Sean Burke is throwing his hat into the mayoral ring and hopes to be a voice for Red Deerians.
“I don’t have the experience, nor do I have the education. I’m a Grade 10 drop out of the generation of 1997-1998,” he said. “The majority of my friends went off into the oilfield to make $80,000 to $100,000 a year and I felt like I was ready for the corporate world and here I am today.”
He said he hopes to be a voice for Red Deerians who currently don’t feel like they have a voice in the community.
“A lot of my friends and family have hit rock bottom, unfortunately, due to the economy. I do understand that is not the City’s fault, but there has to be a voice and compassion coming from the City and my friends and family and citizens of Red Deer haven’t really felt that compassion coming from the City.
“Red Deer as a City is beautiful. We have so many amenities and for our mayor and council – we should all be grateful to all of them for the direction they have put us in,” he said.
“With that being said, I live in Riverside Meadows – I live in an inner-city community, and I suffer with my residents whether it’s crime, homelessness and I’m looking to clean it up and to be the voice back to City Hall for the citizens.
“There are a lot of people that are happy, there are a lot of people that are sad and there are a lot of people that are undecided. I’m looking for those people that are undecided and that are sad, because I am with you.”
Burke added he is not looking to make any promises, but to, “Take action and see results. I’m looking to fight to end homelessness – whatever means that is necessary.”
Burke described himself as once ‘lost’ as he talked about when he was 20-years-old and was addicted to crystal meth.
“There are a lot of lost souls in our City – I was once lost,” he said.
“I am here for you, I am your voice if you want to talk to me, I will talk to you.”
Burke added his decision to run for the mayor’s chair is something that he has given some thought to.
“For the past couple of years I have always thought about it, but I have never had the confidence to step forward.
“A lot of people said that I lack confidence and I wear my emotions on my sleeve,” he said. “In 2013 I had the opportunity to go and sit in front of Oprah Winfrey in Calgary – none of my friends or family could get their tickets in time. It was just myself in row nine, seat 22, with women everywhere.
“It was the best session of my life. I call it the largest classroom of my life – I learned so many things. It just so happened that I was in my shower two weeks ago – I just started bawling and shaking – I have no idea what it was. I got out and I told my family I’m running for the mayor of Red Deer.
“They looked at me like I was crazy, like I am sure most citizens will do. But I am your voice, I will help you, I will speak to you and most importantly you are valid and you will be heard.”
Burke added he will be running his campaign sign-less and will be going door-to-door and to small businesses. “I’m going to use my voice instead of my picture on a board.”