COPE 2018 Election Campaign Workshop Saturday July 7 & Sunday July 8

255 Main Street #1217 | Meeting Room


Chair – Connie

Facilitators – Jonathan

Recorder – John Ames

Timekeeper –

Proposed goals:

  • Develop consensus on our 2018 plan, including strategy, budget, timeline, field work, fundraising, etc.
  • Develop internal cohesion as one group, including clarity around terms of reference for positions, structure, rules of engagement, roles & responsibilities.
  • Develop an overarching narrative of the campaign that will take us beyond the election.

Proposed agenda

  1. Introductions (9-9:30)

Present: Jonathan, Connie, Barb, Riaz, John A., Maddy, Alan, Carol, Sara, Bill, Tristan, Beverly, Anne, Jean, Ngaire, John I., Meena, Shawn, Rider, Derrick, Diana, Ben, John Y, Linda, Gwen, Kombi


  1. Goals for planning session (draft ideas in advance and present them) (9:30-9:45)

Opportunity for insurgency here – Oct 20 (win or lose) & 21 movement building, door, knocks, phone calls, 101 conversations with ordinary people, calendars, authorities, who doing what when, bottom up with all types of social organizations, disciplined organizationally.  


  1. Agenda and goals approval (9:45-9:55) John I & Meena – MSC


  1. Ground rules (9:55-10:00)
    • firsts before seconds (on a particular topic, everyone gets a chance to speak for a first time before someone gets to speak a second time – create space for others)
    • take phone calls outside
    • parking lot
    • respect everyone & everyone’s time
    • be on time
    • state a positive before critique


  1. Exercise (pair and share) (10-10:30)

Your vision post election – 2019 Vancouver Sun Headline

  • Neo-liberal class crushed: COPE saves City
  • VSB announces breakfast & lunch for  all students
  • Indigenous High School Set to Open in September
  • Public Housing Approved for Shaughnessey
  • First We Take Vancouver, Then We Take the World
  • Province Gives City Ability to Tax Mansions
  • Vancouver Takes Over All SROs
  • Gregor Apologizes & Donates Hollyhock to City
  • COPE Leads Left Sweep of City Hall
  • COPE Expropriates Sohota Buildings
  • Developers, West Side residents form Protest Group, Lack of Access at City Hall
  • Slumlord Properties Seized
  • 6000 Units of Housing to be built in 2020
  • Homelessness Lowest in 10 Years: Swanson says: Still More Work to be Done”
  • Insurgent, COPE Council Wins Concrete Steps for Housing


  • One thing that’s vital to come out of weekend figured out


Break – 10:30-10:45


  1. Analysis of 2017 bi-election campaign, current activities, and today’s political landscape (Sara, Tristan, Wendy) (10:45-12:45)
    • field, structure, policy/policy development, fundraising, data management, election results (review both Jean and Diana Day campaign results)

Tristan presenting post-bi-election power-point (see attached at url: . . . )

– Campaign needed better communications between candidates (Jean & Bill)

– Platform development disagreements – Jean right to veto worked (Shawn)

– Similar to many NDP campaigns with daily staff meetings, and weekly full campaign meetings and e-day coordinator / art & media harmonization separate policy (John Y)

– No office manager was problematic (Sara); special events (Fiona) was separate; data flow was separated bit too much (design materials unclear how developed?)

– Campaign was brilliant; vote splitting pulled to second – however! Not knowing who was on the Steering Committee was unclear, getting messages to them poor if vague (Alan)

– can’t replicate the structure (a moment in time); we didn’t win: we made some noise – we weren’t good enough on our ground games – we needed people on clear lines of communication (Ngaire)

– quite a lot of money was online via phone calls

– tabling (street canvassing, main streeting, etc.) 2 days per week were coordinated with door knocking got very good results; petitioning with follow up door knowing from addresses on petitions (Riaz, Bill, Derrick)

– Without marks we had to go door to door, avoiding annoying people where not welcome (Bill)

– Data flow from door knocking / petitioning was problem in Grandview Woodlands (Sara)

Key Lessons (Jonathan):

– Clear structure with agility to adapt & respond

– Daily staff & check-ins

– having clear data available is essential (although not glamorous, not ‘revolutionary,’ vitally important)

– integration of different components

– online fundraising dovetail / align with campaign opportunities

– Being good (election campaign) maybe not good enough – comes down to the ground game

– correlation door to door, at least in Grandview Woodland, got superior results

– targeted door-to-door campaigning combined with tabling, list building with follow up

– breaking down the neighbourhood rental mapping in manageable chunks

– Chinese Language – literature canvassers; Punjabi (south-eastern – Main Little India); Vietnamese Kingsway; Tagalog Joyce;

