Collected.

The web is full of great things to read, great videos to watch, great links to explore. Here are a few of my favorites that I discovered this past month:

I don't always read advice columns, but this one about finding meaningful work is one of the most important things I've read. Very poignant for me, especially now:

How do people live? The body aches from standing and it aches equally from sitting, so after work I have gone to yoga class and the instructor’s voice has said jump back and put your butt up in the air, and I have done it, and I have done a push-up and put my butt up in the air again. With my butt up in the air, I have meditated on how everything is an illusion and tried to learn to detach from my boredom with bending over, jumping back, and putting my butt up in the air, trying not to think about the possibility that one of yoga’s most important historical functions has been to help people cope with a caste system cultivated by the Aryan invaders of India in 1500 BCE and institutionalized by the British invaders in the 19th and 20th centuries, a system organized by color like South Africa during apartheid, in which the lightness of your skin coincided with your class and thus the kind of labor you might do. To believe that because you were born dark-skinned and a servant you must remain a servant until your next reincarnation is perhaps easier when you have learned to endure repetitive compulsory movements, especially when the dominant movement is to prostrate yourself with your butt up in the air, while practicing detaching from your desires. I have tried not to think about the fact that more and more Americans are finding this practice incredibly helpful, if not necessary, to keep this whole thing going. If you’re not the kind of man who wants to wear leggings and put your butt up in the air to learn to relax about repetition, there are other ways to reenact the feeling of becoming a kind of butt-fucked puppet, mindlessly reaching for the same things over and over again, bending over and even finding a kind of mystery or mystification in the empty repetition of bending: cigarettes, video games, whiskey shots, elliptical trainers, internet porn and what’s Franco doing, what’s that super-giant shark doing, what’s that kitten doing, what’s hotforyrcock97 doing, but when you go back to work on Monday, all this does nothing to change your essential condition.

A few quick thoughts on how to organize a personal library, from a rumination on how to be (or appear) well-read:

As hinted, the first rule of library organization is that the books should be alphabetized by author, such that the well-read person’s shelf might go like so—Susan Sontag’s nonfiction, Vladimir Sorokin’s thrillers, Terry Southern’s complete works, some Muriel Spark and Art Spiegelman and Mickey Spillane, a lot of Gertrude Stein, John Steinbeck’s nonfiction, a couple Stendhals, and Laurence Sterne’s Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman … It’s simple and elegant and yields nifty juxtapositions, and the only question is whether Mary McCarthy and Carson McCullers and their ilk should go before Thomas Macaulay or after William Maxwell.

Exceptions to this rule are few and fairly obvious: You are permitted to break from the abecedarian plan to shelve anthologies, reference texts, how-to books, and miscellany. It’s best to shelve literary biographies alongside the works of their subjects. You are encouraged to put the cookbooks in the kitchen, the cocktail books at the bar, the dirty books within reach of the sex swing, and the fiction of Sontag and Steinbeck out on the curb.

If you encounter the shelves of a person who arranges his books by color, the most correct observation is, “Oh, that’s cute.”

I went through this, earlier this summer. A reflection on the slow loss of a friendship:

Then. It was effortless for us to hold on. Now. It takes a minute, a concrete thought to extend my hand and find yours across the continent in the dark and vice versa. It happens.

When I was in high school, my friend Andrew and I created personas that mocked the sad state of sports broadcasting. This piece in The Paris Review captures that sentiment well:

After a prolonged TV spectacle like college football’s Bowl Week (whose contests last year included the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and the Taxslayer.com Bowl, the latter being only a slight improvement on the all-time most absurd Galleryfurniture.com Bowl), watching English Premiership matches or Six Nations rugby on BBC feels like a cultural upgrade. There’s less advertising. There’s less analysis of bullshit statistics (“Headed into this matchup, the Kentucky Wildcats are 11-3 in games played within four days of their coach’s annual colonoscopy”). And, on British television, the commentators’ linguistic repertoires don’t feel as inhibited; there’s more room for an occasional flourish. Why can’t we have a color analyst like Ray Hudson, who, in his exuberance, will announce that we’ve just witnessed “a Bernini sculpture of a goal,” or claim that watching Lionel Messi “softens the hard corners of our lives”?

