May 4, 2014 – At a Special General Meeting held in downtown Vancouver on Sunday night, Green Party of Vancouver members nominated three Council candidates to carry the party’s banner in this year’s November 15th civic election.
On the ballot representing the Green Party of Vancouver this fall will be incumbent City Councillor Adriane Carr, social justice advocate Cleta Brown and Strathcona community leader Pete Fry.
Green Party of Vancouver 2014 Council Candidates: Cleta Brown, Adriane Carr and Pete Fry
Party members also called for a Vancouver election ballot plebiscite on Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand its pipeline to export tar sands bitumen through Vancouver’s harbour.
The general meeting quickly turned into a celebratory campaign launch as party members and volunteers discussed plans for the November 15th election and the strong possibility of electing Vancouver’s first caucus of Greens.
The Green Party of Vancouver is buoyed by its own and independent polling since the beginning of 2014 that show the party enjoying record levels of support from Vancouver citizens. The most recent poll by Justason Market Intelligence, released April 25, 2014, found the Green Party of Vancouver in solid second place, with 24% of decided voters preferring a Green majority on Council. Notably, the poll also found the Green Party to be the only major party whose support is increasing, rising one percentage point since January versus a decline of 5, 4 and 6 percentage points for Vision, NPA and COPE, respectively.
Notwithstanding the strong polling results, the Green Party of Vancouver is intentionally not aiming for a majority on Council this election.
Incumbent candidate Adriane Carr, with a UBC Master’s Degree in Urban Geography and decades of experience in Green politics, said, “I’m thrilled at the prospect of having two more Greens on Council with me to bring more balance to Council. Vancouverites have been telling us that they feel disrespected and disregarded by the Vision majority that has pushed through many Council decisions despite overwhelming neighbourhood objections and concerns. In the polling we conducted in January, two-thirds of respondents told us they believe that Vancouver would be better off if no one political party dominated City Council and we agree. Cleta Brown, Pete Fry and I offer Vancouverites a better balanced City Council, more diversity and a strong commitment to both representing and incorporating citizens’ ideas into Council’s decisions.”
Candidate Cleta Brown, a social justice advocate with extensive experience in the legal profession, justice system and community volunteerism, said, “I am running with the Green Party of Vancouver because it is committed to transparent participatory democracy, economic fairness and effective social justice. We need good listeners at City Hall. We are three Green Party candidates who will listen. We are not encumbered by blind partisanship or any special interest obligations. We are committed to working collaboratively with all Councillors to advance the best interests of all Vancouverites.”
Candidate Pete Fry, a community leader and self-employed graphic and web designer said, “We need to ensure affordability, homes and a city where everyone can thrive. I’m sick and tired of seeing my friends squeezed out of the city because they can no longer afford to live here. If Vancouver is to remain home to the brilliant, diverse people who currently live here, we must build a lot more real affordable housing, do a better job of supporting the arts and small business, and have neighbourhood directed development. We must improve transit for everyone and shake the ‘No Fun City’ label once and for all.”
(More information about the candidates can be found in this backgrounder)
Tracey Moir, the Oakridge Langara Area Residents (OLAR) Chair who had also been announced as a potential Green Party candidate, will not be running for Vancouver City Council as a Green Party candidate in this election. "I would be restricted from involvement in, support for, or encouragement of my neighbourhood should it decide to legally challenge the Oakridge Mall rezoning which was recently approved by City Council. Councillors can't recommend that citizens sue the city and therefore my support of my neighbourhood precludes me from seeking a Council seat." said Moir.
Although the party is excited by its unprecedented polling numbers and strong potential to elect its three Council candidates, it is not taking the rise in public support for granted.
Councillor Carr told the Greens at Sunday night’s meeting, “I will never forget that I was elected in 2011 with a mere 90 vote margin. Together, our party and candidates ran with a campaign budget of less than $22,000--one-one hundredth of what Vision and the NPA spent. It was hard work to achieve that breakthrough; electing our first Green to Vancouver Council. Count on triple the work this fall to elect three Green Councillors. We’ll need every hand on deck and every donation we can get…as long as it’s not from a developer or from out of country. Spread the word. Our first campaign fundraiser is coming up soon, on June 19th, at the Ukrainian Hall,” said Carr.
The Green Party of Vancouver will decide on the number of Park and School Board candidates it will run, as well as whether to field a mayoral candidate, at a special general meeting on June 19th. Nominations for these offices will be opened at the end of that meeting.