He's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, and now communications professional Michael Davis is the new President of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) in Vancouver. On Wednesday, the NPA Board came back to life and elected a new executive. Word is the whole process was a relatively tame affair with everyone coming out of the meeting very united.
In an interview with CityCaucus.com, the new President had this to say about where the NPA is going in the future:
“I’m excited about the board. This is a very diverse group in terms of age, ethnicity, geography and ideas. The conversations around the table have been very engaging. Now we are working to turn those ideas into action.”
“The political landscape is shifting. Our board needs to draw on the talent around the table to engage people through social media, through a revamped website, and through traditional forums and media. This is not scary stuff if we can engage more people in our public debates, that’s exciting and great for the city.”
“We need to tell people what the NPA stands for. Getting provincial politics out of city hall, allowing elected representatives to make the best decisions for the city, not forcing them to vote the party line. We think this is a message that will resonate with voters in about three years.”
“This is about listening to what our members and voters have told us. It is time to do things differently. We need to engage a broader base of people while retaining our core vote.”
The jury is still out as to whether the NPA will truly renew itself in time to give Vision/COPE a run for their money in 2011, but this week's decision by the Board appears to be a big step in the right direction. Here is a copy of a letter the new NPA President sent out to NPA members earlier this week:
Last night, your new NPA Board of Directors elected its officers: Michael Davis, President; Chilwin Cheng and Brian DeMuy, both Vice Presidents; Jeevan Khunkhun, Treasurer; and Manjot Hallen, Secretary.
The entire board has expressed its sincere gratitude to the previous officers. In particular, we thank outgoing President Ned Pottinger for his guidance, time and efforts. He will continue to be involved in the new role of Honorary Past President.
After the defeat of the NPA administration, we believe it is essential to listen to what voters have told us: they expect substantial change. Business as usual is not good enough.
We need to find ways to better engage the public on the issues that are important to them.
We need to engage potential candidates on the issues to discover whether they share the values that define us.
And we need to articulate those values to the public and candidates so they know what the NPA is about:
• Keeping provincial and federal politics out of city hall
• Putting Vancouver first
• Favouring individual initiative over government intervention
• And, most importantly, ensuring that Councillors, Parks Commissioners and School Trustees are not so bound by party dogma that they are unable to make the best decisions for Vancouver.
Since being elected in December, we have been quiet - but we have not been idle. We took some time to explore the various viewpoints on how to move forward, then elected leadership that best reflected our collective views. We think this was an important and worthwhile exercise.
We will now begin some very challenging work: reinforcing our connections to our core supporters; creating new connections that reach through all the diverse communities that make up our great city, and identifying candidates that can represent those communities and win their confidence in our next municipal election. As we move forward, we will need your help.
While we engage in this work, our NPA elected officials--Councillor Suzanne Anton, Park Board Commissioner Ian Robertson and School Board Trustees Carol Gibson and Ken Denike--are contributing to their respective elected boards in ways that we can all be proud of: sometimes critical but always constructive.
In short, your NPA board is active, engaged, and working hard to lay the ground work for the next election. Stay tuned as we start to roll out our new direction--we think it will be worth the wait.
President, Non Partisan Association