In Vancouver, working people, students, and seniors are facing a growing crisis of housing affordability. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is now more than $2,000, there are over 2,100 people sleeping on the streets, and transit and daycare fees are increasing every year.
In 2018, COPE built a large movement and elected Jean Swanson to City Council, Barb Parrott to School Board and Gwen Giesbrecht and John Irwin to Parks Board, on unapologetically radical platforms. We also ran Anne Roberts and Derrick O'Keefe for Council and Diana Day for School Board all of who came very close to winning seats. Our city council candidates campaigned for a Rent Freeze and for a Mansion Tax to fund more affordable housing.
Our School Board candidates campaigned on universal meal program for children an Indigenous high school and making sure all kids, especially Indigenous kids graduate high school (see the Schools We Need platform).
Our Parks Board candidates campaigned on making Parks and recreational facilities affordable to working class families. With hundreds of volunteers tabling doorknocking and postering all over the city, we united under the banner of COPE to Win the City We Need.
Find out more about our 2018 election platform.
2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), which was formed in 1968 as a coalition of the Vancouver and District Labour Council, housing activists, and environmental groups. COPE believes that residents and social movements can advocate for policies that address the needs of people, not the profits of real estate developers and speculators. In 2002-5, COPE elected majority governments on city council, park board and school board. After 13 years of Vision and NPA rule, the city faces an unprecedented crisis. It’s time for a political revolution at City Hall. We took the first step in October 2018, but this is only the beginning.