OneCity and City Council candidate RJ Aquino are on a roll.
On Monday we released our full list of donations and challenged the other Vancouver political parties to publicly release all of their donations before we vote on Nov. 15 and on an annual basis. We believe in campaign finance reform and putting residents and neighbourhoods back at the centre of decision making at City Hall — and we're backing that up with our actions.
In the past few hours, some very special people in our city have publicly stated they are saving one vote for RJ Aquino: author and comedian Charlie Demers, Sharon Gregson of the B.C. Coalition of Child Care Advocates, and Vancouver City Planning Commissioner Brandon Yan.
And there will be many more. Over the next week, we're going be talking about concrete ways Vancouver can create and support a sustainable economy, beginning with paying the people who work here a Living Wage. Plus we have a few special surprises in store that are going to get people talking, thinking, and voting for a fresh, new voice on City Council in RJ Aquino.
Advance voting starts today and runs until Wednesday (excluding Nov. 11) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. so beat the rush and vote early when you vote Aquino. We're disappointed the City has not responded to our call to address the shameful lack of advance voting places on the East Side of our city, but there will be shuttle buses starting Friday. Stay tuned for more on that and click below to find your nearest polling station:
City Council candidate RJ Aquino was one of the standout performers at Sunday's Last Candidate Standing event. Hosted by the Vancouver Public Space Network, this was not your typical political debate — but then RJ is not your typical candidate. Results were largely based on crowd feedback and the audience repeatedly responded to RJ's honest, thoughtful — and very funny — answers. He placed in the Top 3.
For a full rundown of the rounds and results, click here: vancouverpublicspace.ca/2014/11/03/last-candidate-standing-by-rounds-and-sets/
VANCOUVER ― Pedestrian deaths in Sweden have decreased 50 per cent since 2009. There are more people walking and more cars on the road than ever before, but Swedish streets are the least dangerous in the world because the country has placed safety at the centre of its planning process, part of a comprehensive program called Vision Zero that targets zero traffic deaths.
With memories fresh with the joys of taking to sidewalks for Halloween, the OneCity team and City Council candidate RJ Aquino are calling on Vancouver to walk faster and catch up to solutions that are saving lives and making communities healthier around the world. It starts with the formation of a Pedestrian Advisory Council to kickstart pedestrian-oriented community planning in Vancouver.
“Walking as a mode of transportation is central to public health, economic development, and social equality and inclusion,” City Council candidate RJ Aquino says. “But in its rush to develop pockets of the city, Vancouver is falling behind other jurisdictions that have made walkable, connected neighbourhoods a priority.”
According to Statistics Canada, commuting by foot in Vancouver is stagnating, remaining at 6.3 per cent since 2006 (compared to 71 per cent who commute by car and less than 2 per cent who bike).
Aquino and OneCity believe a Pedestrian Advisory Council, based on successful models such as Portland’s PAC, is the best tool to address City Hall’s current stop-and-go approach to walkability. The council will be volunteer-based and made up of representatives who reflect the diversity of Vancouver and its pedestrian potential, including seniors, neighbourhood and business improvement associations, and city agencies such as the fire and police departments and housing authority.
The advisory council will help the city better integrate pedestrian and walkability policies, programs and plans as Vancouver evolves. It begins with putting the safety of our walkers first, breaking down barriers to walking such as land-use patterns and too much density along arterial roads, and building truly connected communities where people are allowed the choice of getting to their destinations on foot.
VANCOUVER — JL Aquino and her spouse, OneCity council candidate RJ Aquino, spend more each month on child care for their two young children than they do on rent. And rent is not exactly cheap in Vancouver. Child care is a big part of the reason so many people, especially young families and single parents, are working hard to barely get by in this city.
That is why RJ Aquino and the OneCity team say it is time for Vancouver to take the lead and implement the $10-a-day plan in a Vancouver neighbourhood that desperately needs it. The $10-a-day plan is a made-in-BC solution from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates in partnership with the Early Childhood Educators of BC.
“It is shameful that child care has barely been mentioned during this election because we need to put it at the top of the agenda at City Hall,” City Council candidate RJ Aquino said. “It is time to put our money where our kids are by seeding and providing the $10-a-day plan in a Vancouver neighbourhood that does not have enough child care to meet the needs of its families.”
The OneCity plan calls for the $10-a-day funding formula to be put into practice in a demonstration project in co-operation with a neighbourhood-based, non-profit organization. This one-neighbourhood pilot will allow us to gather data about demand, assess up-front costs, and track the impact of the $10-a-day plan for families facing a child-care crisis right now in our city.
Vancouver’s child-care program is currently focused in areas with new developments instead of responding to existing needs. Renfrew-Collingwood, South Vancouver, Hastings Sunrise, Kerrisdale, the West End, and Cedar Cottage are among the many neighbourhoods that have growing populations of children and simply not enough child care. The plan is to start with an area that is under-serviced and, with support from senior levels of government, expand the program throughout Vancouver.
“It is telling that the only thing the NPA will say about child care is that we need more so-called ‘practical standards’ for businesses to get child-care licenses. In other words, they want to make it easier for corporate, for-profit child care to spread throughout Vancouver,” Aquino said. “At OneCity, we believe we need a moratorium on for-profit child-care operations. We need to ban corporate child care that puts caring for our kids in the profit margin and show Canada and the world a real alternative that families can afford.”
"Affordable child care to me means that families at any income level, in any Vancouver neighbourhood, can offer their young ones high-quality and nurturing early-education opportunities." — Thi Vu, parent and founding member of OneCity.
"When we as a society invest in child care, we give an equal start to life for all our children, we give parents an opportunity to balance family with work, and we create jobs in our communities.” — Christine Boyle, parent and founding member of OneCity.
Find out more about the $10-a-day plan: http://www.cccabc.bc.ca/
And watch and share a video of RJ Aquino and Shane Simpson, NDP MLA for Vancouver Hastings, addressing the OneCity Open House: