Get to Know Your Candidates: Troy Pavlek, Ward 11

We sent out a brief, fun survey about libraries to all of the nominees running in the 2017 Edmonton civic election to help you get to better know your candidates.

These are the answers that Troy Pavlek from Ward 11 sent back to us.

Election day is Monday, October 16. Get to know your candidates, learn how you can support EPL,  and don’t forget to vote!

1. What is your favourite library memory or experience?

I recall a summer in elementary where I'd frequently stop at the Strathcona County Library. They had a summer reading game where you would go home, read a new book and log the time and that would earn you a roll of the dice on the game board.

There were knick knacks for prizes, but that was trivial—the fun part was going to the library every day and talking with the other kids who were playing. Hearing what they were reading. Maybe we'd go bike to the soccer field after, because it was summer and we all had nothing but free time.

It was the first time I realized that libraries weren't stuffy old people "shushing" you for being too loud. They're central social hubs. And they're fun.

2. What is your favourite book, movie or song right now?

Perhaps a little bit dry, but I've weaned off some of the fiction during my council run and I'm enjoying Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

I'm hoping I can bring forward some of the "Life" parts to our Canadian city.

3. What magazines, newspapers, blogs, Twitter accounts and/or podcasts do you follow?

There are far too many to name. I'll try to give a nice cross-section of each category.

  • Magazine: The Yards
  • Newspaper: (Well, sort-of) Taproot Edmonton. It's new media.
  • Blog: I'm a software developer, and Adam Wathan's blog has been absolutely killing it with some great pragmatic programming advice.
  • Twitter: (choosing one is hard, I'm on twitter all the time) Elise Stolte's Twitter account is absolutely invaluable in Edmonton 
  • Podcast: 99 percent invisible never fails to teach me about something that I had no idea it was even possible to learn about.

4. Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?

First, let's accept the premise that this answer must be a character from The West Wing, the best network television show to grace primetime.

As much as I (and everyone else) would like to be the Sam Seaborn or Josh Lyman I'm probably the Ed (and Larry). Where most of the cast of characters are playing large political games and partisan chicken with their opponents, Ed and Larry do research and help with policy.

They're the supports that keep the West Wing running but they don't have to be loud about what they're doing. They just do it.

5. What is one book you think everyone should read and why?

Respondent did not provide an answer for this question.

6. What book is on your nightstand (or on your eReader or tablet) right now?

It's a small, 60-page picture book called Cat Confessions. I read it to my cat at nighttime.

Here's an excerpt from page 56 a confession from the cat Calvin in Atlanta, Georgia: "Sometimes I break things then pretend to be asleep so Mommy thinks the dog did it."

My cat really enjoys the accompanying pictures.

7. Election Day (October 16) is also Boss' Day. Who was your very first boss and what was your job? What was one important lesson you learned from them?

My first job was an internship writing computer code at the University of Alberta. My boss was a graduate student, stressed about deadlines and trying very hard to make the phone app work, so that the summer camps coming to the UofA had something to do.

It taught me the valuable lesson that most things in our world are built on a house of cards, with all the supports being people who don't _really_ know what they're doing. We're all just making our best guesses and hoping for the best.

Knowing that makes making mistakes and learning from them easier.

8. What role do you see EPL playing in a thriving and vibrant Edmonton?

One that is crucial, but difficult to precisely place. It means different things to different people.

EPL is a space for makers to create things that they couldn't afford or manage to create without the resources and supports of the makerspace.

EPL is a place to learn, study and better yourself.

EPL is a place to gather socially and meet others.

Really, EPL is a library, and we shouldn't have to prescribe more meaning than that. Libraries are cool.

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