I haven't really thought about the racism in American cinema, but after reading this piece by David Dennis, Jr, I can't help but notice it everywhere:

Not only are all the main characters White, but the servants, thieves and assassins are played by Africans. Guys. This is racist. Ridley Scott is one of those guys who’s apparently hellbent on historical accuracy but doesn’t care enough to cast a person of color as Moses or a goddamn African queen while simultaneously filling out the rest of the movie with Black servants and thieves. I could even accept him going the Louis CK route of “the best actor gets the job regardless of if race makes sense” and casting Merly Streep as Tuya, Guillermo Del Toro as Moses and Choi Min-Sik as Rhamses for all I care. But to make the main characters White and everyone else African is cinematic colonialism. It’s creating a piece of historical “art” that carries on oppressive imagery that’s helped shackle entire countries and corners of the world.

I’m so goddamn sick of Hollywood and its acceptance of these oppressive images. If studies have shown the way that perpetual violence in movies begets violence in America, then what about perpetual maintenance of the White savior standing over the ethnic servant/villain/imbecile? What damage is this creating for the American psyche? How am I supposed to feel when all the messiahs, last samurais, African kings and saviors are White?

I have a very conflicted relationship with Weird Al (long story), but his recent resurgence has made me wonder why he has such a widespread appeal:

Anxiety starts early for pop audiences. For decades, I have had twenty-somethings tell me that they don’t know what’s on the charts, haven’t listened to any new artists since college, and don’t “know anything about music.” They feel confused by how quickly the value of their knowledge of what’s current fades. Weird Al’s songwriting process, almost without exception, is to confront that anxiety and to celebrate it. Yankovic will take a mysterious and masterful song and turn it into something mundane and universal. He makes the grand aspirational concerns of teen-agers in Lorde’s “Royals” into a story that includes a lesson about the hygienic advantage of taking food home in aluminum foil. (You’ll see the rhyme there.) Charli XCX’s boast of being “classic, expensive, you don’t get to touch,” in Azalea’s “Fancy,” becomes an ad for a handyman who can resurface your patio in Yankovic’s “Handy.”

I fell horrible for saying this, but seeing a charity use the sidewalk clipboard people try to solicit funding makes me much, much less likely to support them. There are better ways to reach your audience than accosting them on the street:

However, and this is very important, the Clipboard People must be ignored with EXTREME PREJUDICE. This is because Clipboard People are grifters, who, in the name of various causes (Gay Rights, the Environment), have only a single aim: to get your credit card number authorized for recurring payments to a "charity." In fact, the majority of that money does not go to the charity, but goes to pay the salary of the Clipboarder, and the evil canvas organizations that employ them. Even worse, the Clipboarders are themselves exploited—often young idealists from less vicious places, they are brought to New York on the promise of helping a charity they believe in, only to find out they've been dragooned into a commission-based predatory marketing scheme.

This scam is more evil than most because it is done in the name of legitimate charities, and targets the nicest, most generous people on the streets. The assholes amongst us are immune, of course, because they don't bother to even make eye contact, but sensitive, thoughtful liberals who just want to support your right to Gay Marriage or save a Polar Bear from drowning end up with a $30 monthly charge on their credit cards. On average, it takes about 8 months before they realize that they've been had, and that almost all of the money they've given hasn't even gone to the charity. Then they cancel and probably turn their back on the progressive movement, become neoconservatives, and move to the Upper East Side. It's a sad story, and it's all because of the Clipboard People.

I'm not going to say much about this because it's something I've been grappling with in other parts of my life, but William Falk absolutely nails it when it comes to the need for better vacation structures in North America:

No one should be shamed for taking a vacation. To get away is restorative, and essential to mental and physical health. Only in America do we equate workaholism with virtue and view time spent at the shore or in the mountains or in the desert as time wasted — as evidence of laziness. Americans work more hours and take less vacation than citizens of any prosperous country in the world; most workers in Europe (including the highly productive Germans) get six paid weeks off. Whole countries shut down in August. This is sensible and, indeed, civilized.

I'm glad that more and more people are starting to appreciate the beauty of brutalist architecture; I've always been enthralled by it, but my fandom is definitely not shared by most:

So much of the criticism of Brutalism treats it like a failed quiz—a problem to be solved, a problem for which there are correct answers, not a piece of history that could be preserved and improved upon. Innovative, courageous renovations have saved Brutalist structures in Houston and Boston; the MacArthur Genius architect Jeanne Gang came up with a plan for adapting Prentice Women's Hospital, but by then it was too late.