– building and accessible campaign that everybody, all citizens can be involved

– tactical door knocking flexibility based on density, housing arrangement neighbourhood culture, language

– build organic leader(s) identification pre- & post-election

– tap into social housing networks and relations, knock every social housing door


Lunch – 12:25-1:00


– data flow, standardizing comms platforms canvass co-ordinators [data | materials | volunteers] three zones hubs to drop off petitions by team captains

– rules around manipulation of data needed – someone who is a / the data guru (team) as one coordinated campaign


  1. What we need to do to win Field campaign
  • Voter contact goals – canvassing, door knocks, phone banking


Next Steps: One merged database (New Nation Builder?), to include COPE’s + Swanson’s 2017 Marks and CWN to be in Nation Builder

Action – rules to be determined by campaign comm: data working group & co-chairs.

As above – Motion (Bill) Maddy (Second): Carried

Establishment of Database (Nation Builder) Team. Sara, Riaz, and subject expert volunteers.

Phone banking


Break (2:15-5)


  • Actions

Actions Best Practices for actions: strategic, purposes – donations solicitation, campaign volunteer recruitment (Ngaire); mobilizing and inspire (Bill); sign in list (Jonathan); fun, people having fun (Maddy); “humour as power” (Jonathan); ensure people have things to do and go to next (steps) (Bill); integration of pitches (money) in rally – prime recruitment for signing people in (5 volunteers per 100, etc. – “check here if you want to volunteer,” etc.); base-building, everybody gets a call (all 100 for ex.) – relationship building to follow up with folks: ask if they will join in volunteering; Earned media: bi-election kind of ignored by television, but radio interviewed Jean; Chip Wilson and Jeannex were well covered by newspaper (Bill); mainstream coverage was very good for COPE, because of Jean (treated as Mayor-like candidate in bi-election; this may be different in the general election) (Anne). Luring media using notable candidates to support our schools and parks candidates (Tristan). Strong visceral / imagery in campaign, polarities, young / old (Shawn). Picking themes that will get COPE noticed: ex. Faith based groups in Seattle picking an new focus each week (i.e., Poor people’s campaign (Seattle). Action themes for each neighbourhood as needed / specific to area (Jonathan). Spectacle (Ben) and media – not the candidates above anyone else, we’re building this movement (Jonathan). Follow up on donations – you really need to thank donations so we can get future donations (John Y.) Thanking within 4 days – phone best (Jonathan). You have to put each action through the prism of each specific neighbourhood (Punjabi, Chinese, for ex. – not just white environmentalists opposed to Kinder Morgan) (Jonathan). For many minority groups action can be as simple as luncheons with people – any time there’s opportunity to bring people together – this doesn’t necessarily earned media attention, but nevertheless, these actions are effective. Language translation and gathering people together, such as a bus, for campaigning (Diana). Tying in with smaller initiatives, such as Wendy’s renters’ solidarity, Jean’s court appearance July 31, more personal conversations, Labour Day Launch, launch week later, Sawant visit in September (Bill). City-wide (burmershaves(?sp)), each community centre – in touch with all (Meena).


Summary: Actions don’t win elections, but boost them – earned media – but no control over them or message they deliver. Social media is targeted but not personal, as in one on one discussions with people.

  • Social media
  • Creating 1 seamless campaign: CWN COPE Candidates
  • Ask open ended question and let public talk: i.e., “Are you affected by the rising cost of living?” Well, here’s our group of candidates who stand for  . . .
  • Slogans: which one? CWN or Rent Freeze, etc. for petitions – and then what do we do with names after we collect them? “So people who aren’t just millionaires can live here.” (Jean)
  • School and Park (Anne): cleaning up corruptions at city hall
  • Here are the Schools we need, Parks we need, Mayor we need, etc.


Motion (Alan & Derrick), Second (Carol): This meeting recommends COPE adopt City We Need as COPE’s policy. Carried


  • Literature
  • Policy
  • Diversity (To Do – See Kombi Nanjalah’s footnote below)
  • Diversity: Part of everything we do, everything we say, integral to all COPE’s actions (Connie). We all be included (Kombi). Creation of Hogan’s Alley Society. COPE to come with person’s of colour (Kombi). How do we build / attract diversity to COPE – A strength based approach, rather than a deficit (Linda). Reestablishing COPE’s racialized committee (Meena). Weakness of COPE is we are primarily ‘white’ (seized upon by our opponents). We need to connect in meaningful ways rather than just tokenism (Riaz). Approach to COPE platform is different for immigrants. How do we win a vote from this minority or that minority (Kombi). We have to work very hard to make people feel part of our community. Diversity of people in our photos will resonate much better – we’re not only about white people (John Y.). Class intersections with cultural differences / different communities; we need organic leaders in different communities. The rent problem as well as corruption issues at city hall resonates with many immigrants (Sara). Racial profiling up by Vancouver police – protest outside police head office; city hall avoids wards, which is overtly racist; using city hall to create issues (Derrick). Strength-based explanation? (Rider). Deficit-based are issues like high rates of incarceration, high rates of school drops — we need to concentrate on strengths of Indigenous people (Linda). Wendy’s initiative to activate living room visits and locate organic leaders, which connects with every community’s special needs (Sara). Pushing up our Diversity Committee, and building our allies of people of colour (Diana). Countering race at the organizational level. In developing this strategy, how will this speak to communities of racialized or Indigenous communities? How does this strategy lift up the leadership of those communities – and how do we connect with these leaders and communities? Undoing the institutionalized racism in society as COPE makes decisions over the next 4 months (Jonathan). Why aren’t the key people (paid people) in COPE


