Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
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So many choices.... how to vote

Here is one guide to voting that helps you navigate the myriad choices in this election. I don't like Frances portrayal of COPE as comical out of touch lefties... other than that it's pretty informative and useful:

I’m hearing from more than one person that this election is very confusing for them, especially those who are young and/or who are not regular political junkies. They aren’t sure what the parties really stand for, whether some candidates are better than others, and whether they should vote strategically — or even how to do that.
This is my attempt to help out with a short guide that’s not written in the often coded language of most news articles. It is necessarily incomplete and inevitably informed by some of my personal preferences.
People who read this blog regularly know already that I’m a centrist moderate, with a weakness for good-hearted conservatives and pragmatic lefties. I do retain a special place for the odd fiery rabble-rouser, right or left, if I think they’re making telling points. I place value on people who have put in some time learning about their communities and city politics and shown a commitment to causes. And I prefer those who can make their case without too much hyperbole or outright lying — though that’s a tough condition in this fractious round. Finally, it matters to me what a political party or candidate actually accomplishes or proposes that can be realistically accomplished. (Sometimes I’m too cautious and I acknowledge that.)
With all that, I’m not going to recommend very many individual candidates, as others have. It’s not that kind of election.
This time, it’s a choice among parties, not candidates. All of the candidates from all of the parties are sticking to their party line. Vision votes like a bloc, and the NPA candidates are almost indistinguishable, just lining up behind their mayoral candidate without even being introduced. You’d have to go to a lot of all-candidates’ meetings to get a real sense of any differences. I haven’t had time to do that, as a one-humanperson band. And, even then, I think I’d end up differentiating more on the basis of style and rhetorical ability than anything else.
I also don’t believe in recommending political choices as though they are right for all voters. Everyone comes with different values and questions.  And this blog post is not for those who are diehard Vision only, NPA only, or COPE only voters. You guys know what you’re doing. It’s for those in the middle, who are thinking about picking a mix, who are thinking about switching from the way they voted last time, who are wondering to stay with old choices.
.... more details: actual names


don't blow it people - VOTE!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carmen Mills
Date: Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Hello my friends,

(if you do not live in B.C. please feel free to ignore this email)

Tomorrow, Saturday, is civic election day in B.C. Wherever you live, I urge you, please select a few minutes within your busy day and live them well: get out in the sunshine and VOTE.

Let me say that I really and truly loathe party politics. I am convinced that where party politics begins is where true democracy ends. So, I am not suggesting that you vote for any party as defined by their logo or their name. But if you love this city, please think of what you love about it, and who you really believe can bring that love to light. We have a lot to lose, and your vote could be the one that changes everything.

Vancouver certainly has all the challenges inherent in city life. But it is also a place of huge beauty, courage, and possibility. In the past few years I have grown to love Vancouver even more, as I have watched it blossom in so many small but huge ways: farmers' markets, street festivals, curbside composting, transit improvements, backyard chicken coops, laneway housing, community farms, social innovation, greenways and neighbourhood projects and public spaces, and of course, the genesis of a bicycle paradise which most of us would never have dreamed of even a decade ago. Every one of these small miracles has required courage, and each one has needed a champion at City Hall to stand up and fight for it.

Our current City Councillors, Park and School Board Reps, and our Mayor are those people. They are people like you and me: teachers, farmers, social workers, city planners, environmental activists. They ride bikes, they take transit, they live in rental housing. They stand in opposition to casinos and pipelines and tankers. They come to our demos, they dance with us at our parties, and they live with us on our streets. 

Please do not let the bankers and oil execs and lawyers get their greedy claws back into our beautiful home. We have come so far. Lets not blow it.

The polls are open 8am to 8pm. Walk, bike, drive if you must, whatever - just please, get out there tomorrow and VOTE. 

This has been a publicly self-serving announcement, in aid of all the good stuff. Thank you, enjoy!


for your VOTING consideration: Civic Election / "School Trustee" candidates: questions

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kari Hewett
Date: Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 12:33 AM
Subject: responses: for your VOTING consideration: Civic Election / "School Trustee" candidates: questions

Hello once again good folks,  * Civic Election Day is TOMORROW, Saturday 15 November * 

For those who haven't yet voted, and may want more grist, attached find some information for your consideration in response to the questions I circulated in early November. I was both surprised and a little saddened that only two (2) candidates replied: 
- Larry Falls (Independent) 
- Janet Fraser (Green)
No one from any of the (other) major parties contributed their thoughts. Still, it is always worth the outreach and engagement, especially where the necessary societal benefits of public education are concerned :) 
[My original questions are included in both Fraser's and Falls' responses]

Here also find the Vancouver Teachers' Federation endorsed list, mostly Vision Vancouver candidates and two from the Public Education Project, which you may find useful. I am also considering both Green and COPE candidates in this category. 

There are a few very helpful, non-party websites that I have read through: 
- The City of Vancouver's Plan Your Vote (and for Election Day details)
- The Vancouver Courier's Candidate Profiles
I apologise that this missive is later in the week than I intended, and will try to answer any questions you might have by Saturday. Thanks for taking part in our civic democracy, however you choose to do it ! 

Wishing you all warmth, wellness and wonder these darkening days, and with thanks for your time :) 


 ><((((º> .´¯`.¸ ><((((º> ..´¯`.¸ ><((((º>.´¯`.. ><((((º> .´¯`

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
    we borrow it from our children."
                                            ~ Navajo Proverb


our records show you haven’t voted in Vancouver

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kai Nagata, Dogwood Initiative <>
Date: Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 6:14 AM
Subject: Rusl, our records show you haven't voted in Vancouver

Dogwood Initiative

The last day of voting is this Saturday, November 15. But these races are so important we asked staff and organizers to vote early so everyone can spend election day on the phones.
Why? Because foreign oil companies have no limits on what they spend in our elections, but they still don't have the right to vote. They've got lots of money – but we've got lots of people.
The ability of grassroots citizens to beat Big Oil was on full display in Richmond, California last week. Chevron blasted the city with millions of dollars of advertising, buying every billboard and burying welcome mats in glossy pamphlets featuring their grinning pro-oil candidates.
Outspent 60 to 1, the progressive incumbents did the only thing they could: they rallied an army of citizen volunteers and they went and knocked on doors. Led by councillor Tom Butt, the people-powered campaign swept to victory – defeating Chevron in humiliating fashion.
We can do it too.
We can elect strong candidates who share our values and will fight for our home. We can elect mayors and councillors who will be a thorn in Kinder Morgan's side for the next four years.
But none of that will happen if people don't vote.
Click here to find you nearest voting location in Vancouver:
When you go to vote on Saturday, here's my challenge to you: find one person in your life that didn't vote in the last municipal election. Drag them to the polls. When you're done, go ahead and click this button:
Thanks again,

Kai on behalf of the whole Dogwood team

P.S. Are your friends overwhelmed by the number of candidates? Send them to so they can see how candidates answered our questions on tankers, coal and local democracy.

Dogwood Initiative - PO Box 8701 - Victoria, BC V8W3S3


Stop Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Please consider helping to fund the legal defense of the protestors:

For years British Columbians have been fighting pipelines. Our elected officials have joined the fight in varying ways, but two events earlier this month show that those officials are standing up to Kinder Morgan’s bullying tactics and pushing back on Harper’s pipeline agenda with new force. And we couldn’t be happier to see these officials unite with First Nations leaders and communities to remind Kinder Morgan that they don’t have our permission to sacrifice our parks for their profit...