"The neighbour you want to have," that's how my fellow city council candidate Sean Bickerton recently referred to me. I can hardly think of a higher compliment.
Being a good neighbour means a lot to me. It's about looking after the people around me. It means standing up for my community.
For years now, I've participated in any way I can to support my community. That's meant contributing articles to a neighbourhood newspaper, walking on evening foot patrols, or doing graffiti paint-outs. It's organizing our annual block party, or maintaining a community website.
I've been a co-organizer of our community's annual Keep Vancouver Spectacular litter clean-up. This year our community group hung our third set of neighbourhood-themed banners along Fraser Street, a unique community-driven project in Vancouver I helped to coordinate.
As falling enrollment threatened to close the school in our neighbourhood, I did my best to fight for the facility. This included organizing parents to plant and water garden boxes at the school over the summer to improve the appearance of the grounds for prospective families, and producing a promotional video of parent testimonials.
Many are not aware that there are opportunities to volunteer across the city, as well as on several advisory boards at the City of Vancouver.
One of the most gratifying volunteer roles I had was serving as Vice-Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission. Our committee worked hard to create A City Built for Change, a roadmap for cities on how to adapt their urban fabric in the face of demographic, economic or climate-driven change.
When it comes to volunteer pursuits over the past three years, the most fulfilling project for me has been CityCaucus.com. Together with Daniel Fontaine, we researched and wrote over 2,000 blog posts which have driven nearly 4.7 million page views, and helped hold Vision Vancouver's feet to the fire.
So what lies ahead? Voters will decide.
On November 19th, I'll be on the ballot, and I hope that you'll vote to give me the privilege of serving you on city council with the NPA.
Our NPA candidates are a hard-working team of people also driven by a passion for our city, and we're led by candidate for mayor Suzanne Anton who has the right stuff to lead Vancouver.
Be sure you vote in your local municipal election. In Vancouver advanced voting continues 8am - 8pm on November 16th only. Voting Day is Saturday, November 19th, 8am - 8pm. Voting locations can be located at the City of Vancouver website.