1. Greg Zawaski on November 1, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Hello Andrew,

    First, I will say that I have talked to you in the past over email and do agree with many who state that you do make some effort to engage with all Edmontonians. At the same time, I engage with Mike Nickel’s office and find them to be fairly helpful. Actually, they are very helpful most of the time.

    I think you are trying to say ‘How do we connect more with others’ in several paragraphs. That’s an important question to be asked. The answer is simply conversation and I will start by saying a few things about myself.

    I believe we have a few things in common. I imagine I am roughly your age and am definitely interested in civic politics. I like the internet. I actual used to be an avid cyclist. There are also many areas we don’t agree on.

    I respect the fact you are entitled to your views. I don’t support bike lanes at all to the extent they’ve been abused by the city. I was successfully able to navigate distances of several kilometers in the pre-bike lane era with no issues. Mill Woods to Sherwood Park being one example, and once I rode on the QE2 highway to Millet before turning back. Long ride!

    Anyways, Andrew, I am glad you continue to open lines of communication. I am glad to announce my mayoral run in next years election. I still haven’t got a single signature, but am sure I will very soon. Perhaps you would be so kind to get me started? I could meet sometime outside city hall.
    I made a short 12 minute video this morning outlining some of the issues I am passionate about. I thought about posting it here but will respect this is your site and encourage you to visit my YouTube channel instead.

    In conclusion, while I appreciate your service to the city to a certain degree (I know you make effort, I don’t dispute that), I cannot agree with you on a number of issues. A few examples being the innapropriate use on bike lanes, your vote to reprimand Councillor Nickel and your support of a naive blanket approach to speed limits across the city.

    In conclusion, I will state that our embarassing mayor has never approved my comments on his website, none of which were harassing in nature. I simply stated facts. This points to an obvious insecurity. Perhaps a better way of putting it is it creates even more lack of respect for him, and I have very little to begin with. But then again, what do I care about his blog? I don’t think many people visit it anymore.

  2. Anonymous on November 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I’m just going to add another comment too. I don’t have to add this one, but I will to give some perspective. We all interact with different people online and rarely, unless we actually know them personally and are involved in their day to day lives, can actually gauge or get a sense for their well being.

    I’ll repeat that again, well being. Health is paramount, especially during times like these.

    I am in my mid 30’s and have a birthday in a few weeks. I’ll be closer to 40 once my birthday hits than 30, so those who are mathematically inclined can guess what my age is and will be (it’s 6 to the power of 2, there.. I gave it away!)

    I try to do my best to stay healthy. I excercise, try to eat healthy, try to maintain a positive outlook.

    There are some things within my control, like I’ve mentioned. There are others that are not so much within my control, but I do try. What I’m getting at is a social circle. I am quite introverted. I was diagnosed as falling under the autism spectrum about 2 years ago. I think it’s a pretty subjective medical opinion, but, it does qualify me to receive AISH, something I never imagined I would use. I was in the workforce from age 16-33 before going on AISH.

    Putting things in perspective, I have experienced first hand how my relative social isolation has been of hinderence to my health. Sure, I’m aware there are social clubs and things like autism Edmonton, however, knowing myself (know thyself! one of my favorite expressions), I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.

    I am grateful to have a roof over my head and be financially ok. That doesn’t mean I feel financially great, but it means I am not extremely worried financially. I still live below the poverty line and have to budget for everyting. On AISH, I can earn up to $1000 in addition to my AISH payments, though I choose not to take employment at this time.

    I’m an entrepreneur with a tv screenplay and have written music as well. Selling a tv series has proven to be difficult when I’m not well known in the industry. I dropped out of post secondary years ago yet am ok with my choices. We all make choices and must live with the consequences. I don’t think a degree would hurt me, yet I don’t think it would necessarily be employed right now either.

    The bottom line is this post for me is about health and well being. I am passionate about civic politics, as I stated on a previous post. That is one of the things I can do to feel a part of the community. Otherwise, I do not feel connected to Edmonton beyond the fact I live here and buy groceries here.

    You mention some of the name’s you’ve been called. That’s too bad, but, I suppose as a politician you must learn to have a thick skin. If you don’t have the stomach for it, you can resign and move on to something else.

    I spend some time on Twitter (though not as much as Don, lol!) and a certain online message board. These electronic social outlets have meaning to me and I’m often vocal about my opinions and beliefs. I have been ridiculed quite a bit. A few names that I recall with amusement are:

    -incel, piece of trash, loser, idiot. I got used to that. Those kind of insults became a regular occurance for me for a while at one point when I was going through a rough patch and using an online message board as my sole means of connecting with other people.

    That’s not healthy at all and I recognize that too much screen time is not a good idea.

    Anyways, in conclusion, I just want to state that I am optimistic in my mayoral run as it will give me opportunity to connect to the city in a positive way. On the other hand, it’s disappointing to be basically left alone and have no social life as a man in his mid 30’s when many men my age have families and careers.

    Ultimately, I’ve seen how our society can be very two faced. The UCP has attempted to cut back on AISH, something that I have little to no control over. I don’t worry about this though and focus on what I can control. I have offered positive ideas and simply deisre meaningful employment where I can thrive. It amazes me how some people can be so negative when I’m just a man living below the poverty line who wants to bring about positive change. Those are my thoughts. I have also leanred to stick up for myself more and not take any opinions online too seriously. I have no issue making personal attacks when attacked online. I know it might not look good and might cause some bad PR with my political ambitions, but, I don’t hesitate to insult if I am mocked. That’s just my personality.

Leave a Comment