On Sunday June 29th, 2014, the Coalition of Progressive Electors held its first ever Equity Conference. Responding to direction from the general membership, COPE members organized a conference where members of traditionally marginalized groups formed caucuses and voted for representatives to the general Executive Board.
“This was a milestone conference where we chose three aboriginal people to serve on the COPE executive for the first time in COPE history,” said Imtiaz Popat, the new incoming “Racialized Caucus” representative. “This speaks to our commitment to become representative of the diversity of people who live in Vancouver.”
At a recent press conference, COPE announced its commitment to affirmative action for gender and minority equity in the upcoming municipal election.
COPE is committed to a policy of gender equity that combats systemic misogyny in electoral politics. Half the candidates will be self-identified women and half self-identified men.
COPE is also committed to running a minimum of one aboriginal candidate for each level of city government, City Council, Park Board and School Board.
The following were selected to represent their caucus on the COPE Executive:
The Aboriginal Caucus: Rosanne Gervais
The Disability Caucus: Stephen Lytton
The LGBPQ (lesbian, gay, bi, and pansexual) Caucus: John Yano
The Racialized Caucus: Imtiaz Popat
The Transgender Caucus: Jamie Lee Hamilton
The Caucus Reps will be introduced to the membership and seek ratification by the membership at COPE’s Annual General Meeting on July 6th, 2014.