Municipal Election 2014: Mom the Vote
If you’ve been anywhere in Metro Vancouver – or across BC, for that matter – in recent days you’ve seen them: campaign signs. The 2014 municipal election is coming up on November 15 and campaign season is in full swing. Voter turnout is historically very low for municipal elections, but once again we’d like to encourage you to buck the trend and mom the vote. You’ll be voting for people who impact your family’s lives on a daily basis. These are the folks who decide what happens in the city’s neighbourhoods, parks, community centres and schools. Concerned about traffic safety on your street, or the conditions in your child’s classroom? This is your chance to make your voice heard.
What Does the City Actually Do?
What does the City of Vancouver actually do? If you’re not already convinced to get out and mom the vote, maybe this quick 90 second video will convince you that your vote matters:
Also keep in mind that while the City doesn’t have jurisdiction over schools, you’ll be voting for school trustees who do. If you have strong feelings about what’s happening in local classrooms – and many of us do following the job action this year – this is your chance to effect change at the local level.
But it’s so Confusing!
Okay, okay. We get it. In the City of Vancouver there are 119 candidates running for 27 positions. That’s one mayor, seven park commissioners, nine school trustees and ten councillors. It’s hard to evaluate each and every candidate and choose 27 great people to represent you. There are a couple of ways you can make your life easier.
First, you don’t have to vote for all 27 positions. You can vote for up to ten councillors, up to seven park commissioners and up to nine school trustees. This means that if there are just a dozen candidates in total for the three positions who you really like and trust, you can just vote for them. They will appreciate your vote – trust us. With low turnouts, just a few votes can make a world of difference. And you don’t have to agonize over your choices, or vote for candidates you’re not sure about.
Second, the City of Vancouver has created a fabulous tool to make your life easier. Head to vancouver.ca/plan-your-vote where you can find candidate profiles, polling information and more. You can make your choices and print it all out in a handy reference sheet to bring to the polls with you. It’s a virtually stress-free way to mom the vote.
Finally, you don’t have to vote on November 15. Advance polls are open already, so get out and cast your ballot at the time and place that works best for you.
Mom the Vote on Social Media
The City of Vancouver is asking people to share pics with their I Voted stickers after they vote, to encourage their social media networks to vote too. Get your kids in on the act – the folks at polling stations are usually more than happy to give stickers to four-year-olds – and show everyone how important it is to mom the vote. You can also add a voting badge to your Facebook and Twitter profile photos. Go here to get in on the social action: twibbon.com/Support/vancouvervotes
But I Don’t Live in Vancouver!
If you live outside of Vancouver, check out your city’s website. It will have information on who’s running, and where and when you can vote. Take a little bit of time to read up, make your choices, and then get out and mom the vote. At VancouverMom.ca, we create content for moms who love where they live, because we love it, too. By getting out and voting, we’re doing our part to make sure our communities remain just as vibrant, thriving, and family-friendly as they are today – or maybe even get better. We’re also setting the example for our children. It’s something to feel good about.
*Image credit: Travis Nep Smith on Flickr.
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