28 February 2011

Tweets and twitters; robbing Peter to pay Paul

I have entered the world of Twitter (for those interested you can find me @betterparks) and have found a whole new world. Tonight Brent Granby of COPE was twittering at the Board and tweeted that I did not support the Board funding the Homeless Shower program. This is incorrect. As I stated at the meeting, I fully support the program--after all I brought the motion to supply soap and hot water in all PB public facilities because I believe everyone has the right to be clean. What I objected to was the vote to take money from one program to pay for another. The Board voted tonight to take money from the golf course maintenance contingency fund to pay for our budget short-fall and the shower program. If city council had given us a sufficient budget, we would not have a deficit to make up and we could fund new initiatives like the homeless shower program. It surprised me that Brent would send this out. COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock was absent tonight, so I don't know how she would have voted, but like me she voted against the budget in December which included the idea of taking money from other programs to pay for the deficit.

23 February 2011

Vancouver Not Vegas!

I have signed the petition and joined the coalition to stop the building of a mega-casino at BC Place. Please read the petition and sign up to show your support for Vancouver Not Vegas!

Position Statement of the Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition

Our position: On February 1, 2011, Vancouver City Council passed a motion calling for a full public review of gaming in the Province of BC.

1. The Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition asks Vancouver City Council to pass a moratorium on the granting of new gaming licenses in Vancouver until that public review has taken place;

2. We further ask that City Council sever the appended Edgewater application for increased slot machines and gaming tables from the PavCo Re-Zoning Application of 777 Pacific Boulevard. We ask that the Edgewater application be re-commenced with proper notice to the public of the extent of the expansion sought.


Your participation will help us defeat the proposed Edgewater mega-casino. It’s looking very promising, but we need your letters, your presence at the hearings, and your short speeches. Help us urge our City Council to say “No Dice!” to the BC government’s application for massive gaming expansion in our downtown. For news and blog posts, click here.

Please help by doing the following:

1. Sign up to speak City Council at the NEW DATE: Monday March 7, 7:30 public hearings at City Hall. Even just a few sentences to Council is enough. Dial 311 or 604-873-7191 to sign up.

2. Sit with us in the Council Chamber on the evening of Monday March 7, 7:30 pm at City Hall, as well as subsequent dates (TBA – check City Schedule).

3. Write to Vancouver Mayor and Council. Use the City of Vancouver feedback form or just send your own concise email to: mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca, gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca, michael.magee@vancouver.ca, geoff.meggs@vancouver.ca, tim.stevenson@vancouver.ca, ellen.woodsworth@vancouver.ca, suzanne.anton@vancouver.ca, david.cadman@vancouver.ca, andrea.reimer@vancouver.ca, kerry.jang@vancouver.ca, clrlouie@vancouver.ca, heather.deal@vancouver.ca, george.chow@vancouver.ca, vancouvernotvegas@gmail.com

4. Sign our Petition.

5. JOIN our website – subscribe on the right-hand sidebar. This allows us to send you (infrequent) info & appeals for help.

6. Volunteer! Send us an e-mail: vancouvernotvegas@gmail.com . Thank you, Vancouver! This is OUR home. Don’t let them roll the dice on our city’s future.

04 February 2011

Enquiring minds want to know...

I just had a call from a member of the press asking if it was true that I would be running for City Council in the next election. My response was that it was news to me! I have not yet decided if I will run at all, let alone for City Council. This is the second call from the press on this topic. I suppose with the next civic election just over 10 months away, people are starting to get interested. It is true that I have been asked by some people I respect very much if I would run for Council.

My time on Park Board has had its disappointments--especially the nastiness of some of the other Commissioners in their personal attacks. I don't mind a good debate--in fact I long for it, as real debate has been conspicuous in its absence at the Park Board--but there should be no room for petty personal attacks. Parks and green spaces seem to have taken a back seat to other issues this term. The continuing cuts in services and programming due to budget constraints, and the lack of interest in the environment for most of this term have also been disappointing. Pet projects and political posturing have been the biggest priority it seems to me.

I have devoted much of my adult life to serving the community in one way or another, and what I need to decide is if politics is the best way to make my contribution. Those who know me know I talk about the almost magical childhood I had growing up in Vancouver parks. I loved both the summer and winter days at the beach, the sunny days at the outdoor pools with my family and friends, and the terrific programming at my local community centre. And then of course all the time spent in my local park and the really magical outings to Stanley Park and the Bloedel Conservatory. It is the memories from my childhood that drew me to the Park Board and advocating for parks and green spaces.

I am proud of my advocacy both on and off the Board and will continue to advocate for those things I believe in. There are still many things I want to achieve for my community. As I told the Straight, I just have to decide if I can best do that at the elected level.