Trish Kelly quits as Vision Vancouver park candidate to halt distractions over her sex-positive activism
Last month, Strathcona resident and food policy council member Trish Kelly won the most votes in Vision Vancouver's nomination race for four positions on its park-board slate.
According to a June 23 email from Vision Vancouver, she was supported by 1,662 Vision members, which was way ahead of second-place finisher Naveen Girn's 1,125 votes. (It's possible that Kelly's vote total is incorrect because in the same email, Vision said that more than 1,650 party members voted.)
But today, Kelly announced in a news release that she won't be a candidate in the November election.
“After 25 years of serving my community, I put my name forward as a Park Board nominee to move my life as a community activist fighting for social justice issues, to claiming a seat at the decision-making table," Kelly stated. "Unfortunately, my work in theatre and as a sex-positive activist is being sensationalized—and will clearly continue to be—distracting from my efforts in the community and in the election campaign.”
Kelly, a popular member of Vancouver's LGBT community, made a humorous video about masturbation, which was posted on YouTube by political activist Raymond Tomlin. (The video has since been taken down.)
“I have never hidden from this work," Kelly said in the news release. "I hold no shame nor regret for the work I have produced. I have dedicated, and will continue to dedicate, much of my life to contributing to my community, to having difficult conversations, and to making myself vulnerable in order to make space for others.”
Kelly, who's of Métis and Ukrainian heritage, was unavailable for an interview to say what role this video may have played in her choosing not to be on the ballot.
Vision Vancouver's executive director, Stepan Vdovine, told the Straight by phone that the party hasn't decided if there will be another nomination meeting.
He also wouldn't say if the person who came fifth in Vision's park-board nomination race, Graham Anderson, will take Kelly's spot as a Vision park candidate.
Anderson, the cofounder of Shift Delivery and chair of the East End Food Co-op, received 567 votes in the nomination race. He was followed by Vancouver library board chair Catherine Evans with 526 votes, and then West End community activist Brent Granby, who received 505 votes.
"We will make our decision, you know, around what will happen to that now-open seat sometime down the road," Vdovine said. "We haven't had the conversations and we haven't made that decision."