We live in a complex, too often cruel world.
On the evening news, we listen to reports about the ongoing negotiations to free the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped six months ago by Boko Haram, followed by a report interviewing a young Kurdish father who, despite not being paid for six months by a corrupt Iraqi government continues his fight against the extremist ISIL forces in order that he might "protect my family from harm, my wife and my young daughters."
We blink, our eyes water, we know we are powerless to do anything to change the cruelest of circumstances occurring across our globe.
Where and when do we possess the agency to help make this a better, a kinder and more just world, where children will awake each morning and know that this will not be a day of hunger, where shelter will consist of more than a blanket and a mat within a bedbug-infested hostel, where the needs of our families will be prioritized over the pecuniary demands of developers dedicated to ensuring the re-election of a government whose sole grievous purpose is to line their own pockets at the public expense?
Charity, as you have heard throughout your life, begins at home.
Tomorrow, the advance polls in the 2014 Vancouver civic election open, giving us the opportunity to make a difference, to improve the lives of all those who live around us. Advance polls will be open 8 a.m. thru 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 4th thru Monday, November 10th, and again on Wednesday, November 12th, at any one of the following locations:
- Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue, at Cambie
- Kerrisdale Community Centre, 5851 West Boulevard
- Killarney Community Centre, 6260 Killarney Street
- Kitsilano Community Centre, 2690 Larch Street
- Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
- Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street
- Thunderbird Community Centre, 2311 Cassiar Street
- West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street
Collectively, on election day, Saturday, November 15th, those of us who live in Vancouver have the opportunity to return democratic governance to City Hall and our Vancouver Park Board, where human-scale over highrise development once again becomes a priority for our elected officials, where our community centres will once again receive the funding and supports necessary to meet the needs of our community, and where our parks might once again be transformed into green oases rather than the increasingly desecrated, untended to lands that has become the case under our present shockingly unjust and self-serving Vision Vancouver civic administration.
There's just no other way to say it: in Vancouver, we have a godawful, undemocratic, secretive, oppressive government at City Hall & Park Board, dedicated to meeting the needs of their developer funders over your needs. Vision Vancouver has not earned and does not deserve your vote.
Over the course of the past 6 years of Vision Vancouver's term in power ...
- Our parks have become overrun with invasive species;
- Highrise-driven "town centres" were approved in far too many of our neighbourhoods, and many, many more are on the way in every neighbourhood across our city, if Vision Vancouver is re-elected;
- More homeless than ever sleep on our streets;
- Children go to school hungry because our current Vision Vancouver civic administration refused to fund children's breakfast programmes when a cruel provincial government withdrew funding;
- A war on cars has driven the price of parking and fines (the latter now without benefit of appeal) into the stratosphere, in order to fund bike lanes through parks, along our foreshore & through our green spaces;
- Gentrification takes place in our most livable neighbourhoods, where affordable, market-driven rental accommodation has been replaced by condominiums marketed to offshore buyers;
- One community cinema after another has closed its doors (The Ridge, The Hollywood Theatre), while The Pantages Theatre, The Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Playhouse Theatre are no more.
Whether it's the failure to protect the arts, rampant tower-driven densification in our neighbourhoods (you think it's bad now, just elect a majority Vision Vancouver administration, and I promise you won't recognize the city you love, nearing the end of their next term), children going to school hungry, clogged thoroughfares, pitiless bus service, underfunded community centres, Vision Vancouver has failed us, all of us.
The time has come to give Vancouver's cruelest, most-serving of developer's interests municipal administration the heave-ho, to send a clear message that the enough is enough.
When you head to the polls, no matter for whom you choose to cast your ballot, make sure of one thing: do not cast one vote for a Vision Vancouver City Councillor, and not one Vision Vancouver Park Board candidate deserves a checkmark beside her or his name. We must take our city back.
Do not vote Vision Vancouver.
Preserve what is good about our city, invest in our city and in Vancouver's future as a city of livable neighbourhoods, and love the city we all call home. At the advance polls, or on election day, cast your ballot as you wish — but please, please, do not support Vision Vancouver at the polls.
Posted by Raymond Tomlin at November 3, 2014 1:52 AM in Decision 2014