Simon de Weerdt Questions and Answers
How will you encourage people who have never voted to get out and vote Green?
People need to Trust and to be Engaged. We talk to people, ask them what the main issues are for them and communicate our ideas to address those issues.
We knock on doors, phone and wave signs, we ask questions, we listen and propose ways to address change. Come join us?
Do you have a plan to get young people to volunteer and vote?
To get people to volunteer they need to believe in what they are doing and have a little fun doing it.
Its more important to be authentic than perfect. Its important to get the issues that matter to people and to find ways to make improvements.
To get young people, we invite them, respect them, celebrate, listen to and include them.
What are your thoughts about deep canvassing and big organizing?
Big organizing means building alignment on big issues, lets take those big issues, whether housing affordability, jobs or the opioid crisis and build a movement of caring, concerned citizens willing to act.
Asking questions to discover what the core issues are and how to communicate about them is key. Acceptance can open minds, listening aids in identifying underlying concerns, contact and conversation can build engagement and enroll people in our cause.
We want to win this riding this election. We do that with clear leadership and strong principles.
What are the first three issues you will bring to Ottawa as an MP?
Addiction is a health crisis, the legal system needs to support treatment of addiction as a health first issue.
We have been addressing the supply end of the drug business through the war on drugs for 50 years. It hasn't worked and we need to address the demand side.
I would like to work across federal, provincial and municipal governments with health experts and advised by similar health first approaches in Europe to measurably reduce the problem.
Homelessness is a separate problem with a large population overlap, that has been overcome in some cities. See https://www.joinbuiltforzero.org/
Job Displacement: Vancouver East can become a center for retraining displaced workers. We need to transform Employment Insurance into a retraining and education resource, while allowing people to start businesses and try multiple approaches to re-entering employment. This needs to be supported both by government and industries undergoing automation. Until we implement a "Freedom Dividend" or Universal Basic Income (UBI) we need action to support workers transitioning from the fossil fuel and automation vulnerable industries.
Artificial Intelligence and automation have been steadily displacing workers and Autonomous Vehicles are very close. Its possible that millions of truck and bus drivers will soon have to find new, robot proof work. The stories of industry that thought the day of displacement would not come, but that did come are many, ask Kodak about the digital camera.
Housing affordability means supporting housing choices that meet the needs of residents before the profit opportunities of business. The federal government can help by insuring mortgages for coops, cohousing and social housing.
Energy security can be enhanced by providing tax deductions and insuring low interest loans for solar panels, heat pumps, car charge ports and energy saving home and building retrofits.
Do you have a campaign organizer and a fundraising plan?
A campaign manager will be enrolled soon after I become the candidate. Have asked a few people to consider being a campaign manager, but no one has been selected or committed yet.
Have several fundraising ideas around events, but basically we need to communicate to many people the challenge and opportunity before us and ask for their help.
Do you have a campaign slogan?
The most important question is: Why are you running?
We can make an abundant, shared economy and a peaceful, imaginative society or we can become afraid, increasingly militant and working against each other.
There is a sense we are in the midst of big changes and there is an opportunity here for us to really improve the quality of life for many people. We are changing from fossil fuels as the primary energy source to distributed, local, renewable energy. We are changing step by step from scarce minerals to abundant engineered materials such as glass from sand and graphene from carbon.
We can shift from a scarcity mindset to real abundance and inclusion. I feel called to help.