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Cast a ballot, make your voice heard in the Vancity Board election

I should tell you straight away: I am running for re-election for the Vancity Board because I would like to continue working for an organization that makes a real difference in people’s lives.

Sure, I would like you to vote for me. But mostly I would like you to take a few minutes of your time and just vote. That’s because your vote can make a strong statement about how Vancity is run.

Vancity is a co-operative, which means it is a democratic member-owned organization and is here to serve those members. That’s you and me. And whether we have a few dollars in our account or we have a million, whether we joined six months ago or six decades ago, we each have the same single vote.

But Vancity is also a financial institution, which means it does a lot of the things banks do, like taking in your deposits, making loans, writing up mortgages for your home or your business and helping you with your investments.

Here’s the difference: We give a fair chunk (30 percent) of the profits we make from business back to members and the larger community. This year, that will be $18 million dollars.

We also see ourselves as an organization with a social and political purpose. We support co-operative values; we promote social justice and we advocate for the environment.

And we put our money where our mouth is. That’s why we use our collective wealth – which is now about $17 billion dollars– to help build more healthy inclusive communities.

We serve the traditionally underserved. That is what Pigeon Park Savings is all about. It is a Downtown Eastside branch designed to meet the banking needs of some our most vulnerable citizens. And it does that respectfully.

We are increasingly looking for opportunities to invest our money in projects and people where it will have social impact: Like Save on Meats; or Sole Food, which transforms vacant urban land into productive gardens and empowers individuals by providing them with job training and a supportive work space.

And the most amazing thing about that is this: We can have that impact and still provide our members with a good return on their money.

So why should you take part in this election and vote for board members?

Well, the board is your voice at Vancity. That’s the group that represents you, that sets the strategic goals and supervises the operations of our credit union.

And when you set about voting by reviewing the candidates, you are choosing candidates whom you believe will best lead the credit union in a direction you think it should be going.

Your vote will help determine our future as a financial co-operative and the future of our communities. It is something you want to have a hand in.

By now you all should have received your ballot. So you can vote by mail. You can also go on-line to vote. Or, from April 12 to April 20 you can go into designated branches and vote there.

For more information about voting or the candidates you can chose from check out Vancity.com.

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