The Elevation Conference program encompasses both old chestnuts (housing affordability and climate change) and new challenges (COVID recovery, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation). The question is, with limited resources, how do municipalities respond? Do we pile on policies or make choices? Who dares to advise council, “You can have anything you want but not everything”? What is the role of planners when council must say “Sorry” to stakeholders? How do planners reconcile public and private voices? Reflecting the speaker’s 50 years of planning and academic experience, this session will address evidence-based policy research – often overlooked – and how it can help to narrow policy choices and allocate funds. Regardless of methodology, research cannot anticipate all its impacts or ensure public support in today’s media-rich environment. Combining analysis, action, and anecdotes, the presentation will demonstrate how research combined with engagement can help when difficult choices must be made in the context of limited resources. Identifying new relationships between research and reality, it will build the planner’s toolkit by marrying policy analysis with participation.