Bob Dylan’s secret message for civic elections in 2018: Gotta Serve Somebody

Civic elections in the province of British Columbia are on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The term is for FOUR years to October 2022.

CityHallWatch has a theory that Bob Dylan, when he released “Gotta Serve Somebody” almost forty years ago in 1979, was actually sending a secret message to candidates in this election. See the full lyrics on his official website here. Enjoy his performance on YouTube above. Below we share a few excerpts.

The question to all candidates: WHO are YOU gonna serve?

Specific supporter or interest groups? Donors? Political insiders? Your party? Young? Old? Renters? Owners? Developers? Friends and connections? Or the whole city and its people?


Gotta Serve Somebody
(By Bob Dylan)

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

See the whole lyrics here.

Advance voting TWO days left (Oct 16 + 17), 29,000+ ballots cast so far, probably 80% on election day

Here below is some useful information from the City of Vancouver issued Oct 16, 2018 regarding final two advance voting dates (Oct 16 + 17), and Election Day Oct 20. 

[Note that in 2014, 43.4% of registered voters voted. There were 415,978 registered voters in 2014, and 180,668 ballots cast in Vancouver. (Don’t quote us on these numbers. Not 100% checked.) But it looks like with 29,000 ballots cost on the first six of eight advance voting days, we are on track for about 39,000 advance ballots, and with a few assumptions it looks to us like about 80 percent of ballots will be cast on the actual election day. So stay tuned for relevant news in the final days to Oct 20.] below is the text from the City today.

Last day of advance voting is tomorrow, October 17

Over 29,000 ballots cast so far

The last day for advance voting in the Vancouver city election is tomorrow, Wednesday October 17.

Over the first six days of advance voting, over 29,000 votes have been cast, which is higher than the 23,811 votes cast in the first six days of advance voting in 2014.

As well, over 900 ballots were cast in the first ever Kids Vote program, held this past weekend. Results from the Kids Vote will be announced on October 20 after 8pm.

Citizens can vote at any of the following locations during advance voting [Oct 10 to 17, from 8 am to 8 pm]:

  • Britannia Community Services Centre, 1661 Napier Street
  • Hastings Community Centre, 3096 East Hastings Street
  • Kerrisdale Community Centre, 5851 West Boulevard
  • Killarney Community Centre, 6260 Killarney Street
  • Kitsilano War Memorial Community Centre, 2690 Larch Street
  • Marpole – Oakridge Community Centre, 990 West 59th Avenue
  • Renfrew Park Community Centre, 2929 East 22nd Avenue
  • Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
  • Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street
  • Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive
  • West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street
  • Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue

Election day is October 20, when over 100 voting places will be open from 8am to 8pm. Continue reading

Vancouver voters: Think about the city you want before you vote (Elizabeth Murphy in Vancouver Sun)

Voting dayWe have paraphrased the title, but here is the full text of a op ed in the Vancouver Sun on October 9, 2018. Very timely, as the civic election is on October 20, and advanced voting has begun. Whoever is elected is in there for the next FOUR years, til 2022.  Full text follows, but we have bolded some words for emphasis.


Vancouver voters need to think about the city they want before they vote

This is a critical year for Vancouver to restore its reputation for the Jacobs model of planning and move away from Moses-type destruction

Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun, October 9, 2018

Vancouver became renowned for participatory community planning based on the principles of Jane Jacobs. But over the last decade, this reputation has become undeserved. There has been a shift from a sustainable complex city of neighbourhoods for people to bland density obsession for the benefit of developers. Vancouver has lost its way.

Jacobs’ influential writing was central to stopping major highway and urban renewal that was destroying inner-city neighbourhoods in the 1960s. She stopped the Lower Manhattan Expressway through her neighbourhood of Greenwich Village in New York City, the Spadina Expressway when she moved to Toronto and this also inspired the 1970s cancellation of Vancouver’s proposed highway through Grandview, Strathcona, Chinatown, Gastown and the waterfront.

