SEPTEMBER 20, 2017
VANCOUVER-- In a packed meeting last night the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) voted to endorse all three OneCity candidates for the upcoming city by-election.
OneCity candidates - Judy Graves for City Council and Erica Jaaf and Carrie Bercic for School Board – are proud but humbled to have won the support of Vancouver’s labour community.
The VDLC represents 110 union locals and has a total membership of about 60,000 trade unionists.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | 12 September 2017
VANCOUVER — OneCity’s Made in Vancouver Housing plan will ensure we lead the country in building new affordable rentals.
Today, Judy Graves and the OneCity team announced their Made-In-Vancouver Housing plan to jumpstart an affordable housing boom and address Vancouver’s housing crisis head-on.
The plan features four policies that will generate millions of dollars of local revenue and create thousands of new, guaranteed affordable, city-owned rental homes every year. At the heart of the proposal is a commitment to fairness by ensuring people who benefitted most from the current housing bubble do their fair share to help fix it.
“People in Vancouver understand that solving the housing crisis means building real affordable homes. Every dollar generated by these policies will be used to build thousands of guaranteed affordable rentals all over the city.” said City Council Candidate Judy Graves. "Affordability for low and middle income families, seniors, and workers needs to be guaranteed by the city and not left to the free-market and development community to determine."
The highlights of the Made-In-Vancouver Housing Plan OneCity released today include:
Create a local luxury property surtax of 1.5% on the wealthiest 1% and 0.5% on the wealthiest 5% of residential property owners in Vancouver.
Establish a city-wide Affordable Guarantee to ensure rents are fixed at 30% of tenants’ income in all City-owned rentals, in perpetuity.
Create a Flipping Levy on all homes sold within 3 years of purchase. The Flipping Levy would apply a 50% tax to the speculative profit made within the first year, and decrease to 35% in years two and three.
Open up all Vancouver neighbourhoods with new city-wide inclusionary zoning to put affordable housing before sprawling mansions and luxury developments.
In the coming weeks, Judy and OneCity will propose additional housing measures to protect and advocate for renters and address gentrification in the Downtown Eastside. Other key policies that support and grow Vancouver’s vibrant and inclusive communities and neighbourhoods are forthcoming.
Tyler Michaels, OneCity Campaign Co-Manager, 604-836-6112
Please mark your calendar for Sunday, August 27 at 1:00 pm at Trout Lake Community Centre for our AGM, annual summer picnic, and nomination meeting for the City Council by-election. Look for our signs by the door to direct you to the meeting room.
AGM: Hear about what we've been up to this year, and what's next. Members will vote for the Organizing Committee. Interested in getting more involved? Please consider running for the Organizing Committee - we will have vacancies. Organizing Committee members coordinate the activities of OneCity, set broad direction for the organization, and manage election planning. If you are passionate about OneCity's work we would love to have you involved!
If you have been a member for at least 30 days prior to the AGM you will be able to vote during the AGM (yes, that means the deadline is July 28). Current members will be able to renew their memberships at the AGM.
Nomination Meeting: If you became a member on or before July 16 you will be eligible to vote for OneCity's candidate in the Vancouver City Council by-election. All are welcome to attend.
Summer Picnic: After the meeting please join us for some family-friendly park fun. We'll be near the playground with food to share and games to play (and maybe a political conversation or two) from about 2:30 onwards.
As many of you have seen in the media, the remarkable advocate Judy Graves is seeking the OneCity nomination. Follow her candidacy on her Facebook page.
Why we're running - Our piece in the Georgia Straight outlining why, right now, Vancouver needs a OneCity candidate on City Council.
Please consider making a donation to support the OneCity candidate in October's by-election. We don't take developer money so rely on our supporters, like you.
On July 4, Geoff Meggs announced his resignation from Vancouver city council, which triggers a by-election for his council seat. We wish Meggs all the best in enacting the NDP’s progressive agenda, and we thank him for his years of service, especially his work with organized labour.
The announcement of a by-election provides an opportunity for Vancouver voters to send a message to council regarding the state of the affordability crisis in our city. We will be running a candidate in the by-election because we believe that Vancouver needs a progressive, community-focused voice at city council who can push council on issues of affordability and equity in our city. Vancouver needs OneCity. Here’s why.
Vancouverites are not disengaged—they are ready for change. Thousands of citizens spoke, wrote, and called to voice an opinion on the recent 105 Keefer rezonings, when neighbourhood activists (the Chinatown Concern Group) amplified the voices of a community and empowered people whose voices are typically not heard: seniors, youth, low-income individuals, and people of colour. There has also been lively—and at times fractured—discussion around neighbourhood planning and heritage planning.
- We cannot depend on developers to deliver affordable housing. For the nearly 10 years that Vision Vancouver has held a majority at council, housing prices—for owners and renters—have spiralled skyward, even in so-called “affordable rental” projects. Where does this leave us? Growing homelessness, suffering small business and arts organizations, out of control rents, and a sense that Vancouver is a place that pushes people away rather than draws them in. Cities around the world are using creative, nonmarket solutions to solve their affordable housing crises. It’s time that Vancouver does the same.
Vancouver needs councillors who are not bound by developer money. Both Vision and NPA have coasted to victory on the waves of millions of dollars in developer donations, which has led to the approval and construction of thousands of luxury apartments, out of reach for most of us. We hope that we get a ban on corporate and union donations and a strict limit on individual donations. Unlike Vision and the NPA, until that reform is passed, we’ll stick to our policy of never accepting money from developers and being completely transparent about the sources of the funds we do raise.
Vancouverites will have a choice in the 2017 by-election, and again in the 2018 general election. In communities around the world, citizens are rejecting the false promises of developers and corporations, and instead embracing governance that will increase equity and justice. We believe Vancouver should be a part of this shift towards kindness and hope, articulating it in our own unique civic voice.
We will be outlining our specific policy plans in the weeks ahead. Expect them to be creative, solutions-focused, and achievable.