Wow! The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday, January 28th and it was a huge success!
Considering COPE’s poor showing in Vancouver’s municipal election on October 15th, 2022, many expected a poor turnout at the AGM. Instead, over 120 members attended both by way of zoom and in person.
Former Vancouver City Councillor Jean Swanson, COPE’s voice of conscience, was there to offer words of wisdom and insight.
COPE has been a progressive voice on the municipal scene since its founding in 1968. Over the years, it has had its fair share of ups and downs.
My personal history includes 12 years as an elected official under the COPE banner, beginning in 1990 – six years as a Park Board Commissioner, followed by six years on Vancouver City Council.
Impelled by stalwart member and long-time Vancouver City Councillor Harry Rankin among others, COPE remained a strong voice in municipal politics for the next four decades — culminating in the 2002 election which saw COPE candidate Larry Campbell elected Vancouver Mayor and the election to municipal office of every candidate running under the COPE banner including 8 City Councillors.
Shortly after the 2002 election, the nine COPE members of City Council [Mayor and eight Councillors] quickly split into two factions: COPE LITE – four members including the mayor, and COPE CLASSIC – five members including myself. COPE LITE strongly supported Vancouver’s largest developers and the gambling industry. By voting with the two right-wing NPA members of Council, they had a Council majority of six. COPE LITE, after failing to expel me from the COPE caucus, left COPE to form Vision Vancouver – heavily funded by Vancouver’s developers and the gambling industry. Larry Campbell went on to sit on the Board of the Great Canadian Gaming Company, where he recently sold his shares for a multi-million dollar profit.
However, whenever COPE is down, it always rebounds, and the election of this year’s executive has me optimistic for the future. I was very inspired by the energy and vitality of the meeting and of all of the candidates for the COPE Executive Committee (COPE refers to its board as its executive).
Newly elected members of the Executive Committee are:
Tanya Webking as Co-Chair with current Co-Chair Tristan Markle;
Jessica Bailey – Recording Secretary;
Kat Glasspoole – Membership Secretary;
Connie Hubbs – Fundraiser; and
Members-at-Large – Jean Swanson, Ray Goerke, Tim Louis, Zakir Suleman
I was pleased to be elected to one of the four open Member-at-Large positions. And I should note that Suzie Mah, as an elected COPE representative, also joins the Executive Council as a voting member.
I have little doubt that COPE will re-energize and re-invigorate itself over the next year, putting in place all of the necessary pieces to make significant gains on Vancouver’s City Council, Park Board, and School Board in the October 2026 municipal election.
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (Feb 5, 2023): 420.47ppm
One year ago (Feb 5, 2022): 418.78ppm
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