MLA reaches out to provide hope

Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt has been spending a lot of time on the phone, shaking hands, and listening to constituents concerns over the last month, reconnecting with voters and attempting to restore hope regarding economic and political angst.
The 31-year-old Independent politician is making good on the promise he made when he resigned from the United Conservative Party (UCP) caucus in August. Fildebrandt announced he would take time to focus on family and the constituents of his Strathmore-Brooks riding, and has since dedicated much of his time to local outreach efforts.
Over the past month, Fildebrandt hosted numerous meet-and-greets and town hall meetings in the various hamlets, villages and towns within the constituency. Beyond that, he’s personally phoned thousands of residents – an undertaking he claimed is his duty as the Strathmore-Brooks representative.
“I’ve always believed in regular face-to-face with the constituents as often as possible … (and) over the last month I’ve made about 3,000 phone calls directly to the constituency to hear from people who aren’t necessarily going to reach out to me,” Fildebrandt said.
“People tend to be a bit surprised to hear from their MLA but I don’t think it should be a surprise. I understand that when you work for your constituents, they are your boss and it’s totally natural to check in with them as often as you can.”
Residents have expressed concerns about the reality of a swift economic recover, and restoring wages and salaries to their pre-recession state, a recurring theme across the riding.
While Fildebrandt noticed a loss of hope among his constituents recently, his supporters are pushing for the United Conservative Party (UCP) and the MLA to continue holding the NDP government accountable, as the official opposition.
“In the opposition you can’t do a lot directly, but I tell people to just hang on, the next election is in spring 2019 and we’re doing everything we possibly can to make sure Alberta has a new government,” Fildebrandt said.
“It’s still a long road ahead but you have to hang in there. I heard from people, they are pretty desperate for us to get back to work and get rid of the NDP, but we still have a lot of work to do, and in the meantime focusing on local issues.”
Fildebrandt will continue hosting town-hall meetings over the coming weeks and will be hosting a Christmas open house to provide another opportunity for constituents to meet personally with their MLA.