We felt it was about time to feature one of our favourite PCAA volunteers. We asked Evan Legate – why? In a word – WOW! As the current, 2nd term, PCYA President he has accomplished some pretty neat things in the way of youth engagement in the PCAA. He is a true example of the next generation of the party and represents the ‘change from within’ mantra we so often talk about.
He’s down to earth and is always looking for innovative ways to give profile to the PCAA’s young professionals and students. He was instrumental on the 2012 election campaign – and a ball to work with. He headed up the Calgary SWAT team; they were dispatched to constituencies every weekend to help lit drop, phone call, door knock, or help out where needed. He successfully managed the group and (in my opinion) his team’s support was integral to the wins in some of those closer races. I could always count on him to get this job done – and get it done with a smile on his face.
We asked Evan a few questions in the hopes that you could get a glimpse at all the PCYA and their President have been up to. Thanks Evan!
– CP (formally known as CR)
Name: Evan Legate
Profession: Grad Student
Favorite TV shows: Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire.
Favorite Winter Time Activity: Watching hockey.
How did you get involved with PCAA: I got involved through the PCYA in fall of 2010, as I decided it was time to start getting active in Alberta politics. Riley Georgsen was the PCYA President at the time, and I knew of Riley through a class at school, so I reached out to him and he brought me on board with the PCYA. I put my name forward for VP Membership at the upcoming AGM, and I never looked back.
Inspirational PCAA member: I gave this a lot of thought, but I definitely can’t just pick one. There are so many tireless volunteers in the party I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with, and they never cease to amaze me with the work that they do. I met Jim McCormick at the first event I ever went to and have been able to work with him in some capacity ever since, and his tireless efforts and emphasis on being first and foremost a ‘party guy’ are attributes I try to model my volunteering after. Of course, past PCYA Presidents Courtney Luimes and Riley Georgsen are two other of my inspirational members, as without their hard work and dedication the PCYA would not be nearly where it is at today. I also have to mention the Hon. Jonathan Denis, as he is omnipresent. Everywhere I go, I see him. That guy has some serious stamina.
Favorite PCAA moment: The moment it was confirmed that I was acclaimed as President for my second term. It was a great vote of confidence from the membership, and I was thankful to have earned that honor.
Proudest PCAA related accomplishment: Hands down, after the successful passage of all PCYA related constitutional amendments at the 2012 AGM. I’ve never had such a sense of relief. I’m usually a really optimistic person, but quite honestly, I was really unsure if we could convince the rest of the party to allow a couple of our proposals to pass. It was a real opportunity for the PCYA to firmly establish itself within the party and to make our party much friendlier to youth, and we succeeded on all fronts. We lowered the voting age in nominations and leaderships, created friendlier student voting rules, kept youth delegate positions and representation on the Board of Directors, as well provided the PCYA the opportunity to submit policy to the party. All of the above are very important changes to the party going forward. Without a strong, united youth, this never would have been possible, and I was very proud to be at the forefront for this.
I’m contributing to the PCAA evolution by: I like to think that I am re-shaping the PCYA in its modern entity by building on the work of my predecessors. They helped put the PCYA back on the map and build up its credibility in our party. Since I’ve become President, we’ve greatly expanded the membership numbers of the youth, and I’ve put a lot of work into re-structuring how we reach these youth with a heavy emphasis on campus clubs. We’ve grown from one campus club to five campus clubs, and we’ve really seen the results pay off not just in sheer membership numbers, but in the quality of people we have been able to attract as an organization. We’ve also moved in a direction towards financial independence, as this year signaled our first year of major fundraising initiatives. While I strive for us to never stop growing, my main focus for the remainder of my term is threefold. First, on providing value for membership within our organization; second, working to engage our youth in a way that’s never been done before; and third, establishing the PCYA as a force within the party to be reckoned with. While 2012 was a great year for the PCYA, we’ve only just begun.