Some important thoughts about depression have been shared this past month, and many of them are helping explain depression to those who don't understand what it's like to suffer from it:

The point here is simple: I didn’t realize I had depression until a magic pill made my depression recede. I thought everyone felt the way I did. Until I realized that this wasn’t how everyone walked around feeling all the time, I thought, in effect, that everyone had depression.

That’s the same thought I had this morning, because — having not taken these damn pills in a while, which yes, I am going to remedy today, or at least I will try, because I can already feel the inertia flexing its obscene muscles — my defenses came down. Without me even realizing it, the depression silently cried hell yeah! and came rushing back. And one of the things depression is really good at doing is disguising itself as normality. At saying that it isn’t what it really is. At refusing to acknowledge that you’re not wearing your glasses, at saying “no, no, there were never individual leaves on that tree. It’s always been a green blob. Everyone in the whole world only sees green blobs.”

I've always conducted myself with the idea that being kind and polite is the best way to approach any situation. Paul Ford agrees, and tells you how to do just that, easily:

People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.

It took me a long time to get into emoji, and I still use it sparingly, but pieces like this one make me want to re-explore how emoji could change the way we communicate:

This “emojis are the end of language” complaint, usually seen in the comments below articles rather than in the articles themselves, is a variation on the more common theme “emojis are dumb and make us dumber,” painting a picture of the entire human race as a horde of blithering idiots unable to communicate without typing pictures. It’s a bit bleak, and doesn’t really put a lot of faith in us as individual people with our own brains and agency, but the flip side is that in this potential future the entire human race is communicating with each other. Could it really be that the great promise of the World Wide Web has been achieved by the likes of unamused face, blowing kiss face, and smiley poop? It’s a disconcertingly simple solution. Emojis are small in size but huge in reach—perhaps nothing so tiny has been so universally known since Walt Disney introduced the world to Mickey Mouse. This strange incongruity might be part of why we can’t seem to stop talking about emojis.

A lot of smart people have been talking about how to fix education recently, and post-secondary education is in need of serious change, too:

The education system has to act to mitigate the class system, not reproduce it. Affirmative action should be based on class instead of race, a change that many have been advocating for years. Preferences for legacies and athletes ought to be discarded. SAT scores should be weighted to account for socioeconomic factors. Colleges should put an end to résumé-stuffing by imposing a limit on the number of extracurriculars that kids can list on their applications. They ought to place more value on the kind of service jobs that lower-income students often take in high school and that high achievers almost never do. They should refuse to be impressed by any opportunity that was enabled by parental wealth. Of course, they have to stop cooperating with U.S. News.

More broadly, they need to rethink their conception of merit. If schools are going to train a better class of leaders than the ones we have today, they’re going to have to ask themselves what kinds of qualities they need to promote. Selecting students by GPA or the number of extracurriculars more often benefits the faithful drudge than the original mind.

Affinage, a short film about the making of cheese. Deliciously brilliant:

The Beastie Boys’ So What’cha Want, performed by The Muppets. Perfect:

Bruce Wayne, before he was Batman:

David Malki: Wondermark

David Malki: Wondermark

Something needs to be done about the militarization of our police:

Tom Tomorrow: Officer Friendly

Tom Tomorrow: Officer Friendly

Lake Erie is a body of water that is near and dear to my heart, and it's slowly slipping away from us, again:

Jackie Roche and Audrey Quinn: What Happened to Lake Erie?

Jackie Roche and Audrey Quinn: What Happened to Lake Erie?

A few more, before you go:

In case that's not enough, check out Squandrous.com. There's more to see there, almost every day.

#theeveryday in August

Over on Squandrous, I occasionally post half-baked thoughts and little anecdotes about life under the tag #theeverday. Here's a roundup of some of those posts from August.

01: Earlier this week, I took part in a calligraphy workshop hosted by a few local businesses here in Toronto. Penmanship has never been my strong suit — I write a lot of letters, but while my printing is legible, it is definitely not beautiful — so I was wary going in to the workshop that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the art of lettering.

