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Civic campaign 2022: Ken Sim speech at ABC party dinner Oct. 13

October 29th, 2021 · No Comments


 Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

180 Keefer St, Chinatown

Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4

I want to acknowledge that are on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and I want to thank them for hosting us.

Thank you Elder Howard Grant for that wonderful welcome.

Floata restaurant for hosting such a wonderful dinner.

As a lot of you know, I am the son of immigrants

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot and I definitely did not get an allowance

So I learned to hustle

When I was in grade 5, I made money by buying and selling comics

Bus from Champlain Heights to Dunbar and 16th

Buy the comics $0.10

Take another bus to West 4th – sell them for $0.25

On my 15th birthday, I got a job at Wendy’s as a graveyard shift  janitor making minimum wage

I put myself through university, became a CA, banker and then started a business

I worked hard, started a family and in 2003 (with the help of a massive mortgage) bought an 80 year old fixer upper bungalow

Robin, our real estate agent looked sheepish

And she said, “Sorry, I don’t know how to give you this… I am embarrassed to be giving you your deed…”

Then I was given the deed to our house

Teena and I sat on our couch and then read the deed

I’m going to read the deed:

“This property – shall not be transferred – to Negros or Orientals”

Let me repeat that

“This property – shall not be transferred – to Negros or Orientals”

When I first saw that document, I remember feeling Disgusted

No matter what I did, I felt that this place wasn’t built for me

Then I felt optimistic

I realized that there were so many people (of all races) who came before me who felt that this was wrong

And they fought for something better

I’m sure that their fight was overwhelming and full of setbacks

But they never quit

And they righted this wrong

And today, anyone (of any race, gender or sexual orientation) can live and BUILD A FAMILY anywhere in Vancouver because of those who struggled before us

And I think that those guys who came up with that covenant a century ago would be surprised, and a little disappointed, if they knew that we raised our mixed raced family in that bungalow

I have spoken with over 19,000 people since the last election

The overwhelming feeling shared by many is that they feel Vancouver has lost its way and I share that feeling

Our city is more divided than ever before

Our streets are less safe than before

Our local businesses struggling to hang on

Residents are struggling to find affordable housing…

Today, a married couple of doctors can’t make it work in Vancouver –

If they can’t make it, what hope is there for everyone else

There are so many people who are questioning whether Vancouver is built for them

Now despite these struggles, I feel incredibly optimistic about our future

I know that our challenges are significant, but they are solvable

If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be running for mayor

My opponent ran for mayor and didn’t realize it is a leadership position

And I don’t think that that is acceptable

I am of the view that we have to be bold – we need to build something new

For example

Instead of defending an incompetent elected park board, we’re going to roll it back under City Council just like – every – other – city – in – Canada!

Instead of just tinkering around the edges by banning plastic straws

We’re going to do the single biggest thing to tackle climate change and reduce emissions

Tonight I’m committing to building a ‘15 Minute City’ – everywhere in Vancouver – where people can live 90% of their lives within a 15 minute walk of their home

Instead of throwing our first responders under the bus for political gain, we are going to invest more into community safety

These are just some of the things we’re going to do to tackle the big problems facing all of us.

Unlike my opponents who want to divide us, I’m committed to working for everyone.

I’m not asking you to go backwards to the 1970s like some of my opponents

I want to build a city where regular people can make it

I want to plan for our future while honouring the past

Like I said at the beginning of this speech, when I was growing up here,

A kid with not very much could get by hustling comic books and build a future for himself.

We can get to that place again

 So before I tell you what we need to do about it, let’s face facts

Last time – I ran and lost the mayor’s race

I lost by 957 VOTES – CLOSEST RACE IN Vancouver’s history

Last time I lost because 1/2 of the people in this room and folks just like you decided someone else was a better bet

And that’s because I didn’t earn your vote

 Last time we came up short, but the last three years have proven that politics as usual doesn’t work

This time will be different

This time we will create a movement representing all of Vancouver

This time we’ll fight to recruit the best candidates for Council, Park & School Board

This time we will build a better city, together


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