I am an Edmontonian of 14 years, and happily married father of two beautiful children. I moved to Edmonton right after getting married to my wife Theresa, and I've grown to love it here.
I am currently serving my second term as president of the Ermineskin Community League, and am running two new business startups.
Anyone who knows me very well will know that I don't hold much respect for government. They seem to need a lot of our money in exchange for not much service. Also, every now and then they demand that I surrender my rights. I've never been very good at that last part... and as a result I end up in conflict with "the authorities" now and then. But I think that the occasional conflict with government is what produces justice in the first place. We didn't proactively legislate an end to segregation, for instance. It took Rosa Parks demanding the right to sit down just like everyone else to set in motion the social movement necessary to change a very crappy law. Rights are something that must be demanded through not only words but deeds.
Without our help, governments most often produce crap. Since they almost never want our help, often the best way of actually helping them, and in turn ourselves, is through civil disobedience. That and using the few methods we have at our disposal for being heard, such as by running in our elections.
I ran for Mayor in Edmonton's 2013 Municipal Election to draw attention to an attempt by our City Council to expropriate parkland throughout the city, and one specifically in our community. By doing so, I drew enough negative publicity to our current Mayor, who had been the councillor in the ward where the park was being expropriated, that I and a group of vocal and concerned citizens were able to reverse council's decision to sell our park. Our activism worked. I got called a lot of names in the process! But I will never mind the insults of those sitting in the stands. They don't mean a lot to me. There is something about being the guy actually doing the doing that has always appealed to me...
So I'll sign off and leave you with this great quote about the man in the arena:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”