Opinion: This 26-year-old wants Victoria to reflect the diversity of BC

Oct 20 2020, 3:23 pm

Written as an opinion piece for Daily Hive by Tesicca Truong, the NDP candidate in Vancouver-Langara. 


My name is Tesicca Truong 張慈櫻 Trương Từ Anh, and I’m running as the BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Langara. I have many names because I span many worlds. I’m the daughter of immigrants and refugees as well as an award-winning housing, community, and climate change policy strategist and advocate. At 26, I’ve lived through the economic crisis, the housing crisis, the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impending climate emergency. I’m young and I’m racialized. I am not running to be an MLA despite all this, I’m running because of it. We need our representatives in Victoria to reflect the diversity of BC.

Young people will inherit the impacts of choices made by today’s elected leaders. That’s one of the reasons I co-founded CityHive, which is a not-for-profit organization focused on engaging young people with government and institutions. We need more perspectives and voices providing feedback on the policy decisions that impact our communities. We know that the impacts of both COVID-19 and the climate crisis are compounded when you are racialized, a woman, LGBTQ, disabled, or living in poverty — and even more so when you are at the intersection of these identities. Yet too often, decisions are made about people’s lives without including those with lived experience. I want to change that.

I’ve been working to bring people together to find solutions for almost a decade. Before I was 25, I had the opportunity to advise the Minister of Environment and help to shape climate policy in our province. I’ve brought together stakeholders to find innovative solutions to the housing crisis that is pushing too many of my peers out of Metro Vancouver. What I know is that political decisions are made by those who show up, and I want to show up for residents of Vancouver-Langara.

 

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While COVID-19 has caused so much harm across our province, the recovery effort provides an opportunity to build a better, fairer, climate-resilient economy. After this election, the provincial government will be tasked with choosing whether we meet our climate obligations or whether we give up on future generations. The government will choose whether we invest in people — by funding healthcare, housing, education, childcare and creating a strong network of social services — or whether we leave families, seniors, and small businesses to struggle in isolation.

I have so much hope for the future. That’s why I’m putting my name on the ballot. No government is perfect, but I’ve seen the real changes the BC NDP has made during their three years in power and I want the opportunity to push from the inside for continued progress. I believe in the shared wisdom of our community, and I’m committed to deep listening in order to understand the challenges members of our community face and to advocate for policy solutions. I’ve spent most of my young life fighting for justice, equity, and sustainability. Running for MLA is just one more step in what is a lifetime commitment to building a better world.

This election, I’m bringing my lived experience as a young, racialized woman who is the daughter of immigrants and refugees with me on the journey. I’m bringing the experience of working with thousands of people who have shared their knowledge and passion with me. I’m bringing my belief that we can make a difference in our communities, whether as an advocate or elected representative. I hope you’ll join me.

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