Robertson's the one for mayor
By BILL TIELEMAN
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.
- Peter Drucker, management consultant
I have known and liked Peter for many years, before he became a city councillor.
I have also known and liked Gregor for a long time - and I encouraged him to run for mayor because he is the right person at a very challenging time.
Why? Homelessness is Vancouver's biggest issue and Gregor Robertson has the commitment and energy to help solve it.
It's an embarrassment that in a city with Vancouver's wealth we cannot house the homeless.
Recently I was downtown on Burrard Street early in the morning. On the steps of a church were a dozen homeless people sleeping while BMWs and Porsches zoomed by. It's shameful.
Robertson has promised to end homelessness by 2015, modelling his plan on successful examples in Portland, Calgary and New York City.
It will be difficult and ambitious - but that's exactly what Vancouver needs.
And it's obvious to anyone who walks around Vancouver that our homelessness problem has got dramatically worse during three years of NPA rule under Mayor Sam Sullivan and Peter Ladner.
Sadly, Ladner said in a debate, October 9, when asked what he would do as soon as elected: "I don't have anything that's burning in my mind that we're absolutely going to jump in there and change the minute I become the mayor."
Robertson's answer: "On day one, we need to pull people together right away to start crafting our plan to end homelessness in Vancouver by 2015."
That sense of urgency and commitment are what Vancouver wants - and not just on homelessness.
Affordable housing in Vancouver is as rare as homeless people on the streets are common. That has to change - and you do that by changing city hall.
He has already demonstrated his commitment to righting wrongs as an MLA by fighting for compensation for Cambie Street merchants whose businesses were devastated by rapid transit construction and for people with mental disabilities who faced losing their group home - Hampton Court.
Robertson has a remarkably successful background as an entrepreneur who co-founded Happy Planet juices. The combination of business expertise and social justice makes Gregor Robertson my clear choice for mayor.
And to ensure Robertson can deliver on his commitment, he needs a strong Vision Vancouver/Coalition of Progressive Electors/Green Party team at city council, school and park board after the Nov. 15 election.
No column next week on Remembrance Day but check my blog for more on the municipal elections.
And I will be commenting on election night on CKNW AM 980.