And, I was right. I wasn’t very good, and was significantly worse than everyone else at the workshop. That said, I tried hard, and improved significantly as the evening went on. I may not have had the most beautiful calligraphy, but I learned a lot (which was my objective) and got to push myself to try something new, something that gave me apprehension.

With a little bit of a practice, I’m sure I’ll get even better.

04: We spent the past four days in Prince Edward County enjoying life. The weekend was filled with food and wine and beaches and vineyards and wildlife and farms and art and markets and swimming and music and laughter and love. She said yes. I haven’t been able to stop smiling since she did. We celebrated love, and each other, this weekend; we will continue to do just that, for the rest of our lives.

07: I didn’t learn how to swim until I was almost fourteen years old. Until then, I would dip my feet in the water or float along wearing a life jacket, but would never throw myself into a pool or into the sea.

When I was thirteen, I signed up for swimming classes; everyone in my class was six years old, but I didn’t mind. I was determined to learn. I worked my way through all the lessons and got my bronze medallion a few years later.

Now, I’m able to enjoy the water the way I always wanted to enjoy it as a kid — by jumping into the sea with reckless abandon, letting myself get carried by the waves for a while. I feel calm when I’m buoyed by the water; I’m extremely happy I’ve been able to enjoy so much of it, this summer.

10: Weekends by the water are among my favorite kinds of weekends. They are even better when surrounded by family and friends, and of course, delicious food.

14: There are flowers in our house, in various places. They make me smile.

I used to be much better at keeping fresh-cut flowers around, but recently, I’ve been slacking. I try to excuse it by saying that life has been bright and fragrant enough, that I have enough reasons to smile — all of which is absolutely true — but the honest truth is that I have been lazy. I haven’t put the effort in to making sure that we have flowers around, every day.

This will change. Life can be bright and fragrant, but there is still immense cheer in walking up the stairs and seeing a peony, or sunflower, or carnation sitting in a vase, or in a bottle, leaning toward the sun.

15: Sending things by post makes me happy. It has been that way for decades, and I imagine it always will. I’ve had good news to share, these past few weeks, and while I’ve done some texting and a bit of emailing, with most of my friends, I’ve shared that news via post. I’ve enjoyed writing down my joys onto a card and sending it across the city, the country, the ocean; I’ve enjoyed imagining people reading that letter and sharing in my joy, as well.

17: Mornings spent walking, shopping, and snacking through the farmers market are some of the best kinds of mornings.

20: My postage bill for this month is going to be a lot higher than it usually is — and that's saying a lot since my average monthly postage budget is often more than most people spend on postage in a whole year.

As long as it makes people smile, then it's all worth it.

25: For the most part, I can recognize most things on menus when I go out to eat. Even when the names or terms are unfamiliar to me, I can usually draw some kind of parallel to something I’ve had before, something with which I can relate. It is rare that I get to try something completely new, with no precedent, no context in which to make it familiar.

This past Friday night, I tried panipuri at People’s Eatery. I had no clue what to expect, despite having done a quick search on Wikipedia prior to ordering the dish. The little Indian-inspired snacks that emerged from the kitchen were divine, and I woke up the next morning craving them, again.

Yesterday, L and I visited the Festival of South Asia, and once again got an order of panipuri. These were different than those from Friday night, but they were just as delicious. I am craving them again, already.

It’s nice to know, sometimes, as we go through lives with some sort of general routine, that we can still be wholly and completely surprised, whether it be with food or any other kind of experience; it is wonderful to try something completely and utterly new and feel a small sense of wonder, from time to time.

Color commentary.

One of the great things about going to high school with people from 60 different countries was that we were all forced to see things, even the small, everyday things we all took for granted, from different perspectives.

I met Andrew on my first day at the school — the next year, we would become roommates — and we immediately bonded over our fandom of delicious food, British comedy, and American sports.

Andrew was from England, and so his experience with American sports was considerably different than mine; while I grew up looking at baseball players and football players like heroes and gods, he saw the same sports as entertainment and diversions. Most of all, I was used to watching games with the inane banter that is characteristic of most American sports commentary: uninspired play-by-play, ridiculous statistics, and forced dialog between broadcasters whose job was to keep the audience occupied, rather than entertain or educate them.

