Opinion: New Vancouver political movement demands a better city

Apr 14 2021, 3:49 pm

Written for Daily Hive Urbanized by Stephen Molnar, Chair, and Wendy Hartley, Vice Chair, on behalf of the board of A Better City

We live in one of the world’s great cities, and it is in crisis. The city is in the grip of a poisoned drug crisis, a homelessness crisis, a public safety crisis, an affordability & housing crisis, a climate crisis, a small business crisis, and a global pandemic. All of this is being confronted while our political class succumbs to the crisis of our age – partisanship.

We, citizens of Vancouver, have been mostly stuck at home, doing our best to support our families and keep them safe in the face of all this. We have been confronted by the divisiveness of politics during a time of crisis: bikes vs. cars, renters vs. owners, the housed vs. the homeless.

We are tired of it. We demand A Better City.

Today, we’re launching Vancouver’s newest political movement. A Better City is a home for anyone who believes in the potential of our world-class city, who is tired of petty partisans derailing important conversations, and believes that if we do the work, together, we will have a city worthy of celebrating again.

Our founding members are drawn from across this city, representing a diverse group of ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, and political viewpoints. Our doors are open, and we welcome anyone who is ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on building A Better City.

Our values are the heart of our movement, and we hope that they resonate with our friends, our neighbours, and our fellow citizens:

  • Boldness in tackling the problems facing our city
  • Accountability in our actions and the way we lead
  • Sustainability in planning the growth and future of our city
  • Inclusivity in welcoming and celebrating everyone
  • Service in support of our community

We plan to live up to and live into these values, and encourage their growth in every part of our movement. We are committed to doing politics in a new way.

We’re going to stagger our leadership nominations: A Mayoral nomination in October 2021, followed by a six-month Council, Park Board and School Board nominating process ending in March 2022.

We will be supporting a broad policy consultation across the entire city with interest groups representing social, educational, and business interests to ensure that we have done the work to build consensus on policy and process before taking the case to the voters in October 2022.

We will be doing our work in alignment with the principles of Reconciliation with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) on whose unceded territory we live, work, and play.

The work ahead of us isn’t going to be easy, but we believe that the people of Vancouver expect better, and we aim to build a better city together, for everyone.

If we achieve what we’re setting out to do, we’ll build a vibrant, resilient, and growing city that we can all be proud of.

We invite you to join our movement: volunteer, donate, and subscribe today at our website, ABetter.City.

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