I'm a teacher. A mother. An engaged citizen. I have lived in this city for around forty years. I am hopeful for the future, but also increasingly fearful. We cannot continue to measure our economic success by how efficiently our global economy uses up the earth's finite resources. Global economic inequality reaches new heights daily. Small business owners and low-income workers are being forced out of their neighbourhoods, unable to compete with the millions of global capital flowing through our streets. Addiction, homelessness and hopelessness plague our communities. Nature is crying for help too. Species are going extinct faster than ever. The oceans are filling with plastic, and fresh water supplies are dwindling. The next few decades are crucial if we are to survive the 21st century.
And yet politicians bicker. Instead of focusing on improving the things most people consider important--housing, health, education, infrastructure, the environment--they jockey for position and define themselves by how they disagree. Instead of spending public funds on improving badly needed social infrastructure, they give tax breaks to their buddies. They commission policy papers and spend money on PR instead of paying for "boots on the ground" to actually deal with our cities' problems. Finger pointing instead of consensus building. We can't afford to run our society like this anymore. We need regular people in politics. People like me and you.
In 2011 and 2013 I ran against Christy Clark and David Eby as the BC Green Party MLA candidate in Point Grey. I didn't expect to win either time, but I found it incredibly gratifying to share my ideas on a public stage. Not only that, but I managed to get people in power to listen to me, to respond, and to take a stand of their own.
That’s why I'm running for city council. Vancouver needs me. My city needs me. My daughters, my students, my friends and neighbours need me. We need renewable energy grids. Local farming. Coop housing and retrofits to encourage efficiency. Better public transit. We need more opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Artisan carts and small business grants. Protection for renters. When developers and global corporations come asking for favours we need a city council made up of people willing to push back in the public's interest. I am one of those people.