(There are, of course, instances where American sports commentary is entertaining instead of inane, but this is the exception, these days. I could listen to Vin Scully or Ernie Harwell call baseball games all my life, but they are a rarity. There is a lack of poetry in our sports commentary; voices like Harwell’s and Scully’s are a welcome relief from the doldrums.)

A few months into our first year of school together, Andrew and I developed a game we played whenever we watched sports in the small lecture hall that also had a cable television connection. We would put the game on mute, and would instead run our own play-by-play — ours was an over-the-top parody that mocked the sad state of commentary while also providing comic relief to whomever was in the lecture hall with us, watching the game unfold.

We developed characters with rich personas: they had names, backstories. Andrew was JVIII, the play-by-play announcer, a journalism-school-graduate that had never played sports at a high level and relied heavily on statistics and tropes that they taught him in school. He was unbaiased (often, comically so), and did the heavy lifting in our parody. Color commentary was left to me, KA-J, the former professional athlete with a mediocre-at-best career elevated to professional broadcaster after an injury forced me to retire early. I spoke in clichés, was always angling for a coaching job, and could always be counted on to put my foot in my mouth at least once a game.

These characters, this parody, was entertaining to us, and sometimes, to those who joined us during our spectatorship. Occasionally, we would corral one of our fellow classmates/sports fans into being a guest commentator: we were occasionally joined by the former coach, or the analytics expert, or the sideline reporter.

By our second year, we had amassed a small, but enthusiastic crew for our occasional sports-watching. Our commentary characters would sometimes appear outside of the lecture hall — any snarky comments about things we observed on campus would be said in our personas — and we were even invited, once in a while, to provide commentary to some of the pickup basketball games and soccer matches that would take place on weekends. What started as a parody of bad sportscasting turned into our way of giving some play-by-play to life; we had developed our very own Statler and Waldorf alter-egos, with much less grumpiness.

These days, once in a while, I’ll still listen to sports on mute (mostly when I am watching in bed and L is beside me and I don’t want to wake her up) and have my own running commentary running through my head. It isn’t better than what would regularly come through the speakers — in fact, it is often deliberately worse — but it does for me what so much sports commentary fails to do: it entertains.

And sometimes I hear the voice of JVIII in my head, providing play-by-play to my color commentary, making me laugh.

(Originally posted on Medium.)

 

Yes.

I made the best decision of my life this past weekend.

Apart from the congratulations, one of the questions I’ve heard from curious friends has been: when did you know?

The answer is obvious: I’ve always known.

Some part of me has known since the moment I met her that day in late April. But there are moments, small ones, that serve as reminders, that jog your memory and reinforce what you already knew.

When, before we moved in together, she bought crunchy peanut butter and left it in her kitchen because she knew just how much I loved eating it even though she barely did, that’s when I knew.

When she introduced me to her friends at a wedding and they all said, oh, that’s who you’ve been talking about so much these past few months, that’s when I knew.

When we sat there eating take-out from Swiss Chalet in the hospital food court while she was on call and she told me that she loves eating with me, no matter where it was or what we ate, that’s when I knew.

When her dad offered me some of the good scotch after dinner, the stuff he had in his reserve and not what was open in the bar, that’s when I knew.

When her eyes lit up in delight when we first walked into our current home and she turned to me and said, this is where I want to live with you, that’s when I knew.

When we celebrated her 30th birthday with all her friends at our home and she had the biggest smile on her face and all I could think of was wanting to make her smile like that every single day of my life, that’s when I knew.

When the kids from the extended family let me play with their play-dough and we made clay snowmen together after Christmas dinner while she watched and laughed, that’s when I knew.

When we went snowshoeing in a vineyard and then drank soup, huddled in our jackets, noses red from the cold air and all the wine, that’s when I knew.

When we sat on a bench outside of Versailles and drank cider and ate sausage and cheese from the farmer’s market in the Parisian sun, that’s when I knew.

When her family invited me to their cottage even though she was out of the country and they treated me like I was a family member and not just her boyfriend, that’s when I knew.

When my brother, who never really comments on any part of my life, told my grandmother (in confidence, without me there) that he was happy that I had found someone that not only made me happy, but that he respected and liked, that’s when I knew.

When, in the car on the way to Prince Edward County this past weekend, she said that she liked exploring new things and having adventures with me, that’s when I knew.

