Reported by Darren Amner
A former Langara instructor and previous city council member is seeking re-election.
Her platform of rent freezes and cheaper transit passes is aimed at appealing to young voters and low-income residents.
New transit pass for the working class
Anne Roberts, who is running for the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), says she wants young voters to keep pressuring politicians to act in their interests.
Along with Jean Swanson and Derrick O’Keefe, the COPE candidates announced at a rally outside Broadway–City Hall SkyTrain their plan for a Universal Pass for the Working Class. The pass will be free for kids 18 and under, free for people with low income, and $41 per month for people with middle incomes.
The proposed U-pass combines a three zone transit pass which would provide access to Park Board programs including swimming pools and skating rinks.
“You can’t build your way out of congestion, but you can provide enough affordable, attractive transit to take 40,000 cars off the road,” said Roberts. “No one will be left on the curb.”
Youth and their role in politics
Roberts, who served one term in 2002, taught in the journalism department at Langara College. Stephen Phillips, Langara political scientist, said he hopes students and other young people will get involved in the electoral process.
“COPE’s call for a freeze on residential rents should be of interest to students, who’re struggling to meet their monthly rent payments and cannot sustain any increase in rent,” said Phillips.
Langara engineering student Ethan Alexander, 19, had not known about the civic election but plans to vote for the first time. “I’m hoping to find a party and vote this year,” he said.