Mayor Leifleiter agrees to ditch his car and use a bike as main form of transportation
By now, many of our readers have heard of Mayor Gregor Robertson's initiative to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world. A lofty goal indeed. If he's successful, you can expect a new vegetable garden on the front lawn of city hall, chickens in the backyard and a number of other initiatives to convince us to go green.
It's always interesting to see if civic leaders who push the green agenda actually live it. In the case of Vancouver's mayor, he is an avid cyclist. He's also the former owner of an enviro-friendly company called Happy Planet Juice (Tim Stevenson take note....the juice is great but it is still dispensed in plastic containers). So you could argue that he's got a bit of "cred" when it comes to pushing the enviro file. But he's still got a long way to go.
A recent article I read in the Winnipeg Free Press about a number of their politicians giving up their cars for a week as part of their commitment to go green got me thinking. What could Metro Vancouver civic politicians do to "symbolically" demonstrate their commitment to the environment and alternate forms of transit?
It was that question which led CityCaucus.com to proclaim July 19 to 26 as "Civic Leaders Car Free Week". That's right, we're going to challenge all of our civic leaders to hand in their car keys to their respective city managers for a week, and try to go green.
Yes, it will be difficult, but it would certainly help to give these civic politicians a totally new understanding of what it's like to live at the mercy of public transit or their bicycle. Here are the rules and eligibility requirements to participate:
- Must agree to hand your keys over to your local city manager for a seven day period
- Must commit to not driving during this period. Carpooling, bicycling, walking, skateboarding are all acceptable
- Commit to writing at least one 400-500 word blog post on your experience. Preferably, you will write one post prior, during and after the event.
- Must be a duly elected official
- Must currently own a vehicle and have it be your primary source of transportation
- Deadline to register is July 7th, 2009 at midnight
CityCaucus.com will offer free blog space for up to three lucky civic leaders who want to write about their experience of being car free for a week. We've had in excess of 200,000 page views since we launched this blog a few months back, so you know your posts will be well read!
If you're an elected official in Metro Vancouver and want to ditch the car for a week, all you have to do is contact us at email@example.com. We'll announce by way of an official news release which of the three candidates we've chosen after our expert panel of CityCaucus.com staff have reviewed all of the submissions.
If this inaugural event is successful, heck, we may even try it again next year! If you're an elected official from outside Metro Vancouver and live in one of Canada's big cities and would like to participate, simply drop us a line - we'll try to squeeze you in!