After 20 years on Calgary city council, Druh Farrell has announced she will not be running for re-election in the fall.
In a blog post about the transformation in the city’s East Village and the struggles of the downtown core, Farrell said she would not be seeking a seventh term as the city councillor representing Ward 7.
“I won’t be running for re-election this fall. It won’t be me championing our downtown into the coming decades,” Farrell said in the post.
Farrell, 61, was first elected to city council in 2001 and won her most recent re-election in 2017 with 41 per cent of the vote.
In the blog post, Farrell recalls stepping over puddles of blood and vomit in the East Village, where she lived in 2003.
Farrell said her walk to work before the revitalization of the area involved passing empty lots, boarded-up buildings and “those who prey on Calgary’s most vulnerable citizens.”
She said she often thinks about those days when she speaks to the public and city staff about the future of the downtown core.
Farrell said she is optimistic about the core’s future because of the transformation that happened in the East Village, a change that drew more than 3,500 residents to the area.
“We need bold leadership around the council table to ensure our downtown is transformed into a true community where people will want to live, work, learn and play for years to come,” Farrell wrote in the post.
During her tenure as councillor, Farrell was a vocal advocate for the Peace Bridge across the Bow River, helped introduce blue cart recycling to the city and played a key role in addressing accessibility issues in the city.
Throughout the last municipal election in 2017, Farrell was one of several targets of negative advertising from political action committee Save Calgary.
“City-building is no easy task but after 20 years around the council table, I can tell you it is worth it,” Farrell wrote.
Farrell’s announcement means there will be six wards without incumbents running in the fall municipal election after Evan Woolley and Shane Keating announced they would not seek re-election and Ray Jones retired last year.
Councillors Jeromy Farkas and Jyoti Gondek have both announced their candidacies for mayor.
So far, Councillors Peter Demong, George Chahal, Sean Chu, Diane Colley-Urquhart and Jeff Davison have announced they are running for re-election in their wards.
Calgarians head to the polls on Oct. 18.