Executive elected to lead COPE into 2008 election

More than 200 enthusiastic COPE members packed COPE’s Annual General Meeting on June 01, to elect a new executive board and debate crucial issues leading up to this November’s civic elections.

The meeting opened with Vancouver East MP Libby Davies, and MLAs Jenny Kwan and David Chudnovsky speaking about COPE’s four-decade history of working for progressive change in Vancouver.

External Co-Chairperson Ellen Woodsworth reported on a year of achievements that included "a successful Park Board fundraiser, a youth social at the Cambrian Hall, our successful 40th Anniversary celebration hosted by Labour Council President Bill Saunders, the Reel Changes film series with Jim Hamm Productions, community salons from beer-tasting to potlucks, Valentine’s Day street theatre, monthly dim sums hosted by Meena Wong, and Talking Politics evenings on transportation and women in politics."

"At City Council David Cadman has challenged the NPA at every step," said Woodsworth. "At the Park Board Loretta Woodcock and Spencer Herbert have been green heroes, while School Trustees Al Blakey and Al Wong fought hard for public education."

Internal Co-Chair, Donalda Greenwell-Baker noted that COPE members monthly giving is at the highest level since 2005, and that an election-ready database, new website, and new COPE merchandise and communications materials have been created.

In his report, Councillor Cadman outlined the need to return progressive government to city hall.

"COPE is still the only party in Vancouver that you can count on to fight for the homeless, for affordable housing, to protect the downtown eastside, to work for public transit and lower fares, to advocate for a strong public education system, to expand green space and keep corporate expansion out of our parks, and to foster respectful labour relations with the city’s public workers and their unions."

Responding to questions about negotiations with Vision Vancouver, Woodsworth reported that "unfortunately Vision has not agreed to begin face-to-face discussions aimed at cooperation. We will continue to work for unity because we believe it’s the best way forward to defeat the NPA. But November is coming quickly and we have begun our own independent campaign if that becomes necessary. COPE’s name, our politics, our brand and our reputation are well known and remain strong among progressive voters. Meanwhile very good candidates are coming forward including Dr John Irwin, Omar Kassis and former Park Board chair Anita Romaniuk, who are seeking nominations as park board candidates."

COPE members then re-elected Woodsworth as external co-chairperson, and Donalda Greenwell-Baker as internal co-chair. Also re-elected for 2008 are former councillor Tim Louis as recording secretary, Nathan Lusignan as membership secretary, and Lucas Schuller, Sid Tan and Carlo Bodrogi as members-at-large.

Newly elected to the executive are former COPE school trustee Jane Bouey as recording secretary, Connie Hubbs as fundraiser and Terry Martin as treasurer. Meena Wong was elected as a member-at-large. A motion was also passed to have John Irwin join the executive as a fifth member-at-large with voice but no vote, to be ratified at the next general meeting.

"COPE is pleased to welcome Jane, Connie, Terry, Meena and John to the executive," said Woodsworth. "And we thank outgoing executive members Charlie Demers, Rachel Marcuse (now on staff), Derrick O’Keefe, David Ages and Angelica Gutierrez for their hard work over the past year."

A special resolution was approved to change the by-laws and allow those who live "or work in the City of Vancouver or the University Endowment Lands" to be voting members. Previously, only those who lived in Vancouver or the UEL could vote at COPE meetings. A motion about running a mayoral candidate was deferred to the COPE Nominating Conference which is scheduled for early September.

07 Dim Sum luncheon "Meet and Greet"

What could be better than a delicious meal with friends? How about an opportunity of making new friends?

COPE activist Meena Wong is inviting you to COPE’s monthly Dim Sum "Meet and Greet" where the talk ranges from politics to sports and is always flavoured by tasty dim sum treats.

"This is a good opportunity for new comers to meet locals who are active in different levels of local government and community organizations," said Meena. "I hope these luncheons facilitate exchanges, dialogues, mutual learning, networking between individuals as well as between organizations, particularly to enhance understanding and support of the immigrant communities."

Past participants include MPs, MLAs, city councillors, park commissioners, school trustees, community representatives, teachers and new immigrants.

WHEN: 11 am, Sat, June 07, 2008

WHERE: Rich Ocean Restaurant, 777 West Broadway (by Willow)
, Vancouver (parking underground, remember your stall number and the restaurant will pay the parking fee for you)

Cost: $15 per person, all inclusive.
Thanks to previous Dim Sum attendees’ generous contribution, the Dim Sum is free or by donation for unemployed and under-employed.

RSVP: Meena Wong at or call 604-603-7447 (limited seating, please book early).

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June 4, 2008: COPE elects new Executive; You're invited to Dim Sum this Saturday

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