Dear COPE Members and Supporters,
The Coalition of Progressive Electors is calling for opposition parties and progressive organizations in Vancouver to unite behind a single mayoral candidate and a common campaign for the 2008 Vancouver civic election.
On Tues, Jan. 8 we held a press conference at Vancouver City Hall where Cllr David Cadman, External Co-Chairperson Ellen Woodsworth and Executive Secretary Rachel Marcuse , supported by the Executive and elected members of Park and School Board, publicly called for a common campaign.
COPE believes it is essential that all opposition parties and groups form a common campaign to defeat Sam Sullivan and the NPA. COPE has been actively working for a common campaign for some time. A common campaign will require agreement on a single mayoral candidate endorsed by all participating organizations, a common platform on crucial issues such as homelessness, transportation, environmental sustainability, safe neighbourhoods, and democratic leadership at City Hall, and a single list of candidates for Council, Park Board, and Board of Education.
“While Vancouver faces unprecedented levels of homelessness, labour relations remain poisoned by the most bitter strike in the City’s history, jammed buses continue to pass-by riders who have to cough up for another fare hike, and taxes for ordinary homeowners continue to increase – Sam Sullivan and the NPA do nothing," said Cllr Cadman at Tuesday’s press conference. "And despite promises that taxpayers would not be on the hook for the 2010 Olympics, Sullivan and the NPA are pouring tax dollars into the Games while community centre programs for seniors and youth are facing cutbacks."
COPE Executive Member Rachel Marcuse directed the call for a common campaign at Vision Vancouver supporters as they attend their January 14 general meeting.
"We call for a common campaign to defeat Sam Sullivan and the NPA. And we make this call specifically to Vision supporters. The damage being done to Vancouver by the NPA requires that we move beyond partisan politics. We believe people who care about Vancouver understand that a common campaign is what’s best for the city.”
COPE thinks that neither Vision nor COPE should go it alone. A common campaign is the only way to defeat the NPA and their friends. However if other organizations choose not to be part of a common campaign, COPE will proceed with nominating candidates for Mayor, Council, School and Park Board in order to offer the citizens of Vancouver a clear alternative to the discredited administration of Sullivan and the NPA.
The election is less than ten months away. We are asking you as COPE members and supporters to discuss this proposal with your families, friends, and colleagues, at your workplace and within your organizations. We have sent a similar statement to labour unions and other progressive groups.
COPE External Co-Chairperson