Perhaps it was my mother who taught me the importance of giving back to make our neighbourhoods better places to live. My mom was the leader of a Boy Scouts group while I was growing up in Burnaby. Despite working full-time, raising my brother and me while my dad worked long hours, she still found time to contribute to her community.
As a married father of two sons, I have taken my mom’s lessons about community support to heart. When the boys were in elementary school, another father and I became president and vice-president of our school’s parent advisory committee. We developed fundraising events to support our school’s activities. Later on, I became a coach, then president of a little league in Vancouver, where I helped raise funds to buy new uniforms and grow registration. I also worked with the park board to improve our fields and gain approval to install a scoreboard. I, along with the help of others, got things done.
What drew me to seek election to the Vancouver park board in 2005 was a growing dissatisfaction with the lack of artificial turf playing fields in Vancouver. When I ran and was elected, we had one usable artificial turf field and two in such bad condition they were not usable. By the end of my second term in 2011, we’d added four new fields, and fixed the two in bad shape.
I also led a motion to invest monies to renovate the tennis courts at Kits Beach. And, as chair, I led the board and staff in developing an extensive and consultative plan to restore Stanley Park following the devastating 2006 windstorms. Through my six years on the park board, I was able to collaborate with other elected officials and get things done.
When I left politics in 2011, I never ruled out a return. I want to give back again and get things done. As councillor, I will:
- Hold developers more accountable and ensure we have adequate community amenities to support our growing population.
- Open up your government and city hall. The secrecy and lack of transparency displayed by Vision Vancouver is unacceptable.
- Listen and consult with the residents of Vancouver on priorities that will benefit us all, not just a select few groups.
- Find ways to better support small business. The number of businesses closing in various neighbourhoods is distressing. Gregor Robertson and Vision are doing nothing.
- Strengthen our economy by reaching out to business and tell them that Vancouver is a great place to invest and have a head office. We need more high-paying jobs coming to Vancouver.
- Restore and support an independent park board.
On November 15, I am asking for your support to elect me as city councillor. I—along with Kirk LaPointe and the NPA team—can give back, and will get things done.