St. Catherine's was well-represented at the Metro Vancouver Alliance Election Accountability Assembly that took place at the Italian Cultural Centre on Thursday, October 9.
St. Catherine's Church is a member of the MVA, as is the North Shore Justice Working Group. The MVA, officially launched in the spring after three years of relationship building amongst faith, labour and community organizations, is composed of over 50 member organizations that together represent approximately 200,000 citizens of Greater Vancouver.
On Thursday night, the top four issues of concern identified by MVA members as being critical to Lower Mainlanders - poverty, social isolation, affordable housing and transit - were presented to Vancouver City mayoral candidates Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver), Kirk LaPointe (NPA), Meena Wong (COPE) and Green Party councillor Adriane Carr in front of an audience of well over 600 MVA delegates. The candidates were asked to commit to specific actions in each area, and to working with the MVA on identifying further, broader-reaching solutions. You can read the Vancouver Sun account of the event here, and a somewhat more detailed article in the Vancouver Courier, which credited the energetic MVA for bringing a "lively boost" to the civic race. The Rev. Steve Bailey, deacon at St. Laurence in Coquitlam, also wrote a great piece about our Anglican involvement in MVA, found here.
St. Catherine's Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles and Paul Clark are MVA organizers who would be happy to tell you more about the MVA structure and its aims. They were joined at the Italian Cultural Centre on Thursday night by about a dozen St. Catherine's parishioners, accompanied by a large youth contingent invited by Paul Clark.
Gloria Dei Lutheran, another member organization, was also represented, with Gloria Dei's Gail Berger taking to the stage to introduce the issue of poverty and its prevalence in Vancouver and neighbouring communities.
The MVA offers excellent workshops on effective, results-oriented community organizing. As a member organization, St. Catherine's parishioners are entitled to attend the next November 7/8 Leadership Institute workshop free of charge. Andrew and Paul have both previously completed the workshop, should you wish to hear about the benefits of attending.
All four candidates at the Thursday event committed to working with MVA to identify and implement solutions to problems facing the region. St. Catherine's delegates will continue to keep you informed about the work of the MVA, and encourage you to get actively involved in the life of the Alliance.