My name is Alon Weinberg, and I humbly ask you to consider me as your Ward 7 trustee for the next two years. I am a communicator and am open to ideas while I bring a varied range of experiences to the table myself.
I grew up in Winnipeg’s North End and moved with my family to Garden City at age 8. My grandparents, immigrants to Canada in 1952, opened Miracle Bakery in 1955 on the corner of Main and Bannerman, and my parents were also small business owners for 30 years.
I moved to Wolseley at age 21 and lived there and in West Broadway for 14 years, during which time I received a B.A. from University of Winnipeg in Philosophy and held a number of jobs in the environmental sector, from working as a prairie coordinator for the Youth Environmental Network’s One-Tonne Challenge in 2005-6 (before it was cancelled by the new Conservative government) to canvassing as an educator and fundraiser for both the Wilderness Committee and later the Boreal Forest Network.
During that time I also worked at 3 different schools at an educational assistant, working with a variety of students; my last EA job was in 2008 at Institut Collégial Vincent Massey Collegiate around the time they were starting up a composting program, having already installed a rooftop wind turbine.
During that time, I began a project called AdaMah’nitoba Project, bringing together members of faith communities along with a general range of concerned citizens interested in engaging with the ecological crisis from a spiritual and moral perspective.
Along the way I have run as a candidate in 3 provincial elections and 2 federal elections, but currently am party-less, serving as Communications Chair for the non-partisan Fair Vote Manitoba, a chapter of Fair Vote Canada. We are advocating our current electoral system be replaced by a proportional system in which every vote counts towards seats in Parliament.
In 2008 I commenced the M.A. program in Native Studies at U of M, eventually defending a thesis in late 2013 on community responses to all-weather roads in Wabaanong Nakaygum, aka the east side of Lake Winnipeg. My travels took me up winter roads to Bloodvein, Berens River and Poplar River First Nations.
I moved to Point Douglas in 2010 and then to Luxton when we were expecting a child in 2011. My son was born at home in Luxton in early 2012 and I have been a fully-engaged parent since. He begins school in Ward 7 this very month.
In 2012 I became a public servant at Statistics Canada, collecting data for the number-crunchers in Ottawa and this year began working at Service Canada.
I was briefly an Education student in 2014 before deciding that my personal capacities at that time and the nature of the program were a mismatch. I did, however, observe much in 5 weeks about our school system that I would be willing to share if you ask me.
I respect teachers very much as the front line workers in Education, and hope to hear from all of you about your experiences in Winnipeg School Division, whatever it is you have been doing and wherever you have been working.
I currently am involved in a slow-moving project to share publicly the library and archive of the late Riverview ecologist Vere Scott. His library is a treasure we are trying to organize and I welcome any librarians or archivists willing to pitch in a few volunteer hours to help guide our journey to honour his legacy.
Vere provided me with the framework that inspires me to be a school trustee, namely that of ecoliteracy, a term coined by diverse thinker Fritjof Capra through his Center for Ecoliteracy. When we start to understand that we are a part of Earth’s living systems – a shift that must begin with our students – we start to learn how to read our living environments in a new way, understanding ‘the environment’ not to be simply something outside of us, but knowing that our food and our health are equally part of the systems in which we are embedded.
I host an environmental show weekly on CKUW 95.9 FM, called Rogue Primate after a book by the late Canadian naturalist John A Livingston (the voice of the Hinterland Who’s Who short videos between programs back in the 1980s and author of an 8-part Nature of Things series called A Planet for the Taking – 1985)
I have left out a lot about my life, but am happy to share more of my experiences and ideas, but I also want to hear from you, especially your views on our education system, the politics of school boards, and what you expect the role of your school trustee to be.
I will be a democrat through and through, and engage you regularly on the evolution of your school board.