#MetroVanElxn18: a how-to guide
Voting is one of the most important things you can do if you're concerned about the housing crisis.

On Oct. 20, eligible voters will elect mayors, councillors, and school trustees across the region for a four-year term.

For most municipalities, this will mean a big turnover in who's leading our cities and collectively shaping our region.  

If you live in Metro Vancouver and are experiencing the housing squeeze, voting in this upcoming election is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to housing and affordability.

You're eligible to vote if you:

 

  • are a Canadian citizen

  • are 18 years of age or more on general voting day

  • have lived in B.C. for at least six months before you register to vote

  • have lived in the city you are voting in for at least 30 days immediately before the day of registration

 

For more in depth info on this, including how to register to vote, check out B.C.'s municipal voter guide. 

Voting can be overwhelming (especially when your list of candidates is 70+ in some cases), so we've compiled some resources for cities and districts within Metro Van to help you make a plan to vote!

Your city's website can be your one-stop shop for who's running for mayor, council, and school board, along with when and where to vote! This info will help you make your voting plan. (Psst... if you're in Vancouver, you can plan your vote here!)

I live in: 
  


Whether you're advance voting, or going on election day (Saturday, Oct. 20), find a location that works for you and set a reminder in your calendar!

Seriously. DO THAT PART RIGHT NOW!

Awesome. Now that you've got a plan in place, here are some tips to narrow down that ballot list.

Gen Squeeze Candidate Survey


We asked Metro Vancouver candidates: 

Do you commit to pursuing a minimum 3% vacancy rate in your community? 

- and -

What are your top ideas for helping achieve a minimum 3% vacancy rate?

We asked because one of our overarching goals is to level the playing field between renters and owners. 

At the systems level, we recognize one of the key requirements to levelling the playing field will be a return to healthy vacancy rates, which is widely accepted to be in the range of 3-5%. Compare this to the vacancy rates reported for many of Metro Vancouver's urban centres, which hover near or below 1%.

Getting vacancy rates back into the 3-5% range can help achieve multiple ‘levelling’ objectives at once: lower rents, fewer exclusions (e.g. pet exclusions), and higher quality as the market becomes more competitive.

Vacancy rates are only one indication of rental market health — and as with most statistics there are some data collection and interpretation issues to work through — but they're a powerful indicator nonetheless.

Thus, as Metro Vancouver's local governments work to improve conditions for renters, we'd like to see them commit to a clear vacancy rate objective.

Click your municipality below to see how candidates in your riding answered our two-question vacancy survey. 

Meet your candidates, or hear them speak

 

  • Most cities have all candidate meetings, or post a list of candidate events on their website, which you can often find via the links above, or search the city's website for "all candidate meetings"

  • This is an easy way to put a face to a name, and get first-hand information on who these people are and what they stand for

Know the basic platforms, look for the issues that matter most to you

 

  • Whether you can make it to an all candidate meeting or not, you can still do a lot of helpful research online (like with this database from Civic Info BC that has links to municipalities and their candidates' info).

  • Your city website also helps put a face to the name, usually including candidate profiles and a bit about their platform (especially helpful for that long list of independent candidates). 

  • Feeling the housing squeeze? Want to see more purpose built rental in your city? Look for the issues that matter most to you in your candidates' platforms. Chances are, you'll find some alignment (or lack there of) that will help you make a decision on who to vote for. 

But wait — the candidate list is longer than your family tree? I hear you on that. So try starting with platforms of the parties running, often covering off a mayoral candidate and one or more prospective city councillors. 

Don't know your political parties? Civic Info BC's database has that under the electoral organization column! You can also find a complete list of organizations for B.C. municipalities here.

Talk about things with your friends, family, or co-workers

 

  • Know someone who's a bit more up-to-speed on political happenings? Ask them about what the major election issues are in your municipality, and what they look for when making a decision to vote.

  • Get a group together to do some collaborative research and share your findings over a cup of coffee or lunch break. You can even make a social Saturday plan that includes voting in the itinerary. Go on, have some fun with it! 

  • Encourage your friends to vote by making them a sandwich! Why a sandwich you ask? "People love sandwiches. But people don’t always vote." This election, why not offer to make your non-voting friends a sandwich for getting into the booth? Who could resist?

Spread the word


Let people know you're voting by sharing this page, changing your Facebook profile pic, or giving those thumbs a twitter work-out! 


Saturday, Oct. 20 is less than two weeks away, so suit-up, spread-out, and squeeze back!

And don't forget, we're all in this together! 

Rachel Selinger
About
housing strategist @gensqueeze, artist, designer, affordable housing advocate, M. Arch, volunteers with @ahvancouver and member of @cohousingYVR
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#MetroVanElxn18: a how-to guide
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