An endorsement from VSB Trustee Rob Wynen for Brent Granby on the Park Board

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I first met Brent in 2002 as President of the West End Residents Association (WERA) when he was a volunteer on the Mole Hill Community Garden. This project was the first community garden in the West End and was completed with donated materials and volunteer labour. Brent was one of the volunteers on the team that made this project the wonderful success that it is today.

I later recruited Brent To WERA where he was to be come a director of that organization. Brent immediately made an impact by initiating a community-based art project by applying for grants from the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation. The project “Look” by artist, Nicole May and other residents who participated is still in the Mole Hill Laneway and in a public art register of Vancouver. Projects like this provided West End residents an opportunity to connect while contributing to great place making.

Brent with myself and other WERA directors tirelessly advocated for more sustainable transportation infrastructure in Vancouver. In particular WERA was successful in advocating for bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge. WERA has established a reputation of being a positive, responsible and effective force in Vancouver’s civic affairs and Brent has made a significant contribution in developing this model.

When I resigned as WERA president, I was glad to know that Brent had taken over as President. Brent has shown creativity and strong organizational skills in his leadership role with WERA. He has demonstrated a unique understanding of community organizing that uses both traditional methods of resident engagement tools, but also has shown an ability to adapt and innovate with use of new tools as web based communications and social media.

With no hesitation and with great pleasure I recommend Brent for a nomination for the Vancouver Park Board. His sincere interest and many years of experience with Park Board issues as a community based organizer, with political parties and as an activist in the city make him an outstanding candidate. This experience will well serve Vancouver to be a more liveable and sustainable city for everyone

 

 

An endorsement from Cheeying Ho for Brent Granby on the Park Board

CheeyingWRFrom Cheeying Ho, Sustainability professional:

“I have known Brent Granby for eight years, professionally and personally. Brent has always been a passionate and devoted advocate for civic engagement, particularly on issues pertaining to parks and public spaces. I’ve been greatly impressed with his energy and commitment to be involved in civic affairs. He is a good listener, very approachable, and able to respect a range of viewpoints. Brent has an inquisitive mind and is always seeking ways to make communities more livable and sustainable. Solving sustainability issues takes a commitment to working in partnership with others and understanding shared values; Brent has proven his commitment to collaborating with diverse people and groups in many different situations. I know that Brent is considered a leader in his community with integrity and strong organizational skills.

Vancouver’s challenge to reduce its impact on climate change while creating greener and more vibrant neighbourhoods will require consistent policy development and vision. I am confident that Brent has the vision and commitment to know what needs to be done and the character to ensure that sustainability will always be a priority of local government.”

An endorsement from School Board Trustee Allan Wong for Brent Granby on the Park Board

allanWongHSWRFrom Vancouver School Board Trustee Allan Wong

“I have known Brent Granby for many years and am inspired by his leadership style and his sense of responsibility to the community. Brent has consistently acted with the upmost integrity and respect for others and is able to work cooperatively in diverse groups. He is a consensus builder and an advocate for public education and community accessibility for all.

I remember Brent’s tremendous role in quickly seeking a community-based solution to transport students in the West End to the District French Immersion program in Kitsilano. Brent went straight into a problem solving mode and came up with a local solution of car pooling and later a walking school bus using public transportation.

 

Brent has spent over a decade involved in many issues pertaining to the Park Board. If there is anything I need to understand about the Parks Board I feel confident seeking Brent’s description and his personal balanced views as well. I hope that his experience and perspective is given the opportunity to serve the Park Board in order to guide staff and the board to a more liveable and sustainable Vancouver. I sincerely encourage and support Brent’s nomination and look forward to him being a commissioner for Vancouver this November.”

