Can Vancouver's NPA map out a civic party of the future?
CityCaucus.com has received news that the storied Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association has received and will be tabling 2 significant motions that would transform how the organization conducts its affairs, and how it will be branded moving into the future. The question for Vancouver voters and critics of the organization will ask, is it enough?
Former TEAM park commissioner Bill McCreery has seized this fallow period for the 70+ year old civic electors organization (it's not a political "party" in the traditional sense, as it has never formed policy and concentrated its efforts on candidate recruitment). McCreery served one-term as park commissioner and was among the youngest people ever elected to that committee. "We had the sense back then," comments McCreery, who attended Thursday evening's NPA pub night, "that we could do anything."
Bill assembled a strong group of community leaders to outline a path for the NPA's future. The result was a motion to strike a committee on changing the NPA's name. The second, and perhaps more significant motion put forward by McCreery is that the organization develops a basic policy platform going into the 2011 election.
"It's a matter of trust," says McCreery. "People have to know what they're buying. By going out to Vancouver's diverse communities and speaking with them about their priorities, we can put together a set of goals that the organization can use to sell itself again to the public. It's a way for voters to know what they're committing to by voting for us.
McCreery's motions, which will be voted upon at the NPA's April 28th AGM at the Vancouver Museum, are as follows:
1) Name Review
Whereas the NPA initials are recognizable as those of Vancouver’s pre-eminent political organization, the Non-Partisan Association [the ‘NPA’], for more than seven decades; and
Whereas Vancouver has evolved into a world renowned, progressive and multi-cultural city; and
Whereas the NPA has also changed considerably, and the time has come to define the organization in terms which accurately reflect its evolving values in a meaningful way to contemporary voters;
Be it resolved that the Board of Directors of the NPA be directed to constitute a Special Review Committee.
 The Committee shall review the name of the Non Partisan Association and recommend alternative names for consideration by the membership; such names should preferably retain the ‘NPA’ initials while helping to position the NPA as a group of forward-looking people working toward a better Vancouver;
 The Committee shall report its findings and recommendations back to the Board and the membership by no later than two weeks before the date of the Special General Meeting of item  below;
 the final choice of name shall be determined by the membership at a Special General Meeting to be held on or before 30 June, 2010. â€¨
And his second motion:
2) Establish Policy Formulation Sub-Committees to Engage the Membership and the Public;
Whereas Vancouver has evolved into a world renowned, progressive and multi-cultural city, in large measure due to the leadership of the Non-Partisan Association [the ‘NPA’]; and
Whereas a political organization should continually evolve to reflect and respond to the concerns, ideas and issues of its society; and
Whereas voters wish to be informed of the general views of a political association regarding the issues concerning their neighbourhood and City in the present and for the future;
Be it resolved:
 that the NPA develop ongoing general policy directions as a broad guide for future candidates and party decisions;
 the NPA hold regular sessions with various neighbourhoods and communities within Vancouver to assist in the development of such broad policies;
 such policies will be updated, debated and adopted by the membership at the Nomination Meeting prior to each election to respond to emerging issues and new ideas, input from candidates, suggestions by voters, etc., as well as the neighbourhood and community consultation in order to reflect the needs and aspirations of our evolving, ever changing City;
 the adopted policies will be made available to voters during the subsequent election campaign.