We hope our series of independent Vancouver City Council candidate Q&As has been informative.
That said, these are just four of the 26 unaffiliated candidates in the race; to learn more about the others, check out this list from CBC, and then look up their websites and Twitter accounts; the City of Vancouver website gives no indication of independent status or party affiliation.
Even better? Candidates not covered by Price Tags to date are invited to Comment on any (or all) of Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and this post. Why? Because your name will show up in the Comments feed on our homepage, and be seen by as many as 1,000 people on any given day.
The final question:
What’s Your Vision for Vancouver?
If I was painting a pretty picture of Vancouver in the future, we’d have community farms, local power plants based on renewable energy — so people have a job at the local power plant in their neighbourhood — extensive public transit, a lot of walking, a lot of bicycles, and vendor carts so artisans can sell directly to consumers.
And zero waste centres, like the one they just built down at Yukon, in every neighbourhood. The waste material could be provided free to local, small-scale manufacturers so they could be re-used into new products.
Community centres would be at the heart of it. I’d like to see industrial sewing machines and commercial kitchens in community centres so people could go and rent the space that they need to make products or to fix things, whatever they needed to do.
When you think about community, I think it’s really important to maintain a strong social safety net. Look at the places where social social services converge — to me that’s schools and hospitals. I know that’s outside municipal purview, but there are things that municipalities can do to supplement education and healthcare services that the province is providing. We could have social workers, legal assistants, and doctors in these centralized hubs.
I think that’s where we’re really going to be able to reach as many people as possible. How do we sustain ourselves and our neighbours? That’s what I think the city really needs to be looking at.
My vision for Vancouver is for the city to be an affordable, healthy place to live for people of all intersectional identities, and for us to continue to lead efforts towards promoting the health of the earth.
I’m really committed to doing that work. It’s a lot of hard work, and what I’ve realized is it’s essentially the work of a researcher. Council receives a binder of thousands of pages of documents, and they have to read it through and make decisions accordingly.
If I’m not elected, I would start by joining one of the many topic-specific committees at City Hall; for example, there’s an advisory committee on LGBTQ2+ folks in the city. There’s an advisory committee on people with disabilities, on immigrants and refugees, on indigenous communities, on women, and gender diverse folks, etcetera. So joining one of these, getting into city hall, putting my voice out there.
And then I’ll see where I’m at. I don’t know where I’ll be in four years, but if I’m in the City of Vancouver, I’ll definitely consider running again.
I’d like us to make some changes — more coops would be great, more community living, more community hubs. Just a place that’s not so hard to live, where people are working two jobs and don’t see each other, like my friends who own a house. One of them goes to work and comes home, and the other one goes to work, and then there’s not much money left over for anything.
I feel like life is more difficult than it should be for people, and I’d like to see some creative solutions for that. I’d be willing to put as much work into that as I possibly can. And I don’t think it’s impossible, and it’s not idealistic. We just need to work — put some more pressure on the federal government to get involved. Get back into helping people get housing.
Housing really is the most important thing for people. Affordable housing for people to live in — we have to be creative about that.
I replied and said, “Actually, what I want is something that, for the most part, wouldn’t even break above the tree line on the west side.” I included some photos of a Vancouver co-housing example, and said, “This would be my dream — this type of development sprinkled throughout the city.”
Because it’s more affordable, and it’s more sustainable. People have a lot of the things they need within that development, in terms of a community garden, a lounge for the teens, a woodworking shop, a bike mechanic area, a communal kitchen and meeting room. It’s idyllic. I did a tour of that in June, and when I posted photos on my Instagram, so many people messaged me: “How do I live in this place?”
We need that level of community and affordability; not even aggressive density. Mid-level density — it’s 31 units on three single family home lots. That’s the kind of stuff I wish existed in more abundance in this city, and right now it’s the hardest thing for us to build.
That’s not a threat to anybody’s way of life. In fact, from the street, you’d be hard-pressed to say it was any different from any of the detached homes that surround it, and I think that’s what people most often misunderstand about what I’m advocating for. I don’t want towers in Kits. I want that type of development, and stuff that’s even below that level of density, but in enough supply that people of my generation, and younger and older — renters, people who are so far excluded from security of tenure in this city — to be able to access.
Often we’re living in these isolated living arrangements, like condo towers and detached houses. That’s why even pets have a place in my platform. I’m not a dog owner myself, because my building forbids it, but being able to walk outside and strike up a conversation with somebody, often that’s because dogs are allowed.
We need to find ways to create social fabric and community where we live, whether that’s architecturally or through relaxing regulations. Because right now we live in isolating times.