A Letter to COPE Members from External Chair, Marcus YoussefDear COPE Member,

As you may know, on April 28th, COPE announced that a negotiated tentative agreement on electoral cooperation for the 2011 municipal elections had been reached between COPE and Vision Vancouver.

For those who may not know, the tentative agreement proposes that COPE field 3 candidates for council, 4 for schools, and 2 for parks. It also contains a series of agreements about the campaign itself, a number of which people on the negotiating committee feel are real improvements on what existed in 2008. There were also discussions about policy and working relationships at council, schools, and parks. The executive believes that the potential in the agreement to increase the number of COPE electeds represents a concrete step toward make some of the changes in the city our current electeds have been fighting for.

This proposal is subject to the approval of our membership. All members will have the opportunity to formally debate and vote on it at a ratification meeting which the executive is planning for June 26. Further details of the agreement will be sent to members along with meeting notices at least 21 days prior to June 26th.

The Executive itself is unanimously recommending this proposal. It is doing this because we believe that it represents a measureable gain for COPE, and also because we believe that coming to a cooperative understanding for the upcoming election campaign is the best way to ensure progressive policies from City Hall, Park Board, and the School Board.

We also believe the desire to cooperate with others in municipal elections is consistent with our history. Over the years, COPE has had many formal and informal agreements with other progressive political groups in Vancouver. The one constant throughout this history has been an unshakable commitment to the values our party has always stood for: fighting for social justice and working families, providing affordable housing for all, and ensuring economic and ecological sustainability for our city. We believe this agreement is the best way for us to do that.

Over the next month or so, we look forward to talking with you more about it, and hearing from all members, from all points of view, in the lead up to the membership vote, on June 26. We then plan to do the nomination meeting in September, just after Labour Day.

Sincerely,

Marcus Youssef
External Chair, Coalition of Progressive Electors

A Letter to COPE Members from External Chair, Marcus Youssef