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Young, diverse slate wins big at Vision park-board nomination

June 23rd, 2014 · 39 Comments

I dropped by the voting and the announcement yesterday of the winner’s in Vision Vancouver’s run-off for park-board and school-board candidates on this fall’s slate.

Obviously, Vision is touting this as a huge sign of democracy in action, with 1,650 voters out, and critics seeing it as a triumph of slate voting for a group favoured by the Vision backroom. It certainly is a success for Vision on one level, to get this group of relatively young people involved, with representation from the city’s increasingly active Filipino community and always active Indo community.

I’m not sure about either claim, as the obvious NDP vs. left (federal) Liberal partisanship that emerged was not totally what the party was looking for. In the past, Vision has tended to slightly favour the federal Liberals as a way of trying to capture the centre (remember when they chose fed Liberal Ian Baillie rather than forever NDPer Stephen Learey as ED for the party several years ago?).

Seemed to me, from what I heard, that the slate win was more an issue of a group that took advantage of lots of support from experienced NDP organizers (people who’ve worked with Dix, Eby, Elmore) to mount a full-on campaign that the others weren’t really expecting. (Nicholas Ellan, on Twitter, said it was coming into a knife fight with a bazooka — an apt metaphor.)

I know that some of those running — experienced community activists who have put in their time with Vision, like Catherine Evans and Brent Granby — were a bit stunned by the results, which saw the least well-known member of the slate, Corree Tull, come in a full 300-400 votes ahead of them.

And why all the interest in park board, you might ask?

Well, although someone on Twitter reprimanded me for suggesting it, it’s obvious that it’s a good first step for anyone who is contemplating a political career. Spencer Herbert was a park-board commissioner when his party wasn’t even in power but he used the position so effectively, garnered so much media attention through his savvy, that he was a shoo-in for the NDP nomination later. That doesn’t mean everyone who ran for park board is planning to move on up or that they don’t care about park-board issues. But clearly park board is a place for minor-league tryouts, to show how you handle being in the public eye and what you can do with your tiny position of power. (After all, these people only make about $13,000 a year and their budget is largely controlled by city council, so it’s not like they can remake the universe.)

Vision put out the exact vote count this morning. Appended here for the numbers oriented among you.

Park Board

Trish Kelly – 1662 – nominated
Naveen Girn – 1125 – nominated
Sammi Jo Rumbaua – 1029 – nominated
Corree Tull – 894 – nominated
Graham Anderson – 567
Catherine Evans – 526
Brent Granby – 505
Katherine Day – 428
Mark Mitchell – 324

School Board

Joy Alexander – 1163 – nominated
Ian Ross McDonald – 428

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