22-year-old Diego Cardona seeking Vision Vancouver nomination for council

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      One of Vancouver’s youngest aspiring politicians is making a second bid for a seat on city council.

      “I’ve decided to put forward my name again for city council because it’s time to shake up Vancouver’s political scene,” Diego Cardona said today (April 23) quoted in a media release. “We have a major opportunity to make real progress this fall without moving backwards, or allowing the forces that represent the old Vancouver from taking over city hall. With incumbents from all major political parties retiring, there’s space for fresh voices.”

      Cardona first appeared on Vancouver’s political scene when he ran as Vision Vancouver’s candidate for council in a by-election that was held last October. He placed fifth, taking just 11.26 percent of the vote.

      Today Cardona said he’s sticking with Vision, seeking the party’s nomination to hopefully rank among the slate of council candidates it fields in the civic election scheduled for October 2018.

      Cardona is just 22 years old but, as the Straight reported last year, he already has a long life story.

      He moved to Vancouver in 2005 with his mother and younger sister. They arrived as refugees from Colombia after guerrilla forces kidnapped and murdered Cardona’s father. Then, in 2012, when Cardona was 16, he lost his mother to leukemia. He and his sister were placed in foster care. Cardona graduated high school with top marks and was accepted to UBC. He was studying politics and economics there until 2016, when he was diagnosed with cancer and took a break from school to successfully undergo treatment.

      Cardona works as a program coordinator for Kiwassa Neighbourhood House in Vancouver's East Side. He also volunteers with a group he cofounded called Fresh Voices, which assists and advocates on behalf of new immigrants.

      In today’s media release, Cardona describes his young age as an asset to his candidacy.

      “We have a rare chance to elect a city council that represents the new Vancouver: renters, young professionals, working families, and marginalized communities that have been historically left out and left behind,” he said.

      “The Vision Vancouver I will represent is fresh, diverse, young, energetic and unapologetic about doing what’s right, even if it makes some of the more privileged people in our city uncomfortable,” Cardona continued. “It is in this discomfort that we will grow and mature as a city.”