Tag Archives: Vision Vancouver

If you are in Vancouver Vote Open Data, Vote Vision

If you are a Vancouver resident tomorrow is election day. I’m hoping if you are a resident and a reader of this blog, you’ll consider voting for Vision Vancouver.

As many of you know just over two years ago the city launched Vancouver’s Open Data portal – the first of its kind in Canada and the second municipal open data portal in the World.

This didn’t happen by chance. It took leadership from politicians who were a) willing to see and grasp a good idea long before it was widely celebrated, and b) able to drive it through city hall. It is a testament to those leaders – and the city staff who worked on it – that the city went from talking about the idea to implementing it in less than 3 months.

I know this is not an issue that everyone cares about. Personally, I believe open data is going to play a critical role in helping us rethink how government works, enabling it to be more effective and efficient while also empowering citizens to better understand and contribute to policy discussions. All that isn’t going to capture people’s imagination as much as ensuring the garbage gets collected regularly and on time (that’s important too!), but I do think the open data issue is a proxy, something that shows which leaders are willing to engage in innovative approaches and work with new technologies.

So if you are in Vancouver and you care about this issue, please vote Vision tomorrow. This is the party that made open data happen in Vancouver – and cleared the way for it in Canada. (location of voting stations is available here)

Vision Fundraiser February 4th

There is a nice gala Vision Vancouver fundraiser coming up on February 4th for those who are interested. Here’s an opportunity to mix it up with the new Mayor and Vision Council members.

As the advertisement states:

Enjoy an evening of specialty tapas highlighting the multitude of Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods, while mingling with Vancouver’s elected officials, business leaders, union brothers and sisters, social and environmental change agents, and others who are working to make a difference in their communities.

Tickets are $150.00 each with sponsorship opportunities available – for more information call Vision’s Fundraiser Kristi Rivait at 604-568-6913 or email her at kristi@votevision.ca

Twittering the Vancouver Election

For those living in Vancouver, or interested in Vancouver politics, the CBC will be hosting a debate tomorrow between Vision Vancouver Mayoralty candidate Gregor Robertson and his NPA counterpart.

For those listening in on or attending the debate, the CBC is interested in hearing your immediate thoughts and feedback via twitter – simply tag your tweet: #cbcmayorsdebate and the CBC may pick it up. Thoughtful comments about Gregor, concerns about the city, or respectfully expressed concerns about NPA spin are particularly appreciated.

For those interested in the debate it is taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, November 12, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business, 500 Granville St.. It will also be broadcast live on CBC Radio One (690AM) in Vancouver and streamed live over “the interweb” at cbc.ca/bc.

If you are a vision supporter – we are in crunch time. Please do vote!  Also consider donating some money or volunteering for our e-day get out the vote initiative and, to have fun, get yourself on “the map!”

dinner with winners

Friends in Vancouver – if you have any interest in attending the Vision Vancouver Fall Fundraiser please don’t be shy in dropping me a line.

I’m pretty excited about Vision’s new slate – which you can read about here – and our prospects in the upcoming election. These are exciting times for Vancouver – I get the sense that people want to see the city grow and mature in a way they haven’t before. That is certainly one of the reasons I moved back here and got involved in Vision.

If you want to start to see what it’s all about, come on out for the dinner…

Vision School Board Candidates Debate

Just a little update – I’ll be hosting Vision Vancouver’s school board debates tomorrow. If you are interested in getting to know the school board candidates come on down and join us. For Vision members not in the know, Vision will be having its nomination vote on the September 20th at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary.

The debate will take place 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday) at The Vancouver Community College, Downtown Campus (250 West Pender), Room # 112 – Theater.

I’ll be hosting the event and panelists Anne Guthrie Warman, Parker Learey, and Patrick Clark will be asking the candidates questions.

Vision Vancouver – Canada's largest municipal party

I just got news that Vision Vancouver as grown to become (what we believe to be) the largest political party in Canada. This is meteoric growth and confirms my hope that Vancouverites are increasingly looking for a progressive, centrist party to guide the city in the 21st century. I’m pretty excited to be part of this.

Press release:

Thousands of new members join Vision
Race for Vision mayoralty nomination drawing record numbers
May 19, 2008

Vision Vancouver announced today that they have had over 11,000 new members join in the past two months, driven by the excitement of Vision’s mayoralty nomination race. Raymond Louie, Al De Genova, and Gregor Robertson are competing for the Vision nomination.

“Congratulations are in order to Raymond, Al, and Gregor, who have inspired thousands of people to join Vision,” said Vision co-chair Mike Magee. “With over 11,000 people joining in recent weeks, it shows how fed up people are with Sam Sullivan and the NPA, and that they like the alternative they see in Vision Vancouver.”

“People need a government that will work for solutions to end homelessness, make housing affordable for future generations, and protect our environment. These results show that people are hungry for change in this city.”

