Vision Vancouver hits the streets with 400 volunteers on "Super Saturday"
A large crowd of volunteers crowded into the canvassing room in the Vision Vancouver headquarters for ‘Super Saturday’. Councillers Geoff Meggs, and Education Board leaders, Patti Bacchus and Mike Lombardi, waited along with the volunteers for the 2 p.m. shift to begin.
The Taschereau family was eager to get started. The Taschereaus have volunteered for Vision campaigns in the last two elections. They return for round three.
“We always come out and do signs crew,” said Denise Taschereau pointing to her 10-year-old son, Eli. “It’s just a great way to teach the kids about democracy and support a party that kind of lined up with our values.”
Eli said he supported Mayor Gregor Robertson “because he helps with affordable housing and bike lanes and stuff like that.”
By the end of the afternoon, the final count of volunteers exceeded 400, campaign organizers said.
A noticeably large student population on ‘Super Saturday' prepared for the afternoon of knocking on doors.
Tenth grader Wilson La said he was volunteering simply to fulfill his volunteer hours for school, while Sir Winston Church Secondary School student Jessie Yang has been a volunteer since the last election. He hoped to help convince people to get out and vote, he said.
Volunteer youth coordinator Leah Bae has actively worked to raise campaign awareness in high schools and post-secondary institutions, she said. Bae served as President of Vancouver District Students’ Council, where she worked along side many Vision school board members. This motivated her to start a ‘campaign school’ for high-school students, using her network.
“I think most of the time, politicians don’t pay attention to you unless you’re of age to vote,” said Bae. “We have around 70 kids [from the campaign school] that come in every week. You’d be surprised how caring these high school students are and how much they want to learn about civic politics and talk to city councillors. It’s unfortunate that in the school year we don’t learn much about city politics. We learn a little about federal and a little about provincial.”
One of the people Bae got into contact with was Councillor Raymond Louie’s daughter and UBC student Jacqueline Louie.
“We’ve been canvassing at the bus loop,” said Louie. “I think it’s really important for youth to be involved. [Today, it’s] such a positive atmosphere, it’s great to have that support and team behind you.”
There was a great turnout for the event with great reception, Louie added. Despite her father being on council, she said she had her own reasons for supporting the campaign.
“I personally love getting out into the community and that’s why I volunteer," she said.
Super Saturday continues next week with the election just around the corner.
“So, next week will be bigger and better than this week,” said coordinator Seguin. “It will be the same things as today but it will be early voting day, so we’ll really be encouraging people to vote.”
Lead volunteer coordinator Nicole Seguin – who joined the 2011 election campaign with the help of family friends – said she got involved because she strongly supports Vision’s policies. Volunteer support is crucial to the party, she noted.
“I cannot state how important it is,” she said. “It's amazing the impact people can have when they step out and become a part of the process that makes Vancouver such an incredible place to live."
“So we’ve had people bringing in their nieces and nephews to help out. We’ve had people bring in their toddlers, which was not as helpful, but it was super cute. And then we’ve had old people as well," Amy Huva said.