When she looked at me, for the briefest of moments, in disbelief, as I waited on one knee on a stone bridge in the middle of a vineyard, before she enthusiastically said yes, that’s when I knew.

This past weekend, I made the best decision of my life. 

There have been thousands of moments over the past two-and-a-half years that made me realize this was the right decision, but the truth is, I didn’t need those little realizations: I’ve always known.

In good hands.

I usually avoid discussing politics, but allow me this indulgence.

Toronto will be electing its new city council and mayor in just under three months; after the circus that has characterized municipal politics in this city for the past four years, this election is extremely important.

I grew up in North Etobicoke. More specifically, I grew up in a part of Etobicoke officially called Kingsview Village, but went by many names: Dixon, Little Mogadishu, Rexdale South, and a few others I can’t quite remember anymore. It was a diverse neighborhood, full of immigrants who had either recently arrived or were just starting to settle in Canada. On my walks to school, I would routinely hear at least ten languages being spoken around me; people from a spectrum of cultures and heritages would sit in the park and interact with each other, even when they couldn’t speak the same language.

Back then, Kingsview Village was designated as a priority neighborhood by the city of Toronto, recognizing that the demographic makeup of the area was marked by lower-than-average levels of employment and higher-than-average levels of poverty. I didn’t realize it as a child, but my neighborhood wasn’t like many of the other regions of the city, even though we always identified ourselves as part of Toronto. As a kid, I thought everyone in Toronto lived like I did, in neighborhoods like mine.

Kingsview Village falls in Ward 2 under the city’s electoral wards; it has been a ward that has long been mostly ignored until Rob Ford, our former city councillor, became the Mayor of the city. I won’t get into what Toronto under the mayorship of Rob Ford has been like, because it has been chronicled very well by writers I respect like Desmond Cole; I will say that Rob Ford and his brother Doug (the current councillor for Ward 2) are not good for my neighborhood, and it pains me to think that another member of the Ford family (who espouses a similar way of thinking as Rob and Doug) may be elected to represent the people in the place that I still call home.

The people who live in Ward 2, like my parents, are good people who work hard and support the people in their community. They invest time and effort into making their neighborhood a better place, and work hard — often, despite their lack of access to capital and wealth — to increase the prosperity of the people with whom they share their space. They are not bigoted, ignorant, or confrontational; they believe in debate, discussion, and coming up with decisions that are in the best interest of their community, and not just the individual.

As such, the Ford brothers are the complete opposite representations of neighborhood where I grew up, and are thus the absolutely wrong people to represent the people in that neighborhood on a municipal level.

I’m not going to chime in on the mayor’s race (though, I wouldn’t mind if you took a good look at what Soknacki could bring to the city) because what I want to do here is look instead at the makeup of city council — the decision-making body of our city.

If the role of a councillor is to represent the people of her/his ward on council, then the most important thing we can do is to ensure that our councillors are truly representative of the neighborhoods, in both their platforms and in their everyday actions. A city councillor needs to not only speak for the people she/he represents, but also understand their underlying ethic.

Which is why I’d like to tell you about Andray Domise.

I have never met Andray before, but I know people who have. They all echo the same sentiment: Andray is more than just his words (and what articulate, excellent words they are), but is a man of principle who cares for this city and especially cares about the people he hopes to represent.

From the research I’ve done, I believe Andray is the kind of person that would perfectly represent my neighborhood: he is interested in coming up with solutions that are of benefit to the community he serves, and believes in coming up with those solutions with the community itself. His words are consistent with his actions, and he owns his mistakes and learns from them.

That is exactly how I would describe the people of Ward 2: hard working, collaborative, community-focused, always willing to share and learn.

I will be speaking to my parents and their friends who live in the neighborhood about Andray, and about how they need to release themselves from the cycle of anger that has propelled the Ford family into their political success so far. I will tell them that because of people like Andray — and so many other council hopefuls across the city, like Idil Burale in Ward 1, Alex Mazer in Ward 18, and Keegan Henry-Mathieu in Ward 7, to name a few—Toronto can be in good hands.

I will tell them that they need to elect someone that is a representation of who they are; they need to choose someone who will make them feel proud to live in Kingsview Village, and show the rest of the city just how wonderful a place it truly is.

Toronto can be in good hands, if we just let ourselves.

(Originally posted on Medium.)