Thursday, May 12, 2011

Running for Vancouver School Board

Today I announced my decision to seek a Vision Vancouver nomination for Vancouver School Board:

I have a passion for public education that stems from watching my parents struggle to send me and my sister to Crofton House, university, and grad school on working class salaries. They came to Canada as immigrants from the Caribbean - my mother as a live-in maid and my father with $200 and a Bible. Neither had finished high school and they didn't feel confident navigating the school system on their own.

Parents should have confidence that the public school system will support all students, regardless of background.

I first ran for Vancouver School Board in 2002. Vision Vancouver didn't exist then, and I ran with the NPA. But the NPA is no longer a centrist party. It has moved sharply to the right on policy issues, won't take a strong advocacy stand for students, and does not offer the voice for Vancouver's schools that we need in a climate of provincial cut-backs.

Vancouver schools need trustees who are willing to stand up for students, stand up for teachers, and protect the role of education in equipping young people to become active community-builders.

I don't have confidence in the NPA's willingness to advocate for Vancouver schools. That's why I joined Vision Vancouver and support its consistent progressive record.

I bring 15 years experience in policy and advocacy communications. I've served in government, private sector, and public interest organisations as:
  • Co-Chair of the West End Mayor's Advisory Committee
  • Legislative Assistant to federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh
  • Account Director with a leading global public affairs firm
  • Advisor to the Doctors Without Borders Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
Vancouver voters can be confident in my ability to represent their interests, negotiate with the province, and form strong ties with the stakeholders of our education system.