OneCity is looking to parlay its breakthrough in the October 14 Vancouver special election into bigger electoral gains.
Carrie Bercic won a seat in the school board, becoming the first candidate of the party to enter the winning column.
With a general election coming up next year, Bercic says OneCity is determined to make a bigger push.
“We’re going to continue that momentum right through the 2018 [election],” Bercic told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Tuesday (October 17). “We’re very excited.”
Bercic placed eight in the race for nine seats in the school board. Her colleague Erica Jaaf came in 12th, garnering more votes than Mike Lombardi, who was a former school board chair.
In the special election for one seat in city council, Judy Graves with OneCity placed fourth among the nine candidates.
OneCity is a relatively new party. A splinter from the left-leaning Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), the party was launched in 2014.
Former B.C. NDP MLA David Chudnovsky and Rafael 'RJ' Aquino split from COPE to form OneCity.
In 2014, the party fielded Aquino as its sole candidate for council, but had no success.
With its single win the October 14 by-election, OneCity is hoping to build on its current momentum going into the general election next year.
“That’s exactly our goal,” Bercic said in the interview. “And we really want to be a progressive voice for the people in Vancouver.”
During the by-election campaign, OneCity won the endorsement of the Vancouver and District Labour Council, which represents 110 union locals with a combined membership of 60,000.
“We’re a people-run campaign,” said Bercic, who next took an apparent dig at the ruling Vision Vancouver party of Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re certainly not a campaign with big developer dollars behind us.”
According to her, Vancouver voters will expect the same from OneCity in 2018.
“It will be a people-powered campaign,” Bercic said. “We rely on our volunteers and the people of Vancouver to push us forward, and that we will be getting out there face to face with the people of Vancouver and finding what it is they want, and doing our best to listen and move that as part of our campaign.”
Bercic couldn’t say yet who she will support for the post of chair in the Vancouver school board.
“I will be supporting the most progressive voice that will put their name forward,” Bercic said.
In addition to Bercic, there are three elected trustees each from the Greens and Vision Vancouver, and two from the Non-Partisan Association.