This set Vancouver on a new sustainable path based on Jacobs’ principles of neighbourhood-based participatory planning.

Prior to 2007, the planning process in Vancouver included meaningful involvement from the people who lived here, such as CityPlan and earlier Local Area Planning. This was a basic principle that resulted in a sustainable mix of neighbourhoods that focused on social capital. However, the shift over the last decade from livability to growth, at both the regional and civic level, has resulted in housing primarily as a commodity that has caused a severe affordability crisis and increased homelessness.

Globalization has only made this worse as over-development has been consumed by inflationary forces that locals cannot compete with. Yet those who live here are increasingly being excluded from the decision making process that is dominated by the development industry that benefits through their control of city council.

Recent citywide rezonings are a case in point. Without community consultation, the outgoing Vision council is forcing through rezonings that affect the majority of the city right before an election when few are running for office again. Adriane Carr (Greens) and the NPA voted against the rezoning while Hector Bremner (of Yes Vancouver) voted with Vision for the rezoning.

The reasons why this approach is failing Vancouver are many. In simple terms, it is because we are demolishing the older more affordable housing and replacing it with new, more expensive units that most locals cannot afford. So as rezoning increases outright supply, this cycle continues. Continue reading

Hot off the presses, “Light Rail Transit – Smart for Vancouver” video challenges Broadway subway

“There is only so much taxpayer money available for transit. Do we use it all up on one street? Or create sustainable transit for all of Vancouver …”

In this video, city planners Adam Fitch and Patrick Condon weigh in on Vancouver’s best options for sustainable transit.

In the lead-up to the 2018 municipal elections on October 20, 2018, there’s been lots of discussion about the future of rapid transit in Vancouver. The Broadway corridor along Broadway Street – reportedly the busiest street in western Canada – is due for a transit upgrade.

A Skytrain extension and subway is one solution but will cost about $10 billion dollars and take at least 10 years. Some mayoral and council candidates have declared their support or opposition for a subway on Broadway to Arbutus, and onward to UBC.

Light Rail Transit (LRT) is a cheaper, quicker and more sustainable option but has yet to be implemented.

See Adam Fitch’s website fore more information:

West End Mayoral Forum for 2018 civic election: 9-Oct-2018 (Tues) at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church

WE Mayoral Forum 2018The Vancouver civic election is October 20, 2018. This also happens to be five years since City Council adopted the West End Community Plan. A good time for taking stock and communicating with election candidates.

Several groups are organizing a West End Mayoral Forum. The information below on the Mayoral Forum is adapted from the event’s dedicated Facebook page.

West End Mayoral Forum
Tuesday, October 9
7 to 9 pm
St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church
1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver

CANDIDATES: Ken Sim, Kennedy Stewart, Hector Bremner, Shauna Sylvester

Organizers: West End Families in Action (WEFA), WE Arts, Denman & West Neighbours (DAWN), West End Seniors’ Network, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Metro Vancouver Alliance, Young Ideas, and St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.

To provide a forum where candidates can explain their positions and hear the concerns of local residents via questions to be provided by stakeholders. Among the themes of concern within the West End about which candidates will have an opportunity to share their ideas are:

1. livability and quality of life;
2. residential affordability and homelessness; and
3. viability of independent local businesses.

Candidates will answer questions provided by stakeholders, and a moderator (Richard F Zussman, Global) will ensure that answers and exchanges among candidates are concise and on target so as to make best use of the 7:00-9:00 pm time frame for the event. Continue reading

A subway to UBC? Prof Patrick Condon video says it will only enrich UBC + developers, but cost students and taxpayers

Here is a new video explaining why the subway out to UBC will only enrich UBC and developers at the expense of students and taxpayers. Dr. Patrick Condon speaks about the proposed Broadway Subway Line (including the idea of an extension to UBC). View it on Facebook at this public link here. Or click below to play:

The video is part of a series by “Vancouver Review Media” on 2018 civic election issues. Prof. Condon is a professor of Urban Design at UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.