Beginning of Something Special


Remarks by RJ Aquino, OneCity's first candidate, at our election night celebration on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014:

I would like to acknowledge that we are on unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples.

Thank you so much for joining us here today. I am RJ Aquino and I ran for Vancouver City Council with the support of the OneCity team. I want to congratulate all of my fellow candidates and thank everyone who voted and made their voice heard. Voting, especially for young people, is so important for our city, our province and our country.

Tonight we are celebrating a victory. Tonight we are celebrating how far we have come in so short a time. This OneCity project only started a few short months ago. We wanted to build a political home for people who are being left out, people who are struggling in this city, despite its many advantages, to make ends meet.

We know working people and young people and single parents and families -- we are all under pressure. My wife and I have seen friends move away because they have lost faith, or perhaps never had faith, in a political system that should work with us and help us build the kind of city we can afford to live in. A kind city that we can live in and love.

That’s why we started OneCity, to give a voice to people and communities and to those values. And that is one of the victories we are celebrating here tonight.

We have talked about the things that matter and we have put forward fresh, practical solutions. For real affordable housing and child care. For paying people who work here, a Living Wage so we can put down roots and grow together. Innovative ideas for building a truly sustainable economy. And for putting our neighbourhoods and residents back into the decision making process at City Hall.

We have taken the lead on campaign finance reform. And we have tackled the kinds of issues that get people talking -- like beer!

We have put out these fresh ideas and people have noticed. The Georgia Straight and so many others endorsed not just me for City Council, but this whole project and movement. We built kindness and stories and people into a political campaign. called it “endearing, creative, a campaign that punched above its weight” -- like Manny Pacquiano!

But the end goal of this project is not this election. And so tonight we are celebrating what is to come in the next four years and beyond. I believe that together, with all the expertise gathered in this room, with your passion and your values and your willingness to work hard, we can continue to build this movement.

We can continue to engage people in politics in new ways. We can share our stories and our ideas and get involved in our communities. We can have fun and be inclusive and accessible. And most important of all, we can continue to listen to the many voices of Vancouver.

The victory I am celebrating tonight is that we set out to build a political home for people, and that as your lone candidate this time around -- or the "One Dude" as the Province called me -- I am at home.

There are so many people I want to thank for helping with that and I simply can’t list them all without missing somebody. But for me it starts and ends with family. JL and I met in this city, started a family in this city, and are building a community in this city.

Thank you. Thank you everybody for being here to celebrate the end of an amazing campaign and to celebrate the beginning of something special that we can all build together.


A Straight call to save one vote for Aquino


The Georgia Straight has given a glowing recommendation of RJ Aquino for Vancouver City Council.

"OneCity has developed some of the most thoughtful policies of any party competing in this election ... Aquino, a high-tech worker, pointed out that he and his wife spend more each month on childcare than they do on rent, and he’s promising to push for a $10-a-day child-care program 'in a Vancouver neighbourhood that desperately needs it' ...

"Aquino has the support of some thoughtful community activists, including public-health-care advocate Colleen Fuller, urban aboriginal leader Scott Clark, and writer Trish Kelly, as well as comedian Charlie Demers and NDP MLAs David Eby, Mable Elmore, and Jenny Kwan. If Aquino gets elected, he will become the first councillor of Filipino descent in the city’s history."

Remember, just like the Straight you get 10 selections for City Council in Saturday's election. Save one of those votes for RJ Aquino.

Read the full Straight story here.

Check out RJ Aquino's take on what one councillor can accomplish at City Hall in The Huffington Post.  

And sign up now if you want to join the fun on Saturday (and find out where the party is):


A Pint is a Pint is a Pint


VANCOUVER — Lauded by many for proposing fresh, practical solutions for affordable housing and child care, City Council candidate RJ Aquino and the OneCity team are today tackling another affordability issue gripping Vancouver — the price of beer.

The OneCity team has conducted extensive field testing and, without naming names, has found a great deal of confusion around serving sizes of the tasty and refreshing alcoholic beverages poured into glasses in Vancouver bars and restaurants. A pint is almost never a pint, and no one seems to be sure what a glass or a sleeve is.

In the interests of properly serving Vancouver residents living in an expensive city — and encouraging spending in the local economy with full faith in what consumers receive in return — RJ Aquino and OneCity have a solution: City Hall should use its business licensing powers to require bars and restaurants to list the actual sizes of the drinks they sell and their prices, and the City should assign penalties for businesses that don’t follow these Provincial requirements.

“A pint is 568 millilitres and that should mean you get 568 millilitres of your favourite local beer or cider — don’t call it a pint unless it is a pint,” City Council candidate RJ Aquino says. “A fun city is an affordable city where you know what you are getting for your money. Accurately listing serving sizes is in the best interests of public safety and ensuring all of our great local bars and restaurants are operating on a level playing field."

“For three years we have been campaigning for establishments to 'Fess up to serving sizes,' or #FUSS, because we’re finding that short pouring is now very widespread in the city,” says Adam Chatburn, President of the Campaign for Real Ale Society, Vancouver Branch. “We've regularly reported our findings to the city licensing offices, but they don't seem interested in ensuring that customers get what they pay for. I think that beer drinkers in Vancouver would be happy to have a city councillor like RJ Aquino standing up for them.”



We are One City, not us versus them


We started OneCity because we don't believe in dividing Vancouver into us versus them. Many Voices, One City isn't just a slogan, it's an organizing principle and it has informed our election strategy and our policies. 

And in RJ Aquino, we have a City Council candidate who has lived it: RJ co-founded a non-profit that connects Filipino Canadians with their heritage, culture and language. Its name, Tulayan, means "to bridge the gap." That's what we're bringing to the table in this election: putting out fresh, practical solutions and building bridges to make this city better. And that's why we're asking you to save one of your 10 Council votes for RJ Aquino on Nov. 15.


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