An endorsement from MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert for Brent Granby on the Park Board

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From Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA Vancouver West End:

“Brent Granby’s demonstrated committment to a healthy environment, truly accessible community public services, and creative citizen engagement in bettering our communities makes him stand out as a candidate for the Park Board.  Brent is a hands on kind of guy, who knows what it takes to make change in our communities, and he has delivered.  Whether it’s a new washroom, better biking facilities, community gardens, or art in the Parks, Brent has already made a difference.  I hope he gets the chance to make even more of a difference as a Park Commissioner, and with your vote he will.   I’m proud to endorse Brent Granby. “

An endorsement from Loretta Woodcock for Brent Granby on the Park Board

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From 3 term Park Board Commissioner Loretta Woodcock

“Although Brent has been volunteering his time and energy for over a decade in advocating for the best use of our public spaces, I had the fortune of working with Brent during my final term as commissioner on the Park Board from 2008-2011. Brent knows this City well. He brings a focused and infatiguable passion in promoting recreational amenities for families, cyclists, nature enthusiasts, community gardeners, the arts community, sports field users, and those who rely on our community centres. When you meet Brent you will be impressed by his hard work ethic and the sincerity that he brings in representing your interests on the Park Board. Vancouverites can have confidence that when they elect Brent Granby, they will have someone with a thorough knowledge and readiness to perform his duties in a principled and positive way. Join me in supporting Brent’s candidacy for Park Board.”

The healthy city: good design, beauty and throw in some fun.

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The actual physical fabric of the city could make you healthy. How wide sidewalks are, is there street furniture, do you have parks with nature, community gardens and interesting places all have an effect on our health. There is a growing body of knowledge that is making a connection between a city’s infrastructure and health. The most obvious example is bike lanes. By increasing safe bike lanes cities will increase the amount of people who will cycle. Riding bikes and living physical active lives helps prevent a host of chronic diseases. But there is a whole range of things that cities could be doing to make its residents healthier.

I think great public space is something that is often over looked as a factor in health. Great public spaces from interesting material for the sidewalks and pocket parks really invites folks to walk. Having street furniture and poster kiosks also encourages people to linger and make social connections and this all good and promotes health. Good design and beauty could be key components of health.

The City is seeking ideas for making Vancouver healthier for everyone. The city is launching a number of engagement tools to gather ideas including a series of “ideas labs” to “brainstorm” input to inform its The Healthy City Strategy.

 The idea labs will be held on the following dates:

Monday, May 5, 2014 from 6:30 – 9pm at Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360          Victoria Drive

 Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 1 – 3:30 pm at Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, 350 West  Georgia Street

Thursday, May 15, 2014 from 6:30 – 9 pm at Ryerson United Church, 2195 West 45th Avenue

To learn more about the Health City Strategy select here
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw back Thursday: 1982 when we had student grants, loans and good paying jobs

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Ouch!  It’s 30 years since I started university. This is me in 1982 in my first year at Mac. I was 20 years old here. An exciting time and I was proud to be going to post secondary education. I really didn’t have a glue what I wanted to do, but always some how knew that I would go to university.

What strikes me now  is how lucky I was to be going to school at the time when  I did. Governments were still supporting universities so tuition was affordable. Both the Federal  and Ontario Governments had grant and loan programs. In Hamilton there was still good paying manufacturing jobs to be had in the summer where one could earn enough for the following year.

These were the last years when Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister and government was addressing inequality and was helping with programs to develop a more equable society. I finished school with debt, but nothing like the amount that students have know. Looking back being the son of  an auto worker I feels so enriched to have had the opportunity to go university.

I am seeking a nomination with Vision Vancouver for the Park Board.

 

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Parks and a Park Board for everyone

I would like to thank everyone for their kind support and encouragement. Based on you feedback I have decided to run for the Vancouver Park Board as a Vision Vancouver candidate.

Nomination vote June 22- Save the Date

I want to be elected to the Vancouver Park Board to ensure that the priorities of local government are addressing the crucial issues of sustainability and enhancing livability for Vancouver residents and business in order to make our city better for everyone.

I need your help!

