Welcome To Tinseltown! The banner image above is the view from our new home in Tinseltown. To me, this is the most beautiful, dynamic and exciting part of the city –  the crossroads of old Vancouver and new.

Tinseltown lies right between the downtown business district and the gates to historic Chinatown. We stand between the shiny new towers ofYaletown and the old, cobblestoned streets of Gastown. The entrance to the Stadium Skytrain Station is steps from our door, and we are surrounded by Vancouver landmarks – the Sun Tower, the CBC, the iconic Vancouver Library Building, the Science Center and the QE Theater complex are all visible from our home.

We are literally at the center of things. And the challenges we face in Tinseltown are also a microcosm of the more serious problems facing this city – a dynamic, growing residential neighbourhood under strain; a vulnerable, homeless population concentrated nearby; the human cost and social disruption of public hard drug abuse; the need for more mental health treatment and other resources to fully support existing community policing; and intractable problems that seem overwhelming.

Bringing People Together To Solve Problems

And yet we are also at the forefront of innovation and community-led solutions, such as the collaborative problem-solving process we’ve created in the Tinseltown Neighourhood, bringing City and Provincial representatives together with residents, strata councils, developers, businesses and local police to help create local solutions to local problems.

Looking Beyond 2010

In addition to the civic challenges facing us in Vancouver, the global economy is slowing. Tourism, a traditional engine of growth , is down nationwide. The strong Canadian dollar, an American economy in decline and rising fuel costs have all combined to make Vancouver a more expensive destination.

To counter these trends, we need to revitalize our core cultural, entertainment and historic districts. And we need to build the architecturally-significant new theaters that will properly showcase our internationally-acclaimed concert series and draw the same high-end cultural tourists that visit Bilbao. We will need partnerships with other levels of government and outside sources of funding, but this can and should be done.

Putting People First

I have identified some of the challenges I see, and solutions that I believe could help improve the quality of life for everyone and help ensure that Vancouver remains competitive for decades to come.

As a proud liberal, I believe we must help empower anyone facing challenges in their daily lives. And I believe in the power of building broad consensus around pragmatic, non-ideological solutions.

We haven’t changed the world in Tinseltown, but we’ve started improving the quality of life in our little part of it. And we’ve proven that we can bring people together to help solve intractable problems. I would like to do more. Please join me.