Motion (Sara): COPE Populate the Aboriginal / Racialized / Diversity Committee: Linda, Kombi (Y), Meena, Wendy, Sara – Tabled


Motion (Riaz), John A. Seconded: Linda Day be added to the Campaign Committee. Carried.


Tomorrow’s Agenda (Sunday July 8) 10AM-2PM – Overarching Narrative: staff roles; field work (17 neighbourhoods): we are not coming up with final \

but rather working and soliciting ideas from activists already there; what will campaign calendar (fundraisers incl.) look like?  Mayoral candidate.


Workshop Agenda Day 2 July 8

Present: Alan, Carol, Tristan, Anne, Jean, Connie, Meena, Barb, Jonathan, Sara, Diana, Linda, Anita, John A, Riaz, Ngaire, Rider, John Y (till noon), Shawn (till noon), Ishmam (till noon), Sam (lunch)

Territorial acknowledging: Diana Day

  • Fundraising
  • Data management
  • Decision-making, agility, getting to scale of activity and enabling creativity within the campaign
    • Full integration
    • Council and mayor races
  • What are potential roadblocks and how do we address them?
    • Staff and volunteers
  • Develop campaign calendar – field, actions, fundraising, etc.


  1. Field work (10:30-11:30)

What is the field work that we need to do in order to get 30000 marks? (workshop a couple neighbourhood plans)


See handout: Neighbourhood organizing

Ex. Door knocks, street canvassing, phone banking – anything with one-on-one conversations (ladder of engagement(s))


Is there a place on the petition to ask: ‘Will you support our cope candidates?’ (Jonation). No, but we can experiment with this . . . (Sara)


How do we identify, and how do we train, super canvassers? (Riaz)


Neighbourhood Organizing Workshopping in groups:

Marpole (Shawn) ; Kitsalino (Ngaire) ; West End (Carol) ; Fairview (Riaz)


WestEnd (Carol) – 80% rental – mainly english speaking: 4300 marks – 100 buildings, 300 shifts: 30 shifts a week, 5 shifts a day + 2000 supporters (any big door knocking days? (JR) – no, dispersed (Riaz): days of action max out volunteers, like 200 volunteers. Major issues of neighbourhood?: Rent Freeze, BC Hydro SubStation fight, City Hall corruption – keeping in mind major languages and cultural influences. Qs&As on West End: LGBTS community – 5000 contacts?


Fairview (Riaz): avg income $70K, urban upwardly mobile; Jane Heyman (sister of G. Heyman) very supportive. Family housing co-ops – 500 marks in 2017 (want to build on this a lot); tabling at City Hall – it’s very good, but maybe not all Fairview; baseball games and farmers markets in Little Mountain Q&A on Fairview: How many volunteers we need?


Marpole (Shawn): 2017 no door to door, all marks came from other areas petitioning – obstacles (no major intersections, other than 70th and Granville – safeway / public liquor store); every tues thurs bus loop and skytrain (mornings for literature distribution[folks too busy to stop] afternoons for petition engagement for people on way home from work); have as many points of contact for resident neighbours, Masquam Lands, and UBC Housing. House visits with tenants union, partitionship, implicit nod to candidates.


Kitsalino: 75% english (2nd 3rd generation) $70-73K median income; median age 20-39 yrs age; 14% low income housing; targeting low rise rentals – easy access and younger, lots of co-ops, mouses split into multiple suites, and single detached (maybe not our vote); new age betterment (yoga, banyan books, Chip Wilson lives there(!?); kits neighbourhood house; SPEC, garden corridor (Village Vancouver); zoning along broadway and 4th ave, renter displacement. Organizing laura Stannard, Mel, Alex Kennedy (bikes as billboards (simple great idea!). Radical ex-school teachers live there; radical weird groups in kits, UBC students could be integrated. Org plan: farmers markets (till Oct; Folk Fest (next weekend); Beer nights lead a yoga 10 people per night each week.


