He handles tough situations with poise and a common sense approach that is rarely seen among his peers. He reaches people with the transparency and a direct communication style that continues to keep all Calgarians, and most Canadians intrigued. I encourage you to strongly consider Mayor Nenshi for this award. His humility, humour and commitment to public service deserves this accolade. (By Heather D)
Comment: Mayor Nenshi has moved the city forward in green space, central urban development, decreased sprawl and improved public transport. (By FK, Calgary)
Comment: Please do not elect Mayor Nenshi of Calgary Alberta for this prestigious honour. The Mayor is popular and is an excellent communicator. However, he has failed to take any initiative on the problem of affordable housing. The city has a serious housing shortage and other Mayors and councils in Alberta have taken appropriate steps to facilitate the development of affordable housing. On this vital social issue Mayor Nenshi has chosen to play politics with other levels of government. This is a poor excuse for taking no action.
The Mayor has also demonstrated a disregard for business concerns, particularly developers. The cost of housing in Calgary is rising faster in Calgary than any other city in the country. Yet the Mayor chooses to ignore the builders who want to develop more property to meet demand.
Mayor Nenshi has let his popularity go to his head. Increasingly he is petulant and hostile towards those who choose not to fawn and court his favours. He is egoic. (By Frank B, Calgary)
The philanthropic City Mayors Foundation awards the World Mayor Prize every two years to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to his / her community and has developed a vision for urban living and working that is relevant to towns and cities across the world. The Prize has been awarded since 2004.
Anyone voting for a mayor is also asked to consider whether his / her candidate is likely to agree to the City Mayors Code of Ethics. Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the Code.
Votes must be accompanied by a thoughtful supporting statement.
First-round nominations were accepted until the middle of May 2014. A longlist of 121 candidates was published on 22 May. A shortlist of 26 nominees was announced on 18 June 2014. A second round of voting will take place between now and the middle of October. The winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize and other results of the World Mayor Project were announced on 3 February 2015.
The philanthropic City Mayors Foundation, the international think tank on urban affairs, organises the World Mayor Project and awards the World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been given since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.
The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the City Mayors Code of Ethics.
The winner receives the artistically acclaimed World Mayor trophy, while the runner-up is given the World Mayor Commendation.
Winners and runners-up
2004 to 2014
In 2014: Winner: Naheed Nenshi (Calgary, Canada); First runner-up: Daniël Termont (Ghent, Belgium); Second runner-up: Tri Rismaharini (Surabaya, Indonesia)
In 2012: Winner: Iñaki Azkuna (Bilbao, Spain); Runner-up: Lisa Scaffidi (Perth, Australia); In third place: Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia)
In 2010: Winner: Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City, Mexico); Runner-up: Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, USA); In third place: Domenico Lucano (Riace, Italy)
In 2008: Winner: Helen Zille (Cape Town, South Africa); Runner up: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich, Switzerland); In third place: Leopoldo López (Chacao, Venezuela)
In 2006: Winner: John So (Melbourne, Australia); Runner up: Job Cohen (Amsterdam, Netherland); In third place: Stephen Reed (Harrisburg, USA)
In 2005: Winner: Dora Bakoyannis (Athens, Greece); Runner-up: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga, Canada); In third place: Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana, Albania); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City, Mexico); In third place: Walter Veltroni (Rome, Italy)