Meet the MLA-hopeful ready to tackle issues that matter to young voters

Feb 16 2017, 7:28 pm

Gabe Garfinkel wants to bring a fresh perspective to provincial politics.

Garfinkel, 31, is currently campaigning to be the next nominee for the BC Liberals in the Vancouver-Fairview riding and he is hoping to be the voice of younger Vancouverites this election.

The Fairview neighbourhood–which spans between west Mount Pleasant to east Shaughnessy– is filled with young professionals and growing families.

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“I think that the next generation is here,” Garfinkel told Daily Hive. “I really care about our neighbourhood and community.”

Garfinkel is a life-long Fairview resident and he has seen the neighbourhood transform over the years. As a considerably younger candidate, he feels that he has a fresh perspective on the issues that impact young Vancouverites and families.

“Vancouver-Fairview is the hub,” said Garfinkel. “There are so many new jobs, whether it’s health sciences, tech, or creative economy. I think that these sectors are some I understand and some that I think young people have great opportunity to give input into it.”

Connects to the issues

One of the biggest issues Garfinkel wants to tackle is housing affordability. “When I hear about housing affordability, that’s something I am experiencing first hand,” he said, admitting that his current apartment is “embarrassingly small.”

Garfinkel has been working to make connections with people in his community to understand what issues matter most to them, and housing is almost always their number one concern.

“Not only to I understand (people in the neighbourhood), I relate to them,” he said. “Growing our economy or making sure life is affordable I think those are the things I am seeing first hand.” 

More experienced competition

Garfinkel is facing off against more experienced competition for the BC Liberal nominee. The vote takes place on Sunday, February 19, and Garfinkel is running against three-time Vancouver councillor, Elizabeth Ball, is well-versed in the political area.

“I have tremendous respect for my opponent and I think she has done a great job,” Garfinkel said.

But he believes that he can relate more to the riding’s younger demographic. He is well connected on social media through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and says this helps him reach out to residents and hear their concerns.

I want to take my understanding of social media and apply it with good old fashioned work ethic that is hopefully going to allow me to have more one on one conversations and connections with people in Vancouver-Fairview,” he said. 

Garfinkel says he has already garnered a lot of support from young people who have joined his campaign.

“What’s been inspiring(..) is being able to work with them to show them that they too have a voice in provincial matters,” he said.