“It’s amazing that in such a short time, Vision Vancouver could quite possibly now be the largest civic political party in Canada,” Magee added.

Thursday, May 15th was the last possible day to become a Vision member and be eligible to vote at the nomination meeting in June. Preliminary results show that well over 11,000 new members have signed up in the past two months, with a final total to be determined within the next two weeks. The mayoralty nomination meeting takes place on Sunday, June 15th at the Croatian Cultural Centre.

“Our three Mayoral candidates have worked tirelessly to engage people all over Vancouver, and as a result we’re building a winning coalition across the city,” said Magee.

“The sheer size of the Vision membership proves that the people of Vancouver want progressive leadership back in City Hall.

Forum on April 24th: Global City, Global Citizens

Next Thursday, April 24 I’ll be part of the respondent panel for Global City, Global Citizens, a Forum organized by Vision Vancouver. The event will take place at the Vancouver Public Library and will begin at 7.30 p.m.

Global City, Global Citizens will cover a range of international issues that Vancouver faces in the 21st century.

Moderated by Geoff Meggs the Forum will open up with a presentation by Michael Byers, professor at the Liu Institute of UBC, author of Intent For a Nation. (Taylor Owen and I wrote a review of Michael’s book in Embassy Magazine – you can read the Embassy version here, or an extended version on this blog.

After Michael’s presentation, I and Monica Urrutia – of the Philippine Women’s Centre – will offer a response. Discussion will then open up to the public.

If you are interested in the event I hope you’ll come down and join us.

Obama vs Hillary

Put all that oratory excellence aside. Forget about it. It isn’t what really matters.

How different are Obama and Hilary?


Hillary walks into a stadium filled with her base and gives a speech about how the Republicans are evil. That she, and she alone, is experienced and strong enough to defeat them. End of story.

Obama walks into the heart of the African American Religious community – Martin Luther King’s church – on Martin Luther King Jr Day, and talks about how African Americans need to work harder to live up to MLK’s legacy. He says if African Americans  want justice, freedom and equality, then the homophobia, antisemitism, and anti-immigrant resentment that sometimes exists in their community must be acknowledged so they can rise up and become a model community:

For much of this country’s history we, in the African American community, have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man…  and yet if we are honest with ourselves we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we are honest with ourselves we’ll acknowledged that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community. If we are honest with ourselves we have to admit that there have been times when we have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them; the scourge of antisemitism has at times revealed itself in our community; for too long some of us have seen immigrants only as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Can anyone imagine Hilary Clinton speaking so honestly to her base? On the eve of a major primary?

Of course not, tragically she her image makes her look like her goal is power, and so the risk of offending anyone would simply appear too great.

And yet, Obama’s speech is the perfect example of the leadership I believe Americans crave: someone who is unafraid to push them, to tell them how they should, nay need, to be better, and that while a leader will do everything in their power to help them attain that goal it is ultimately up to each of them to achieve it.

And so the contrast could not be clearer.

Hilary appears to be about power – about gaining power to protect “us” from “them.” And like in some Greek tragedy the harder she clings to her power, the faster it slips through her fingers.

Obama, as everyone knows, is about change. But specifically he’s about enabling everyone – “us” and “them” – to rethink what is possible. This is why he earns the right to be compared to Kennedy and Reagan. It isn’t just about “hope.” It’s about broadening peoples minds in order to reshape an entire national culture. And so, the more he reminds Americans of their best ideals and how they, individually and collectively, can achieve them, the more empowered Americans feel and the more power they want to give him. The goal “when he was up and when he was down” remains change. Power is simply a bi-product.

I don’t know if Obama will win. But I’ll joining my Vision Vancouver colleagues down at the Frog and Firkin tonight if you want to come join me in cheering him on.

Sam Suillivan: Public Policy or Personal Gain?

Imagine if, while sitting as Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy had decided to not only place the new concept of “Human Security” at the heart of the Ministry’s agenda but had also decided to trade mark the term – under his personal name.

Clearly the opposition members would have a field day… highlighting how the Minister was using his office for personal gain – using his political influence to create a brand that ultimately he owned the rights to.

Sadly, this hypothetical example is all too real here in my home town of Vancouver. Our Mayor, Sam Sullivan, has personally trade-marked “ecodensity” a term he’s been using to describe the municipal government’s a new initiative to reducie Vancouver’s environmental impact by creating a more compact city. As a few legal experts have noted, this is something that would normally be trademarked by the city’s lawyers… oddly it wasn’t. If that wasn’t enough it was again the mayor, and not the city or its staff, that registered the domain name ecodensity.ca.

None of the Mayor’s gaffe’s – like taking 30 item long priority list to a meeting with the Prime Minister (you should take a list of 3 items and you’ll probably get to talk about one) and then refusing to share anything about the discussion with taxpayers (who footed the bill) – have been so heavy so as to cost him an election, cumulatively however this errors will start to take their toll.

Fortunately for the Mayor, no one is really paying attention to municipal politics in Vancouver.