Thanks everyone. Even though I’m being acclaimed tonight, I don’t take this nomination for granted. Thank you for your faith and confidence in me, and in the Green Party of Vancouver.
I’m proud to stand alongside our Green city councillor Adriane Carr, and Green park board commissioners Stuart Mackinnon and Michael Wiebe, and of course, you the members of the Green Party of Vancouver.
When I first ran for city council with the Greens back in 2014, it was because I saw our city was heading in the wrong direction.
Vancouver was sacrificing community for commodity, our citizens were disengaged from the city building process, friends and family were simply giving up and leaving town.
The issues then: housing affordability, income disparity, the Downtown Eastside, homelessness, communities under threat, red tape and de-spirited micro-managed staff, short term rentals, bogus planning processes —and of course, that soft spot for corruption: the overt financial influence that the real estate industry has over the two big developer parties that run our city.
What are aspirations like "Greenest City" when homes are being lost to luxury property investments, and the people who work here are forced to commute from farther and farther afield?
That was 2014, yet here we are today, with pretty much the exact same issues.
In fact, most of our problems here in Vancouver are worse today than they were in 2014.
Vision Vancouver have been running our city like a clique. Talk to community advocates, city staff, and even developers and you’ll hear a common refrain: if you’re not in you’re out. Are we going to continue to allow a city where influence supersedes public engagement ?
And it’s not like we’ll be any better off with the NPA. They are still beholden to the same developer interests and the same toxic partisanship.
No, we can do better. In fact we (The Greens) are doing better.
Adriane Carr got the most votes of any council candidate in 2014 and has a reputation as the one councillor who actually takes the time to really listen to the citizens who take the time to speak before council.
Adriane has been alone on council pushing for resolutions on issues like whistle blower protection, social housing targets that are tied to actual income, transparency around public benefits and so much more. But she’s just one Green on council.
Adriane has been doing a great job on council, but she’s on her own.
There’s a lot she can do, a lot WE can do with one more Green on council.
She needs my help. She needs our help.
It’s time to send a message to Vision and the people who seek to commodify our city.
It’s time for a new deal on housing.
It’s time to make people our priority.
It’s time for integrity and fairness and cleaning up city hall.
It’s time for a city wide plan and a smart green city.
It’s time to build a better city together, a fair and equitable city where everybody can thrive
There’s plenty of work to be done over the next two months and we will need your help.
With your help we can win this by-election, and with your help we can build real momentum for a winning campaign going into next year’s 2018 general election.
The above was my speech to the Vancouver Greens, accepting the nomination to run in the October 14 by-election.