COPE, the Coalition of Progressive Electors, is a civic electoral organization in the City of Vancouver that nominates candidates for City Council, School Board, and Parks Board.
COPE currently has elected representatives on all three boards, and we are working to increase our numbers in the 2022 civic elections. Our elected representatives are guided by the COPE platform during election campaigns and they work to implement it while in office.
COPE is a movement-based organization that fights for social and climate justice. Our platform is developed by working alongside grassroots community organizations and individuals, and is approved by COPE members.
Creating the 2022 COPE Platform
Every election year, COPE develops a platform in response to emerging issues and new understandings of old ones. COPE's policies are developed by soliciting the best ideas from trade unions, tenant unions, environmental organizations, Indigenous communities, progressive policy makers, neighborhood groups, equity organizations, including BIPOC, LGTBQIA2S+, gender justice advocates, and many more.
This community will meet at COPE’s March 2022 Policy Conference to examine, discuss, and improve the submitted policies. COPE members will then democratically vote on these updates to our platform. Our candidates will present this updated platform to Vancouverites in this year's municipal election.
Looking at the previous COPE Platform
If you would like to help update the COPE platform, it may be useful for you to read through the Full 2018 COPE Platform (alongside the 'City We Need' platform highlights), with a mind to which policies require revision, which sections should be re-organized or -conceptualized, and most importantly, which policies are missing and should be added.
How to submit policy ideas
If you are a progressive organization or individual, this is an opportunity to put forward policies that you believe will make Vancouver a more just and equitable city. To submit a policy online, follow this link.
Find more details about this process, and suggestions for how to frame your ideas, below.
Timeline for our policy review process
- Phase 1 Policy Submission period: COPE will receive policy submissions from members, supporters, allies and the organizations that they represent through January 2022 to the end of February 2022.
- Phase 2 Policy Review Period: The Policy and Constitution Committee of COPE will then review, order, and amalgamate all submissions in a handbook suitable for review by all COPE members. Policies submitted by non-COPE members will be considered at our discretion. Policies which oppose our progressive aims as stated in COPE’s constitution will be rejected. If you submit a policy that overlaps with or reconfirms an already existing platform plank, we will reach out and work with you to figure out how to best present it to COPE’s membership.
- Phase 3 Policy Conference: At a date to be determined around the end of March 2022, COPE will hold a two-day Policy Conference for members to view and vote on the submissions. Please note that only COPE members in good standing for the previous 30 days may vote. Join COPE now!
How to write a policy proposal
- Choose an issue that affects Vancouverites or their environment.
- Determine if this policy can be enacted by the City of Vancouver, its Park Board, or the Vancouver School Board. If so the policy may read "COPE will …". If this policy must be enacted by another agency or level of government, the policy may read, "COPE will urge the <appropriate level(s) of government> to.....". There are some situations in between, such as working with other levels of government in specific ways, or requesting that the Province amend the Vancouver Charter to allow for new or additional municipal powers where needed.
- Platforms and policy proposals are often stated as a series of premises, assumptions, or conditions, followed by one or more resolutions or statements of intent. This format is generally used because it creates a strong and clear argument for a particular policy. In the “Policy Motivation” section of the webform, let COPE members know why this policy is important. There may be several reasons. The reasons will motivate COPE members to approve it. Here's an example of a policy submission:
Because market solutions have failed to solve the housing crisis in Vancouver;
Because affordable housing stock has already disappeared in Vancouver at an alarming rate; and
Because homelessness is a crisis in Vancouver;
- Create a clear call to action, resolution, or statement of intent in the “Proposed Policy Text” Section of the form. Following from the example above, this would look like:
Therefore, COPE electeds will only approve future housing developments where at least half of the units rent at 1/3 of low-income residents’ net income or less than $35,000 per year.
What makes a policy proposal effective?
Clear plain language, supporting references, the urgency of the issue, the feasibility of the proposal:
- Use clear and simple language. Avoid jargon and acronyms. If you need to reference a term that is often written as an acronym, please first write it out in full. E.g. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- State why this policy is important. This is the ‘Whereas’ or ‘Because’ section of your policy submission. Let COPE members know who or what is affected. If appropriate, reference other jurisdictions where this policy was put into effect and the observed or measurable benefit. If the City of Vancouver has previously approved a policy that would support your suggestion, add that information in support.
- If possible refer to any legislation that empowers the City to take the proposed action, and/or identify other levels of government that might need to be involved.
- Refer to interest groups and organizations who might be expected to support the proposal.
- If possible, identify the expected cost of the proposal and suggest revenue sources to pay for it.
How to submit a policy
Please submit your policy as soon as possible, including the final draft before the end of February. You may submit in the following ways:
- Follow this link
- Mail to PO Box 4395, VANCOUVER MAIN, Vancouver, BC V6B 3Z8 Canada
- Email [email protected] and/or [email protected], or with either a complete submission or with a first draft, or an idea, so that we can follow up and help you craft it into policy. You can also call 604-526-5911 with any questions.
To support this process and build a winning electoral campaign, please donate here.