One of my favourite childhood memories was going into the backyard of our Vancouver Special in East Van and helping my parents with their garden. I remember watering the plants and smelling the earth in my hands as we grew onions, tomatoes, green beans, and peas. Later on of course, I realized that my parents were trying to connect me with generations of my family that had been involved in agriculture, cultivating food, and sharing traditions. It is moments like this that I want every person to be able to experience and I believe park board can play a greater role in making this possible.
I believe in a vibrant and inclusive Vancouver where people are connected—to their land, to their history, to each other and to our future. As a park board commissioner, I would be committed to ensuring that our green spaces, community centres, and public amenities are dynamic, accessible, and shaped based on the needs and input of our diverse communities. I am passionate about activating public spaces through arts, recreation, and culture to create a greater sense of community, sharing, and belonging.
My life and career has been rooted in community engagement—bringing different cultures, generations, and communities together in meaningful dialogue about the past, present, and future of our city. I have tapped into the wisdom of our diverse communities to illuminate missing histories and perspectives as curator for exhibits like Bhangra.Me and Komagata Maru: 1914-2014. As past chair of Vision Vancouver community outreach and current member of the City of Vancouver public art committee, I have worked hard to engage community leaders, to reconcile diverse viewpoints, and to ensure that decisions about our city are made in an informed and equitable way.
In the coming years, our city will be facing some important challenges in regards to climate change, affordability, and food security. As a steward, I will work hard to maintain the high quality of our parks and community centres while looking for opportunities to expand our green spaces and public amenities in a responsive and sustainable way. We can create more inclusive public spaces where seniors, children, newcomers, and adults can feel more connected to our natural environments and to each other. I will bring fresh new ideas on how to build a more vibrant and sustainable city from around the world, while looking to community elders and volunteers to share their experiences and guidance. Most of all, I remain dedicated to fostering dialogue and to ensuring that your voices and concerns are a central part of the decision making process. This is our city and taking clear, progressive action now will help us to sustain Vancouver’s natural beauty and rich intercultural legacy for generations. Together, we can build a more inclusive and sustainable city for all.