Ahead of the BC Election, Daily Hive has been speaking to a few of the candidates running from all three parties to find out what motivates them.
Here, Amanda Konkin, 31, who is running for the BC Greens in Vancouver-Point Grey, shares her story and political advice for young voters.
What’s your story?
I have a background studying politically-motivated theatre practices and working with non-profit organizations in the arts sector.
I got my masters degree from UBC studying the work of local company Theatre for Living and their use of community dialogue to create evidence-based policy recommendations.
I have always had a love for the arts and politics and after I graduated UBC I worked with a variety of companies doing everything from producing, to box office ticketing, to teaching.
Over the years I have transitioned away from theatre into the film and television industry, where I currently work as a production coordinator at a local animation studio.
While I love what I do, I have always felt as though I gave up something important when I left my work teaching and producing in the arts.
With the growing negativity in our current political climate I felt the desire to step up and do something about it! When I sent my first email to the BC Greens asking for a nomination package, I knew that I had found my way back to those roots.
Why the BC Greens?
If we want to bring positive change into politics then we need to stick to our principles. The BC Greens have always had policies that resonate with me and this election is no different.
I am not a politician–I am not in this campaign to try to manipulate the system or play political games. I want to help British Columbians achieve great things for this province and I truly believe that the BC Greens Platform is the way to do that.
I work in the new economy and know that BC requires innovative approaches in our leadership if we are to keep up with changing trends.
The BC Greens recognize the future of our province relies on taking advantage of new opportunities and investing in sustainable infrastructure and development.
We have used evidence-based reasoning in developing a strong, costed platform that puts the interests of British Columbians first, and I am proud to be running with this party.
What about the environment?
Growing up in the Okanagan, I took for granted my proximity to nature. It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I realized the sound that lulled me to sleep every night was the rushing creek outside my window.
My birthday is on April 22 – Earth Day – so I have always considered myself inextricably linked to the environment. Every year I celebrate getting another year older, I also get to celebrate this beautiful planet that enables me to do so.
I know that the environment is not a left wing or a right wing issue–the environment is a vital part of our lives and we need to do a much better job of acknowledging our obligations to protect it.
I had the incredible honour to introduce Dr. David Suzuki at the BC Greens Rally for Change in Victoria this April.
It was a fantastic opportunity to meet this Canadian icon in person and hear from him first hand about our fundamental need to do a better job of ensuring our environment can continue to sustain us.
After all, that is what we are talking about when we talk about the environment–our need for air, water and food.
The fundamental building blocks for human existence can only be provided by the Earth and we are making a huge mistake if we ignore and abuse it!
Everybody knows that we need to do a better job of protecting our environment if we want to build a sustainable, prosperous future and I hope that my generation has the guts and influence to do something about it.
Most importantly–I hope that we are not too late!
How is your campaign going?
It is amazing. I am running with an incredible array of inspiring candidates and I am so proud of the work we are doing to spread the word about the BC Greens.
This election it feels like we are a part of something so much bigger than any one campaign, or one individual.
We are part of a party with integrity, sound policy, and an inspiring leader. I know our grassroots efforts across BC are being felt and my team is working hard in this election to get the word out.
The feedback from the community and on doorsteps has been amazing and I hope that this election, BC realizes that they have a solid option to bring real change into BC politics. From what I keep hearing, it’s what BC wants.
What would you say to young people getting into politics?
Do it. The greatest feedback I have been receiving so far in this campaign is from individuals in my age demographic who are so pleased to see themselves represented in what I am discussing in debates and on the doorstep.
I know that there is a growing sentiment from younger generations to change the negative discourse around the term “Millennial”, and prove that we are highly engaged and aware of important social and political trends.
Young people in BC know that we can make a huge difference in our communities.
Keep believing that you can make a difference and that your voice matters.
We are growing up in a toxic political climate where people are ready for a change but too afraid to actually vote for what they believe in.
We have the power to change the political tide in BC and I hope that over the next decade young people continue to stand out and stand up for what they believe in.
With our dismal voter turnout in BC, the winner in every election is the non-voter.
We must continue to encourage young people to participate in the political process and support young voices in decision making throughout all levels of government.
By being a younger presence in politics, you show young people that their voice matters. We can change the conversation by putting ourselves forward and proving that we can and will be heard.
To find more guides to all the issues, interviews with the BC party leaders, and plenty of opinions, check out our full BC Election coverage here: Battleground BC.