Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

By Karen Quinn Fung

January 23, 2015 at 1:45 AM

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Support a Yes vote in the Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum

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The Vancouver Public Space Network has unanimously voted to support a Yes vote for the upcoming referendum on investment in public transit for Metro Vancouver, as demonstrated with unanimous support our most recent Board/Coordinator’s meeting.

Since December, when the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation released their proposal for funding transit expansion and operations with a 0.5% regional sales tax, it has been an endless string of developments, arguments, rebuttals, and hand-wringing, being played out across regional and even national news media, and in numerous online spaces. City councils across the region are voting on the matter and throwing in their support. In these two weeks alone, there have been two public in-person events on the topic: one hosted by the SFU City program, and another one coming up hosted by the Metro Vancouver Alliance.

For the VPSN, our support for public transit is unequivocal. A yes vote will support transit’s vital role in enabling the creation and flourishing of the public spaces that lie at the heart of our work, as well as further improvements to regional infrastructure supporting cycling and walking trips. Effective, enjoyable public spaces promote human connection; they are physically safe and supportive for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities; they invite expression, spanning from the playful to the political; and they support local economic models that create wealth for the community in balance with our ecological systems and shared values.

The voting period beginning March 16th is rapidly approaching. There are a wide variety of labour, environmental, and business-focused groups engaging people on why transit matters, how the sales tax will work and how the wording of the question addresses some of the concerns people have about how the proposed transit improvements will roll out in reality.

We are seeking volunteers to join us in shining a light on the importance of this referendum on Vancouver’s public spaces and will be holding a meeting on Wednesday, January 28th, 5:30pm, to work through our activities on this topic. If you would like to join us, please contact Karen Quinn Fung by e-mail, and we’ll keep you in the loop as we finalize the location and organize future meetings.

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