A COPE Park Board will improve local consultation with neighbourhoods and Community Centre Associations to reverse Vision Vancouver's centralization of decision-making and crisis of accountability in parks and recreation issues. A COPE Park Board will increase funding to enhance park spaces and ensure that facilities, programming, and services remain public, keep up with population growth, and serve the needs of all Vancouver’s diverse communities.
Ezra Bloom is an artist, organizer, curator, critic, and student currently studying at Emily Carr. He grew up on Salt Spring Island, and has spent his life surrounded by art, counter-culture and activism. He has lived in East Vancouver for eight years and is connected to Vancouver’s underground and radical arts communities.
Ezra recognizes that Parks, Greens, and Commons, are where many inhabitants of Vancouver spend the much of their free time. For Ezra, it's important that throughout the history of citizen movements, these spaces are where people have come together to meet, celebrate, and build resilience. The power and value of these spaces to bring people together and intersperse nature in our city reminds Ezra of the importance of fighting to defend public space and the environment. This also drives him to bring his voice to Park Board to work to make Vancouver a welcoming and livable city for the common folks, and not a playground for the super-rich. Find out more about Ezra here.
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Urooba Jamal is a student, writer, and social justice advocate. She is passionate about advocating on behalf of racialized communities, in particular youth, and their right to the city through the city’s various services and programming.
Urooba has worked at UBC to organize and facilitate social-justice themed programming, as well as internationally to research migrant justice. Through her work with the Richmond Food Security Society, Urooba became well-versed in municipal food policy issues, and on Park Board she will push for the development of urban food forests in Vancouver, with particular attention to the inclusion of cultural diversity.
Urooba will bring her youthful perspective to Parks and Recreation issues in order to create facilities and services that meet diverse needs. She is also running on the platform of economic justice, bringing back grassroots community programming, and using community-centred approaches to building safe, inclusive and innovative spaces. Find out more about Urooba here.
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Imtiaz Popat is passionate about expanding Vancouver’s community services and programming to reflect the city’s diverse communities. Imtiaz hopes to use Toronto’s 519 Church Street Community Centre as a model for community programming. This is a model that offers services and programming for the city’s many distinct communities including LGBTQ and newcomers. Imtiaz is also a strong supporter of the Sanctuary City movement.
A prolific media producer, Imtiaz has hosted The Rational on Vancouver Co-op Radio, ACCESS TV on Shaw Cable 4, and produced feature films, including the documentary Stolen Memories about Japanese internment in BC. He has worked at Gallery Gachet in the Downtown Eastside, and has advocated for newcomers through his work with the Rainbow Refugee Committee and the Immigrant Services Society of BC. Find out more about Imtiaz here.
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Anita Romaniuk has been strong advocate for Parks and Recreation issues for more than 20 years. She first ran for COPE in 2003 and was one of the team of five women who formed the majority on the Park Board in 2002-2005. Anita has also been actively involved in many community associations, where she has tirelessly fought for parks improvements, including outdoor pools and other facilities.
Anita sees two main issues in this election for the Park Board. The first issue is what she sees as the appalling failure of the current Park Board to be accountable to their constituents through respectful public engagement. The second is the inability of the Park Board Capital and Operating budgets to keep pace with the size and needs of Vancouver. Anita is a proven advocate of maintaining aging recreation facilities and community centres, and pushing for new park space to meet new needs and those of historically park-deficient communities. Find out more about Anita here.
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CEASE WYSS T’Uy’Tanat
Cease Wyss T’Uy’Tanat is a Skwxw’u7mesh ethnobotanist, media artist, educator, and food security activist. She has also been vocal in the Idle No More movement and has stood up with other Indigenous people to fight for First Nations’ rights to hunt, gather, and fish in their traditional territories.
Cease is running to bring a needed Indigenous voice parks and recreation issues, where Indigenous people have been underrepresented and tokenized. Her vision for Park Board includes growing and strengthening programming and facilities that address the unique needs of indigenous youth, elders, and diverse cultural communities who have long been excluded and underserved. She will also bring her traditional knowledge of Indigenous plant systems to invigorate parks and programming. Find out more about Cease here.
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