From Mike Howell, Staff Writer with the Vancouver Courier:
“NPA council candidate Sean Bickerton is new to politics and just beginning to learn more about the NPA’s history and civic scene.
Raised in Surrey, the former Victoria Symphony violinist moved to Manhattan 20 years ago where he eventually became vice-president of Columbia Artists.
He now lives with his husband, Tom Hudock, in a condominium on the edge of Chinatown. The couple operates Kulture Shock Media, a software development company with offices in Vancouver and New York.
Bickerton said he didn’t follow the mayoral nomination battle between Ladner and Sullivan. Nor does he know what led to it, although he’s finding out details now, he added.
“My involvement began three months ago [with the NPA] when I moved into a building in Tinseltown,” he said.
Bickerton joined the party shortly after councillors B.C. Lee and Ladner responded to his complaint regarding a food business in his building.
The complaint was related to a sanitation and odour problem. Bickerton didn’t want to give details because the problems were resolved and he is on good terms with the business owner.
But it was through his dealings with Lee, and Ladner’s “work behind the scenes” that led him to seek out the NPA, a party he describes as pragmatic and fiscally responsible.
“I went to them after that and banged on the door and said, ‘I want to do more, do you think I can help?’” he said, noting he knew the party was searching for candidates after reading a story in the Courier.
Bickerton had a strong interest in community before he left for New York. He was a founding member and phone counsellor for what is now the South Fraser Regional Crisis Line.
At UBC, he was the vice-president of Gays and Lesbians of UBC and helped implement some of the city’s first safe-sex campaigns.
He now volunteers with Union Gospel Mission.
If elected, he wants to focus on cleaning up and revitalizing neighbourhoods and look to the performing arts to help do that. He also wants to work closely with the *** and gay communities, including undertaking new safe-sex campaigns.
Bickerton met Ladner two days before he announced his candidacy. He was won over by him after the two chatted at Bickerton’s home.
“I didn’t know him before, but I do now and I’m totally committed. I think he’s the hope for the city.”