Robyn Luff (Calgary Next Up 1)
As a new NDP MLA in Alberta, I often get asked "so how did you get into this in the first place?" It's a legitimate question, since prior to May of this year one had to be a little crazy to run for the NDP in Alberta. You had to be willing to do a lot of work with very little money, and you had to be willing to be yelled off quite a few doorsteps.
I applied to the first Next Up cohort in Calgary with an eye on Politics. As a teacher in Calgary with a passion for the environment, I was constantly shocked at the PC government's choices to underfund social services while making no progress on things like royalties and climate change. So when Rachel Notley, then one of 4 NDP opposition MLA's came to speak to our cohort about the Alberta government, I was ready to step up. I actually can't quite remember what she spoke about, but I do remember that she was passionate, funny, fiercely intelligent, and very convincing. When she asked at the end of the session if anyone would consider running in the 2012 election, I put my hand up.
That's all there really was to it- the rest, as they say, is history.