MEGA-NEWS: One City aims to unite progressive voters

Former members of Vision Vancouver and the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) have formed a new municipal party called One City, which will run at least one city council candidate in the November 2014 municipal elections. One City is dedicated to tackling housing, transportation, and childcare affordability, community democracy, and climate justice.

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The new party is comprised of familiar faces on Vancouver’s left, as well as people with no history of political involvement, those who “feel like we need to create this political home for ourselves,” says One City co-founder David Chudnovsky, a former provincial New Democratic Party politician and COPE board member.

One City’s council candidate for November is R.J. Aquino, who ran for city council under COPE in 2011 and served on their board of directors for two years.

Aquino says One City wants to connect with the almost 70 percent of eligible voters who did not cast a ballot in the last election, “not only to hear what their concerns are,” he says, “but also engage them in a way that they understand what’s going on in the municipal level has this much of an effect on their lives.”

Aquino says the party has adopted the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s measurement for defining housing affordability, which considers housing to be affordable if it costs 30 per cent of a household’s income before tax. The party plans to use Vancouver’s median income as a starting point for a new definition of affordability.

“Housing is getting more expensive. The first job, it seems to me, is to acknowledge that,” says Chudnovsky. “The current city council doesn’t acknowledge that.”

One City has no plans to run a candidate against incumbent Vision Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. But the party is currently in discussion with other possible candidates for council, school board, and park board.

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