Official stance on Community Centres
Hello, I am Independent Candidate Elke Porter, who is new to civic politics, but am hoping that my contributions will make a difference in your lives and in the lives of everyone living in Vancouver. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my platform and to introduce myself. My slogan is that is that I would like to see Vancouver be “Clean, Green, with an accessible scene, but also an affordable scene and that is where community centres come in. We all know that community centres help newcomers, seniors, children, families, those with mobility issues; they help people stay connected or meet other likeminded residents from their neighbourhood, and can help people make it through the long rainy season in winter.
In the Downtown Eastside, programs might serve low income adults with the goal of nurtering mind, body and spirit. In West Point Grey, their mission is to promote individual and community development. Downtown, the West End Community Centre Association wants to do it all and they promote recreational, cultural, educational, artistic, charitable, sporting, and community endeavors. While here in Kerrisdale, your mission is to provide programs activities and services that respect individual differences and enhance community spirit. Each centre has their own unique and diverse population. Meeting the needs of the individual communities is a high priority.
Another important aspect of community centers are the fact they are all about democracy. They allow all of us to participate in collective and collaborative decision-making, they allow us to have a direct say and make an important difference in our community. I am proud to say that they also save taxpayers million of dollars as they are run by volunteer boards that spend thousands of hours fundraising, applying for grants, as well as operating and building the capacity of their facilities
As a mother of two, I practically lived in the community Centres of Coal Harbour and the West End when my oldest was a baby. When my daughter was 4, we actually came all the way from downtown to this Kerrisdale, so she could take rhythmic gymnastics every week. My kids both spent hours at the Coal Harbour and Kitsilano Playgrounds, and my youngest went to the False Creek Swamp Willow Preschool on Granville Island.
If I am elected, I would want to continue the mission that each community centre has started and to expand on them as we are building more towers and apartments with lonely residents who need community facilities and recreational opportunities to thrive. In Vancouver, as our living space is getting squeezed, we – and our dogs – need to have opportunities to get daily exercise, or we need to be able to take courses that will expand our minds or we help others, which will help expand our hearts. As a councilor for the City of Vancouver, I would want to ensure that we would restore positive relationships and work together to ensure that our vibrant and diverse communities in Vancouver stay that way.
This was written for the “All Candidates” Forum at the Kerrsidale Community Centre. My mom, my aunt and her partner were there, along with 170 others. Three mayoral candidates showed up (at least) – Fred Harding, RollerGirl and Wai Young and several candidates for office were present – COPE, Coalition, Vision, and independents. I had to sit right in front of the speaker, next to Rohan and Francoise. Interesting Event! My impromptu question was “What do you think about the blanket zoning approval from City Hall.”