Mayor Jim Green?
"More than half of decided Vancouver voters in a poll done last week said they would vote for the 62-year-old former poverty and housing activist to replace the city's outgoing celebrity mayor, Larry Campbell." - Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun July 13, 2005
That is the news facing COPE, the Committee of Progressive Electors and the NPA in Vancouver. Green has long been a a vocal supporter for the less fortunate in the city and was often seen as too left wing to make it.
Over the last three years Green has been the man behind the mayor, leading negotiations with the province and federal government on housing, gas tax monies, and of course the Woodward's building.
Green should be a slam dunk for COPE. Afterall for years he along with Libby Davies were the people holding it together.
Like many others on the left side of centre I remain somewhat ticked COPE seems unable at times to work on issues of commonality and spends way too much time on their differences. Jim Green, has managed to understand that you have to work with all the citizens, community orgs and businesses.
Green's popularity as reported in a recent poll indicates he can work with most. Yet in the days ahead we will hear more from the diehard COPE leftists that he has sold out. I couldn't disagree more.
If COPE wants to establish ongoing change at City Council, moving a progressive agenda, its time they decided to work with the Vision Vancouver group (Friends of larry Campbell). Failing this they will set themselves up for a role they seem determined to return too, that of opposition.
The Gazetteer has a great take on the Vancouver race to City hall here.