Statement of Facts Regarding
Grace Nelson’s Experience with the Ask Her Association
- In August of 2016, Grace Nelson responded to an invitation from Ask Her Association to run for Calgary City Council, representing Ward 6. The President, Esmahan Razavi was aware of the invitation, acceptance and filed an Intention at the time.
- Between August 2016 and April 13, 2017, Mrs. Nelson was engaged in campaigning in Ward 6.
- Richard Pootmans, the incumbent, announced his decision not to run for re-election. On or about April 14th, 2017, Mrs. Nelson was shocked and disappointed to learn that Ms. Razavi, who had been actively campaigning to run for councillor in Ward 2, had issued a press release that she was now running in Ward 6. Now, Ms. Razavi in Ward 6 would be running against Mrs. Nelson. It was perplexing to Mrs. Nelson because Ms. Razavi held a Ward 2 fund raiser event at the Marriot.
- December 2016, Ms. Razavi had stepped down as President of Ask Her Association and intended to run as a candidate in Ward 2 – a Ward where there had been no Ask Her candidates identified.
- Ms. Ravzavi held ‘Esmahan’s Campaign Launch!’ on February 04, 2017 at The Bro’kin yok (12580 NW Symons Valley Rd, Calgary AB) as she planned to run in Ward 2.
- Ms. Razavi having learned that the incumbent Mr. Pootmans was not running for re-election in Ward 6, then decided to abandon Ward 2 and run in Ward 6 which had no incumbent.
- Ms. Razavi had done this knowing that Mrs. Nelson had been actively campaigning in Ward 6, since August 2016. At no time did Ms. Razavi, notify Mrs. Nelson of her intentions to run against her in Ward 6. Ms. Razavi was aware that in the past seven months, Mrs. Nelson had spent substantial funds, time and effort in her preparation to be the next councillor for Ward 6.
- Mrs. Nelson continually attempted to get the attention of the Ask Her Association to help to get answers about what was happening, but was ignored. Disappointment with the Ask Her Association continued to grow, as the mentoring and volunteer help that was promised at the time when Mrs. Nelson agreed to run as a Candidate was not forthcoming.
- This disappointment was exacerbated in early September of 2017, when the significant monetary support that had been repeatedly promised from the Ask Her Association had not materialized.
- After nomination day, Mrs. Nelson was shocked to find out that the only funds that she was to receive from Ask Her was $400.00.
- The bank advised Mrs. Nelson’s campaign manager not to cash the cheque because the cheque could not identify the actual donor.
- The actions of the Ask Her Association brought Mrs. Nelson’s Campaign Team to start an investigation. What was found in this investigation has led the team to believe that the entire Ask Her Association was formed for a purpose other than its stated objectives.
- Mrs. Nelson has always supported the stated goals of the Ask Her Association. She truly believed that it would promote all women who were willing to put their name forward to serve the City of Calgary, but has been greatly disappointed in the results. Mrs. Nelson believes that the Ask Her Association was formed to promote only a select group and to raise the profile of the founders, as politicians seeking public office.
- It seems that in this election campaign, Ms. Razavi has been the largest beneficiary of support from the Ask Her Association, and is running by all appearances a well-funded campaign with considerable volunteer support from Ask Her Association.