Meet Michael

Background

I’ve been an NDP member since before it was trendy.

I was born and raised in Calgary. My family has strong roots in southern Alberta farming, and my grandmother was a WWII vet who taught in a one room school.

I spent my youth as a gay teen in Alberta under the social policies of the Klein era. I know what having society debate your worthiness to receive treatment with human dignity feels like; feeling like your own community has no space for you in it. Nobody should ever feel like their government does not value them or their community. My goal is to build an Alberta where everyone feels like they belong, and build a community amongst the NDP supporters in Calgary-North West.

I’m only the second person in my family ever to have had the privilege of attending university, and the first one to attend grad school, and to become multilingual.

Though I was born and raised in Calgary, I have also lived, worked, and traveled in many places where English was not the language spoken. I’ve always had a knack for learning new languages and believe that cultural and linguistic diversity is an asset and strength in our community that needs to be fostered and protected. In addition to being conversant in French and Spanish, I speak a bit of Portuguese as well.

In August 2020 I married my incredibly supportive husband, Luiz, who immigrated to Canada from Brazil in 2008 to pursue work opportunities in healthcare. We’ve adopted two rescue dogs and enjoy entertaining in our home, and hiking or cross-country skiing in the mountains as much as possible.

Work History

In my decades of work history I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including technology, e-commerce, human services, and education:

I have worked in youth programs for the Canadian Unity Council where I increased enrolment applications by four fold. I have also worked with refugee settlement service providers as a strategic service improvement consultant.

While at l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) my work secured funding and strategic partnerships that culminated in the creation of southern Alberta’s first francophone library.

During my time in e-commerce globalization for a top e-commerce company, I managed vendor relations and multilingual content development across 16 countries. I was a speaker at multiple industry conferences on topics relating to emerging issues and trends in global online business development, and most recently have worked as a teacher in the public school system.

One of my early accomplishments in teaching was securing community partnerships that allowed my middle-school-aged students to learn about causes of poverty and homelessness, end stigma, and grants that allowed for the purchase photography equipment and expert training so they could document their own experience and learning of poverty and those without homes.

Volunteering and Advocacy

I have volunteered with many organizations in Calgary during my decades of living here. Organizations in the mental health support space. Youth organizations. For several years I have worked as an artist liaison backstage at the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

I also served 3 years as a condo board president at a prominent downtown high rise, where I led a group to make policy decisions, source vendors, respond to crisis situations, liaise with police and other community stakeholders, navigate contractual and legal obligations of a million-dollar non-profit, advocate for community enhancements with municipal government stakeholders, and attend ministerial roundtables on changes to regulations.

I have also been heavily involved in the Alberta Teachers’ Association, where I was one of the delegates to vote no-confidence in the current education minister and provide comment to the media on that topic. I’ve been a school representative for many years as well.

In recent years I have chosen to give my time and talents to Alberta’s New Democratic Party, starting in the 2019 election. Since then, I have served as a constituency association vice president, door-knocker, volunteer coordinator, and policy writer. I have put forth resolutions and amendments calling for, amongst other things: legal protection for LGBTQ+ K-12 students from being outed by school staff, and increased funding and public accountability for diverse needs supports in schools. This includes students with learning disabilities, mental or physical disabilities,

© 2022 Michael Lisboa

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