On October 14 voters in Vancouver will elect a new City Councillor in a by-election.
Upon hearing that Geoff Meggs was to take up a position with the newly elected BC NDP Provincial Government it was clear that an opportunity for a progressive to be elected to city council had presented itself.
Jean Swanson, a long-time anti-poverty and housing justice activist, is the progressive who has a real chance of being elected. Her campaign is galvanizing new and old activists who are drawn to her message of genuine equality.
It’s a message that brings hope to the homeless, the precarious worker, and anyone struggling to make ends meet in this ever-increasing city of ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’.
Unionized workers, although enjoying workplace protections, know all too well that they are at risk of losing their homes because of the worsening housing crisis. Census stats released on Wednesday showed that Vancouver residents earn far less than residents of other Canadian cities and yet face one of the most expensive housing markets in the world.
We are labour activists but we know that workers live in communities. Their issues transcend narrow workplace issues of benefits, wages, and job security. They are part of communities that are being gentrified. They can no longer afford to live in this city. Now, more than ever, we have to connect our labour struggles with housing justice.
This reality and the hope that Jean brings for a voice on Council to press for real change is why I got on board and why other union members are signing up for volunteer shifts, donating a few dollars, and asking their sisters and brothers in the union movement to also support Jean Swanson’s bid for City Council.
We stand with Jean because she’s fighting for:
- a complete freeze on rent increases for 4 years since the BC NDP have the power to make that happen and we have to push our friends to do what’s necessary
- clean and safe drugs and treatment on demand to end the opioid crisis
- a mansion tax to fund our initiatives and take the speculative profit out of housing
- free internet and for great leaps to be made toward free transit
- a Chinatown that prioritizes working people and seniors; for more social housing units; for a real sanctuary city for people without immigration status
- and for a School Board that includes Diana Day, COPE’s incredible candidate and someone who would be the first indigenous woman ever on School Board
If you like what Jean Swanson is working for, it’s time for us to join and get her elected.
Gary Jarvis, CUPE Local 391
Sarah Bjorknas – CUPE Local 23
Danielle LaFrance – CUPE Local 391
Brian Peaslee – CUPE Local 391
Craig Searle – CUPE Local 391
Marita Michaelis – CUPE Local 391
Lisa David – HEU
Jeannette McConnell – CUPW
Kimball Cariou – Canadian Freelancers Union (CFU)
Jane Bouey CFU
Roger Newell CUPE 116
Ngaire Leach CUPE 3787
Riaz Behra CUPE 3787
Andrea Pinochet CUPE 15 & HEU
Gail Harmer BCGEU (retired)
Melissa Roth Local 467
Doug McCorquodale Millwrights 2736
Rider Cooey BCIT Faculty & Staff (retired)
Fiona York BCGEU 803
Claudia Ferris Unifor 780G
James Prothero Teamsters 155
Carol Jerde AUPE 02/02 (NUPGE)
Joel Blok CUPE 3338
Stephanie Fung CUPE 391
Alexis Greenwood CUPE 391
If you want to add your name to the list of signatories, email Gary at: email@example.com