Join Vision Vancouver and become a member this will allow you to  vote in the upcoming nomination meeting that will be held in June. Join online  here

Like my Facebook page to show support for my campaign: My Facebook Page

Email me if you want to donate or volunteer with my campaign at brentgranby@mac.com

Donate to Vision Vancouver to ensure that Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vision Vancouver team are able to run a successful campaign: Vision Campaign Fund

Why I am running

The Park Board oversees critical elements from its community centre, parks and green spaces, which are central to developing a happier and healthier city. My experiences as volunteer activist have provided multiple opportunities to participate in the construction of community gardens, community art projects, community-based celebrations and advocating for active transportation infrastructure.

I am passionate about civic engagement and public discourse. I enjoy the process of envisioning new public space. I know from personal experience with raising my children the importance of community centres and the services that they offer. As a past Director of a community centre I appreciate the importance of shared responsibility and respect between the Park Board and Community Centre Associations.

I want to be an elected Vancouver Park Board Commissioner to ensure that the priorities of local government are addressing the crucial issues of sustainability and liveability for residents and business in order to make our city better for everyone.

Me and Ford

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Me in 1983 at the Ford Motor Co. in Oakville Ontario. A member in good standing of CAW 707. This is on the #1 trim line where the cars just come over from the body shop after all the robots weld the body of the car.

One of my dad’s best friends Curly Kennedy took this photo. He was lifer a Ford starting when the plant opened and retired after 30 years.

My dad got that job at Ford just before I was born. Our family really needed that job. I asked my dad why he stayed so long at Ford and he said ” he was tired of walking around in white shirts with no money in his pockets and I needed the job.”

My father was a smart man he went to grade 13. He sold cars, had a small garage and sold insurance door to door for a while. He was a life long learner. He was interested in electronics and become HAM radio operator. This was one of his great passions in life. After working the night shift he would talk to people all over the world in Morse Code in the corner of our unfinished basement, his “radio shack”.

As a young  man he work on the steam engines in Hamilton Bay as his other 3 brothers did. One uncle was a conductor and other two worked as auto workers. My uncle Frank worked at Studebaker in Hamilton, the plant is still there and empty. My uncle Bob started at the Ford Oakville plant when if first opened and fought in the first strike to get the union into the plant. It was a long and hard strike and they burned every piece of wood within miles to stay warm.

My father worked at the Ford plant for more than 30 years and was a proud member of 707 CAW now Unifor Local 707.  That was a great summer. I made killer money, got to ride with my Dad from Hamilton to Oakville and got to know him a little better as a person.

Our family depended on that good paying job. My father was the sole money earner in our family. My mom took care me and my two sibling and  was very active in our community.

Urban forest strategy at council

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The Urban Forest Strategy report for council this week is possibly one the best looking reports the City of Vancouver has ever produce. The report is filled with interesting information on the city’s urban forest including some great maps that compare neighbourhoods tree cover.

City of Vancouver Urban Forest Strategy

62% of the urban forest is on private land. The tree canopy in Vancouver has been shrinking over the past decade. The city through its by-laws limits home owners to only cut one tree per year. In an effort to protect and expand the urban forest there is a proposal at council this week that will limit home owners from cutting down any health trees. To cut a tree down residents would need an arborist report and a permit from the city.

The importance of a healthy and expanding urban forest cannot be over stated. The simplest and most compelling reason is trees sequester C02s and produce oxygen. There a whole range of other benefits that trees give to the city from creating good habitat for birds to helping storm water management.

If you are passionate about trees and the urban forest please write Mayor and Council and let them know you support changes in the by-laws to protect them. You can also sign up and speak to council on Wednesday morning April 17  and let them know what you think.

The contact information for the Clerk is Nicole Ludwig, Meeting Coordinator, at 604.873.7191 or e mail nicole.ludwig@vancouver.ca or Laura Kazakoff, Meeting Coordinator at 604.871.6353, email: laura.kazakoff@vancouver.ca.