New left-wing Vancouver party raises prospect of defunding, detasking, and disarming the Vancouver Police Department

The Democratic Socialists of Vancouver think that a "Vancouver for All" platform will resonate with voters

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      It looks like the Coalition of Progressive Electors and OneCity Vancouver will face a new rival on the left in the 2022 Vancouver election.

      The Democratic Socialists of Vancouver website reveals that it will hold a "platform launch event" online for "Vancouver For All" on January 15.

      "Vancouver For All is a grassroots, participatory platform, initiated by the DSOV, for the municipal election taking place in October 2022," the Democratic Socialists of Vancouver declare. "Help us put the needs of the many over the greed of a few."

      The group states that it's seeking to identify 10,000 supporters between now and May 1, noting that "specific policies to implement Vancouver for All will come from the grassroots!"

      It has a 10-point plan to win the election, which includes homes for people and taxes on the rich.

      The Democratic Socialists of Vancouver advocate zoning that would favour truly nonprofit housing, such as coops and social housing, and it supports vacancy control and other protections for tenants. Free transit would be part of its plan for "real climate action".

      That's not all. The party wants more public funding for a safe drug supply, mental-health care, and community-led safety, not "bloated police budgets".

      "Defund the VPD and reallocate the funding," the Democratic Socialists of Vancouver state.

      Other priorities include returning land to Indigenous peoples and more public spaces, recreation facilities, and arts venues rather than "soulless gentrification".

      In addition, the Democratic Socialists of Vancouver aim to put the needs of disabled persons, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and all marginalized people higher on the priority list.

      The party would not defer to other levels of government in the fight against COVID-19 and other public-health emergencies.

      In the recent past, explicitly socialist parties have not fared particularly well in B.C. In the 2020 provincial election, for example, the B.C. Ecosocialists flamed out after a great deal of effort was put into developing policies and recruiting candidates.

      But the Democratic Socialists of Vancouver can foresee a path to victory because a lower percentage of voters tend to show up at the polls in local elections. 

      "Turnout in these municipal elections is traditionally very low, under 40 per cent," the group declares on its website. "Let’s give people a reason to go to the polls this year! We welcome candidates from other parties signing on to support our priorities, and will democratically decide on running or endorsing candidates for Mayor, City Council, School and Park Board." 

      The Democratic Socialists of Vancouver Twitter account has 1,393 followers, which exceeds the combined total of three other new civic parties: Progress Vancouver, A Better City, and TEAM for a Livable Vancouver