A long-time community activist hopes to become what he believes is the first person from the Aboriginal community to be elected in Vancouver city politics.
Ken Clement, executive director of Healing our Spirit B.C. Aboriginal HIV/AIDS society, will run for a school board slot with Vision Vancouver.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had an Aboriginal person on school board, park board or city council,” Clement said.
Clement said his candidacy is the result of meetings with executives from Aboriginal groups around the city.
“We felt it was time to have our voices heard,” he said. “There has never been an Aboriginal voice in city politics. I think the time is right for the Aboriginal community to step forward to present a lot of our issues.”
I had said ‘sells out’ school board, but thought it was, well, maybe too strong a statement. But it does seem clear that what I was afraid of is the case -Vision appears to be in fact more interested in controlling city council and the mayor’s office then they are in issues like public education. Throughout the year the executive advised the Vision Education Committee that the goal was a majority on all boards. When asked directly if school board would be traded for council seats the exec members who came to committee meetings hedged their bets and were evasive.
What has to be said is that the COPE negotiators have shown that they are experienced and know a thing or two about what is important. By working to establish a strong hold on School Board and extend their reach on Park Board COPE will be well positioned to move forward next time around. One or two council seats will keep them in the spot light (and also allow for the Gregor effect to wash across the rest of the COPE slate). It’s not a bad thing in the long run. COPE will have shown that it can stay the course, shape outcomes, and be the effective party of the progressive voice.
My admiration and respect goes up.
In light of these changes my earlier endorsements will have to switch. I had anticipated a short slate and named five Vision possibles that I would support: Luke, Bacchus, Vdovine, Clement, and Lombardi. To be honest, I’m not sure were to go on this one. I am going to wait until the Tuesday meet the candidate meeting to make up my mind. There are good reasons for all of these people. And no good reasons to remove anyone of them from the list. Its a shame that Vision brokered a deal to trade school board for city council and mayor.
From Frances Bula: Internal war breaks out among Vision candidates
The situation is ugly and tense, according to just about everyone I’m talking to, as Vision Vancouver members and candidates head towards the Sept. 20 vote for their slates. People are threatening to quit; Vision women are demanding a meeting with Vision leader Gregor Robertson; and there’s just a lot of unhappiness. What’s going on?
1. Robertson started calling candidates this weekend to tell them about the likely numbers negotiated for slate splits with COPE and Green Party. The multitudes of Vision candidates are supremely unhappy because it appears that COPE will get the majority of spots on the nine-spot school board slate, while Vision will only get a bare majority on the park board. That means even rougher competition than is already going on for the fewer spots now available. The numbers being put out: 8 Vision/2 COPE for council; 5 COPE/4 Vision for school board; and 4 Vision/2 COPE/1 Green for park board.