This past weekend, on Sunday, March 30th, the Coalition of Progressive Electors elected five new members to its Executive board.
Maria Wallstam is the new Recording Secretary. Wallstam is a housing activist and editor with the Mainlander. “It is time for COPE to expand the membership to include a broader and more diverse cross section of Vancouver’s working class, to empower ourselves as the membership and to show that COPE can be a strong and left alternative to Vision Vancouver,” said Wallstam.
Heather Gies is the new Corresponding Secretary. Gies has been Chair of the COPE Communications Committee. “I think that members, including myself, really value COPE’s culture of participatory democracy. I see the role of the executive as empowering the membership to make important decisions, and I would like to work with the executive to foster an open, transparent decision-making process to continue and strengthen COPE’s tradition of radical and democratic politics,” said Gies.
Maureen Bourke was elected Fundraiser. Bourke is a professional fundraiser as well as a tenant organizer who has worked for the Downtown Eastside Residents Association and the Tenants Rights Action Coalition, where she wrote the first Tenant Survival Guide.
“I am excited to build a team to fundraise around COPE’s amazing platform of rent control, real affordable housing, lower transit fares, and Sanctuary City. These are issues that will get people excited,” said Bourke.
Maria Melendez was elected to a member-at-large position. Melendez ran for the executive “to see what we can do for women: building housing and providing daycare, so women can live happily and get active in politics,“ said Melendez.
Tim Louis moved from the Internal Chair to the External Chair. Louis is a former COPE City Councilor and Parks Board Commissioner. “I am pleased to have been elected by the COPE Membership as our External Chair – the position of Party spokesperson. In this role, I will speaking and support others to speak for COPE so that Vancouver experiences the broad base of voices that represent COPE,” said Louis.