Price Tags Vancouver will be following the civic election, and posting the statements of all candidates running for City of Vancouver Council. Here is the statement from Brandon Yan:
I’m Brandon Yan and I’m seeking a OneCity Council nomination for Vancouver’s civic election in October 2018.
I am an optimistic 31 year old and a passionate community advocate for sustainability, affordability, education, and human rights. Currently, I am the Education Director for Out On Screen, one of Vancouver’s leading arts and advocacy non-profits. In that role, I’ve collaborated across political parties and within government ministries to affect positive policy change for LGBT2Q+ youth in BC – crucial experience for the complex work that needs to be done on City Council in advancing equality and inclusion in our city. I believe that the core to any good policy or decision-making is keeping in focus the people who you intend to lift up. I believe the cause to help others should transcend politics.
I was born in Vancouver and I have lived and worked in the region for most of my life. For the last 4 years, I’ve called Kitsilano home, renting one of Vancouver’s elusive pet-friendly apartments with my partner Sam and our two dogs. I completed my Masters in Urban Studies at SFU researching civic education and public engagement practices in the City of Surrey, and I have also served on the City of Vancouver’s City Planning Commission from 2014 to 2016.
Based on my conversations with Vancouverites and based on my own experiences, I’ve decided to highlight a few areas where I’ll be focusing some of my attention:
Renters comprise more than 50% of Vancouver households and yet very few renters sit on Vancouver City Council. With a vacancy rate below 1%, renters deserve more representation to support the creation of more rental homes and to also ensure tenant’s rights are protected.
THE REGION AS A SOLUTION
Vancouver’s problems are bigger than the city itself; the housing and opioid crises don’t end at our municipal borders. Effective government and effective solutions will mean working with our neighbours, improving our relationships to each other, and moving forward together. This includes local First Nations and the Urban Indigenous community.
POVERTY IS NOT A CRIME
While forces of inequity cause people to sleep on sidewalks and in cars and tent cities, their right to exist in these spaces is often called into question or criminalized through anti-homeless, anti-poor bylaws and other dehumanizing strategies that deny them basic human dignity. The City must ensure that its actions don’t further harm or stigmatize those living in precarious housing and shelter situations.
YES FUN CITY
Vancouver’s heart and soul are found in its people and in its arts and cultural communities. From our street festivals like Khatsahlano, Greek and Italian Days, and Vaisakhi to the work of Youth Collaborative for Chinatown and BEATS Magazine, these things people together across cultures and generations. We don’t need to fight for beauty, we just need to work to recognize and celebrate it and do more for our artists and arts and cultural groups so that they can continue to inspire us.
I hope to bring my experience and regional perspective to work on these issues and opportunities facing Vancouver today. We know we’ve got work to do, so let’s work together.
Follow me on Twitter @CitizenYan and #YAN4VAN