Podolecki running for council
University student hopes to unseat incumbent in North Kildonan
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This article was published 27/09/2018 (1711 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Andrew Podolecki is running to represent North Kildonan on city council in the Oct. 24 civic election.
A self-described “progressive voice,” Podolecki, a 26-year-old political science and history student at the University of Winnipeg, has twice run for public office. He ran for city council in the 2014 civic election, and then as an NDP candidate for St. Paul during the 2016 provincial election.
“My image of a progressive city is one where we’re able to provide good and valuable services that the people expect and want, efficiently and well,” Podolecki said. “The duty is to provide good and valuable services, not to be an arm’s length organization for private business.”
Chief among concerns Podolecki has heard from North Kildonans during his campaign are transit, road repair and maintenance, and crime.
“For me, the issue I would push most for would be transit,” Podolecki said, arguing that improved transit would increase ridership, which in turn would have a positive effect on costs of maintaining infrastructure.“
The ability to have proper transit would coincide with resolving other issues, like poor road condition, congestion, air pollution,” he said.
Podolecki agrees that road repair and maintenance is a vital concern to Winnipeggers, but he also believes the City needs to diversify its revenue streams to fund other important projects.
“Right now, we’re just kicking the can down the road on a lot of things,” he said. “If we build a more diversified tax base we’re not at mercy to one or two parameters of our tax base. That’s something we need to have an adult conversation about.”
If elected, Podolecki would prioritize evidence-based decision making.
“You can have your own opinions, but you can’t have your own facts,” he said. “I feel that people in North Kildonan are frustrated when they hear answers from politicians that are similar to what an interest group would say. People want action, but they also want facts.”
While Podolecki might be a young face in the political game, he is hopeful that voters in North Kildonan will take the time to get to know him before Oct. 24.
“I hope people give me a fair look, give me a chance and ask questions,” he said. “Hopefully I can get to them on the doorstep before the campaign is out. The people of North Kildonan deserve someone open to new ideas.”
Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7112