RJ speaks at OneCity launch

We have an opportunity to make the city better. For my family, for the Filipino community, my neighbours in East Van, and people all over the city who want the same thing: to be able to afford to call this city home.

I've been lucky enough to call Vancouver home for a long time, but there is work to do to make this city a kinder, more livable place. I want this work to be an example to my community, to my children, to all those who try their best to make this city great. When we work together, when we listen to each other, when we do our best for each other, we can do great things, and we invite you to be a part of it.

Vancouver is becoming two cities: A city for developers and the extremely wealthy, and one where many of us are finding it increasingly difficult to keep calling Vancouver home.

OneCity emerged from a growing concern for this divide. We see OneCity strengthened through diversity, affordability, and equity. OneCity is a political party and a movement for change. You’ll likely recognize some of us. We are parents, we are students, we are young people, we are immigrants, we are long-time residents and we come from many communities and movements across this city – environmental justice, faith groups, community health, labour, and housing advocacy.

Vancouver is our home and OneCity wants to help people achieve the dream of planting their roots here. The goal of building a life here is getting further out of our reach and we need to bring it back within our grasp.

Finding affordable child care is a challenge for many families. Waitlists are long. Families need affordable and neighbourhood-based child care now.

Buses are at capacity. Pass-ups are common. Fares keep rising. We need better – and more affordable – public transit now.

As we help the city step into a leadership role in fighting climate change, we need to recognize that local and regional strategies are important. Locally and regionally, we can have the greatest impact on our greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that families have affordable housing and good jobs conveniently located next to bus routes, rapid transit, and bike lanes. Addressing the climate crisis requires us to address the affordable housing crisis.

New developments are not affordable nor do they meet the needs of families and working people. Housing is more unaffordable than ever, and existing affordable rental housing is being lost. Relentless condo development erodes the character, community, and affordability of our neighbourhoods. We must build and preserve affordable housing now.

Current development policies threaten local and neighbourhood businesses. We need policies that foster a vibrant local economy and a diversity of job opportunities. We must prioritize developments where public benefit and use are more important than developers’ profits. Corporations should not be allowed to dictate what a city needs. That power belongs to the people.

When communities speak out, we need City Hall to listen. We need City Hall to respect the knowledge and concerns of residents and neighbourhoods.

Vancouver is the city I’ve lived the longest in. I fell in love with my wife in Vancouver. My children were born in Vancouver. I became who I am in Vancouver. I’m running for city council because this city is my home and I want to work to keep it that way for my family, for myself and for you and for everyone else who wishes the same.

We want those of you who live and work here to be involved and engaged in how the city progresses. We want to hear your concerns and to listen to your ideas and we want to work with you so please join us, and let’s build OneCity together.

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