Sum up on principles of planning (JR): Having clearer structure and transparency essential.

  1. We need to have a plan (it’s a guide, a road map)
  2. Involve organic leaders in developing the plan
  3. Be collectively accountable
  4. Exception – Don’t be slaves to the plan! Plan is just  a guide . . .
  5. Planning is  iterative ‘check-in; adjust’; report’ – ex. ‘door-2-door in that neighbourhood didn’t work, let’s try . . .’
  6. Measure success with metrics
  7. Fun – beer, ping pong, yoga


  1. Calendar (11:45-12:15) – Key field activities, actions, and events; weekly gatherings.


Beginning of a calendar (see below .jpg portrayal): three suggested organizational flows:


  1. Public actions:  volunteers working at a high level(s) and staff bottom-lining (possibility inclusion of social and earned media)
  2. Fundraising: connected to public actions (people know to go to the donate page)
  3. Leadership (all above and best deploying of candidates – how best to use; be collectively accountable to overall calendar of events – best use of time (where do you live, what’s your max base, where to grow, and how, and where less best opportunities (ex. Do you speak a second language?) Every candidate needs to makes sure they spend a certain amount of their time in each community and Indigenous – have these conversations every tures. – be fluid make adjustments; incl. at Tues weekly meetings – staff report to campaign committee; on calendar too – fundraising calls by candidats (Derrick & Jean, Tristan bottom-line – ex.)


All this all is a rolling process – no need to be slavish to any set plan – be flexible and take advantage of new opportunities that may arise (JR)




  1. Fundraising (1:30-2:20)

How are we going to raise the money needed? Map out key activities and events.

  • Budget: Jean’s campaign 2017 $43K. Costs for people media space – no paid staff.
  • 2018: Online
    • Events
      • party(ies)
      • social(s)
      • dinner(s)
      • COPE General & Nomination Meeting(s)
      • guest speaker(s)
      • Jean going to court
      • capitalize on public activities, especially
      • get all of these types of things on the schedule
      • if an employer does something bad to their employees ask people to chip into the campaign so the candidates will win their seat and reverse this
    • Individual
      • stand alone calls
      • incorporate w/field activity
      • direct solicitation, maximizing what candidates are saying
    • Donors
      • Principle of US$27 (Bernie Sander’s campaign); evidence shows if a donor donates once they are likely to donate again . . .
      • unions: if they can’t donate additional money ask individual members them to call ten of their members


  1. Decision making and structure (2:00-2:30)

What is the campaign structure and method of collective accountability?


  1. Mayoral candidacy discussion (2:30-)


  1. Next steps (1:45-2)

What | Who | Deadline

  1. Develop field plan + calendar  | Who? Riaz, Sara, Tristan) |  Deadline: Tues July 17, 6-10PM, 1255 Main Street 2nd floor common room


  1. Develop fundraising plan + calendar  | Who? Ngaire, Riaz, Wendy, Barb, Alan, Linda)  | Deadline: Tues July 17, 6-10PM, 1255 Main Street 2nd floor common room


  1. Develop decision-making structure (including staff rules)  | Who? Connie, Rider, Riaz, Sara, Tristan) | Deadline: Tues July 17, 6-10PM, 1255 Main Street 2nd floor common room


  1. Mayoral candidate August 19th – membership decision whether or not we nominate a mayoral candidate. How does COPE have the candidate accountable to the membership? COPE can drop the endorsement & social pressure. One way to ensure a mayoral candidate can demonstrate worthiness is that all candidates come to COPE events and help and experience. Can potential mayoral candidates bring in new COPE members? How many? How much fundraising ability does each candidate have?
  • Other ways to garner attention to this campaign by stealing focus away from other parties and independents running for  mayor.


Meeting adjourned: 3:10PM


  1. Develop Sunday agenda priorities (as above)


  1. Our next steps/commitments
  • Who is bottom-lining what? (list out and ensure collective accountability)


  1. Other items (decide when and where to discuss each):
  • Harmonize the platform and literature content
  • Personnel
  • Budget
  • Mayoral candidate/how that plays with Council races


Organizing Notes from Monday July 2 Conference Call: COPE’s goals for the July 7 & 8 weekend meeting:



Clear campaign plan that everyone is committed to and excited about

Clear lines of authority understood

We are all one group

Re-branding COPE (identification, colors, design)



Organizational chart

Next step, and position of campaign manager

Understanding of various forms of voter outreach, and collaboration with other campaigns



Sequence of things that need to be supplied to all the candidates; broken down week by week – literature, buttons etc.






Code of conduct



Role of candidates in developing policy and communications; how they fit into the structure and planning

Terms of reference for campaign committee and table officers

Voter contact and roles of neighborhood teams and outreach

Budgeting and budget priorities

Maintaining organizational strength after the election