Fledgling Green group vying for council seats in Surrey election
Activist and radio host Imtiaz Popat is running for Surrey council with an electoral team that he says will offer citizens a stronger voice in City Hall.
Popat is campaigning in partnership with mayoral candidate Deanna Welters and council candidate Bernadette Keenan. The three candidates call themselves the “Surrey Independent Greens Now”.
“The people of Surrey are not involved in the decision making…. We offer that voice,” Popat told the Straight by phone today (October 31).
The Surrey Independent Greens Now candidates are not endorsed by the Green Party and will appear as independents on the ballot. Popat described the recently established alliance as “an informal Green slate”.
“Greens have always been about grassroots democracy, community-based decision making,” he said.
Key issues for Popat include affordable transit, business accountability, revitalization of the Fraser River waterfront, and supporting artists.
The longtime Surrey resident described the current city council as “pro-industrialization” and expressed opposition to projects like the South Fraser Perimeter Road.
“We’re not against industry per se, or businesses, but we want them to be responsible. We want them to be responsible for their waste management, we want them to recycle, and we want them to help clean up the river,” he said.
Popat said Surrey needs “a group of politicians that will actually advocate for the community and the people here”.
Surrey voters are to elect one mayor, eight councillors, and six school trustees on November 19.