News, Politics

Calgary’s Mayor Voted Best In The World

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Naheed Nenshi after winning the Calgary municipal election, 2010. Image: Ted Buracas
Naheed Nenshi after winning the Calgary municipal election, 2010. Image: Ted Buracas

A “mayor” is the person who leads a city. Mayors are chosen (or, elected) by the people in the city as the best one to make decisions for the city and look after its money.

Recently, there was a contest to find out who the best mayor in the world is.

The winner was Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Nenshi took first place, beating out 933 mayors from countries all over the world including Greece, Italy, Germany and the U.S.

The mayor of Ghent, Belgium came in second.

The contest was called the World Mayor Project and it was run by the City Mayors Foundation.

According to its website, the foundation, based in the United Kingdom, judges mayors who “have served their communities well, governed openly and honestly,” and “made significant contributions to cities.”

After the list of candidates was wittled down to 26 mayors, people were asked to give reasons why their mayor should win the title of Best Mayor. “Comments like ‘she is the best mayor in the world,’ or ‘he is such a great guy,’ were not considered by the jury,” according to the website.

The jury received thousands of nice comments about Mayor Nenshi. One person wrote that Nenshi, “continuously displays the characteristics of honesty, integrity, generosity and inclusiveness.”

Another person said, “Never have I seen a mayor more beloved by the people—and he has earned it… His style of communication lets us see that he is above all a human being who wants to do great things for a city he loves.”

Nenshi is popular on social media such as Twitter, where he has more than 219,000 followers.

Nenshi found out about the honour on his 43rd birthday. He thanked the people who had written in about him, telling reporters that, “It’s very kind of people to take that time,” according to The Toronto Star newspaper.

Nenshi will be given a trophy later this year.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
People were asked to explain why their mayor should win the title of Best Mayor. However, the article says that the jury didn’t consider comments like “He is a great guy.” The jury did not think that such comments were persuasive emough.

Read some of the comments about Mayor Nenshi that helped to convince the judges that he is a great mayor: http://www.worldmayor.com/contest_2014/calgary-mayor-nenshi.html

After reading some of the examples, identify the characteristics of persuasive writing.

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
One person described Nenshi as someone who exhibits “honesty, integrity, generosity and inclusiveness.”

Think about leaders that you know in your school, in your community and in the world. In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a strong leader? If you had to pick the top three characteristics of a leader, what would they be and why?

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6)

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6)

Language Feature: Open-ended vs. close-ended questions
Close-ended questions are those that can be answered either by one word or a short phrase. Open-ended questions require longer, more thorough responses.

The following link is a series of open-ended questions posed to Mayor Nenshi about how he views his job: http://www.worldmayor.com/contest_2014/world-mayor-2014-nenshi.html

Why were open-ended questions chosen instead of close-ended questions? Can you think of 2 open-ended questions you would ask Mayor Nenshi?