It seems like only yesterday I was out trying to hustle votes in the municpal election—but recent changes in East Van politics will see a by-election and no incumbent here in the East End... So I've decided to take the plunge, but I need your help!
I've put my name forward to seek the BC Green Party’s nomination for the upcoming Vancouver-Mount Pleasant provincial by-election. The seat is currently held by Jenny Kwan, but will soon be vacated, as she's resigning to run for federal politics.
During the November 2014 Vancouver municipal election,in my first run for office I collected just over 46,500 votes, and was one of the top vote-getters at the polls in and around Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
I ran for City Council in November because of my commitment to my community, the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant riding, I’ve lived, worked and volunteered in this district for over 25 years. We are a strong, resilient and caring inner-city riding, but we are not without our challenges: the ongoing privatization of BC Housing, unreasonably low welfare rates, poverty and affordability, gentrification, social justice, reconciliation, and the legacy of colonialism.
We need to provide opportunities for immigrants and underemployed; balance regional growth strategies and transit-oriented development with land value and speculation; as well as ensure healthy, safe urban neighbourhoods that respect our physical, cultural and socio-economic heritage. These are all real challenges for our community and provincial government.
I've been a local community activist for a number of years and served as chair of the Strathcona Residents Association. I helped lead the community's response to the City's proposed viaduct removal, redevelopment and traffic management scheme; and sat on the City of Vancouver's DTES Local Area Planning process.
I've been committed to East Van for several decades. I've learnt the importance of strong, clear advocacy that can speak with and for the community, and how to reach across the barriers.
As a self-employed designer, web-developer, and communications specialist, I've worked with hundreds of local small businesses, non-profits, entrepreneurs and artists—and am passionate about the value and importance of a strong local economy.
As a Green, I support a moratorium on fracking, thoughtful regulations and controls on liquefied natural gas (LNG), and no expansion of pipelines and tankers in Burrard Inlet—ideas I think resonate with the voters of the riding, but aren't reflected in the BC NDP or BC Liberal policies.
On the move from municipal to provincial politics—A lot of the issues I campaigned on in the civic election are directly influenced by provincial policies: there are the obvious issues such as raising the welfare rates, preserving social housing, and health and safety issues—but there are other considerations, such as campaign finance reform and changes to the Vancouver Charter, that require provincial approval before changes can be made here in Vancouver.
It’s no secret why Jenny Kwan managed to hold this riding for almost twenty years, despite her faults, Jenny knew the issues, and was a champion for this riding. Moving forward, I would like to be that champion.
A provincial by-election for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant riding is expected in the coming months.
If you would like to support my nomination to be the Green Party of BC candidate in Vancouver-Mt Pleasant you must must acquire a party membership by Saturday, April 11. Membership can be purchased online at greenparty.bc.ca/membership.
The nomination meeting will be held on April 25.
The deadline to sign-up and become a voting member of the BC Greens in Vancouver-Mt Pleasant is this Saturday - so if you would like to support my nomination, please acquire a membership here: greenparty.bc.ca/membership, or if you would prefer an offline option, you can sign up at Floral and Hardy Edible Plants, 688 E. Hastings