Approximately 60,000 permanent residents live in Vancouver. They live, work, pay taxes, and send their kids to public schools. And yet, they’re unable to vote, which means they’re left without a voice on matters important to them. In Vancouver, that’s equivalent to missing 30% of voters.
The young immigrant and refugee leaders of Fresh Voices, a former initiative of Vancouver Foundation, organized to extend municipal voting rights to permanent residents living in Vancouver through the #LostVotesYVR campaign.
On April 17, 2018, they reached a significant milestone: The City of Vancouver Council unanimously passed a motion to ask the B.C. government to make the necessary legislative changes to allow permanent residents to vote in local elections.
By working alongside the young leaders of Fresh Voices on the #LostVotesYVR campaign, we saw the potential that grassroots community efforts can have on creating meaningful change for a more just and equitable society. It’s this type of work we want to continue to support through LEVEL Youth Organizing.