Mable Elmore, BC MLA launches re-election campaign
By Erie Maestro
A Filipino marching band made its dramatic entrance to the auditorium of John Oliver High School in East Vancouver with loud drumming and lyre xylophone music to the rhythm of the Ati-Atihan beat. Campaign supporters followed the band and ushered a smiling and confident Mable Elmore on stage. “Mable” supporters from various sectors of the community, within and outside her riding, were on their feet, clapping, cheering, waving their signs and flaglets and chanting “Mable, Mable!”
It was a great opening to Elmore’s re-election campaign kick-off last Saturday, January 21st, Saturday for the May 9th Provincial elections. It was a high-energy event fueled by strong volunteer support, powerful testimonies from community and colleagues, with music, great door prizes and refreshments. Students James Infante from UBC and Katie Probst from Langara College helped fire up the crowd as the event emcees.
Elmore made history in 2009 by becoming the first Member of the BC Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Filipino heritage. Before this, she was a transit operator, active union member of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 111, a community and human rights activist, very active in the peace movement. As the MLA for Vancouver-Kensington, she has continued to work for social justice and fairness for all workers, including caregivers and temporary foreign workers, families and the youth. She currently serves as the Spokesperson for Temporary Foreign Workers and Immigration and is the Deputy Spokesperson for Finance.
Elmore was born in Langley, BC, grew up in Northern Manitoba, attended the University of British Columbia and lived and worked in Vancouver. Her mother is a former nurse from Cebu and her father is of Irish descent.
Elmore encouraged her supporters and the people at the campaign launch to make a stand against the Christy Clark government. Her launch was a call out for people to be involved, participate, and take action. “We need to elect the people in government who are working to bring change, who will work for the people, who will work for all of us. We need people power!”
Hazel Pangilinan, a high school teacher from Gladstone Secondary and the Coordinator of Save our Schools Campaign, talked about the threatened closure of her school and how Elmore worked with the community of parents and students to demand a stop to the school closures. “She (Mable Elmore) cares for youth and facilitating the voice of young people, she cares for all workers, including temporary foreign workers, she cares and advocates for accessible and affordable education,” Pangilinan said and called on everyone to vote for Elmore and support her in the coming May election.
Retired teacher from Sir Charles Tupper Secondary Marty Dolan spoke of Elmore’s community leadership. George Chow, former Vancouver City Councillor, introduced Mable Elmore as “a community builder, one who brings communities together, and that is what we want.”
More than a campaign launch just for her re-election for a third term, Elmore called for support for the BC NDP team; she introduced several current MLAs who joined her on the stage: David Eby (Vancouver-Point Grey), George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview), Shane Simpson (Vancouver-Hastings), Melanie Mark (Vancouver-Mt Pleasant), Adrian Dix (Vancouver-Kingsway) and Jodie Wickens (Coquitlam-Burke Mountain). As well, she introduced the BC NDP candidates for the upcoming elections in various ridings including Morgane Oger (for Vancouver-False Creek), George Chow (for Vancouver-Langara), Dr. Lyren Chiu (for Richmond-North Centre), Janet Routledge (for Burnaby North), Anne Kang (for Burnaby-Deer Lake), Rick Glumac (for Port Moody-Coquitlam), Lisa Beare (for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows), and Bob E’dith (for Maple Ridge-Mission).
The re-election campaign launch was a testament to the kind of positive, committed, and determined community support people have for Mable Elmore, their elected official who continues to make history by taking up the issues of everyday people. Enthusiastic volunteers from the 2009 campaign and the 2013 re-election campaign showed up with the new and young volunteers and they continue to swell the ranks of her community support. One of them was Narcy Vinluan, a loyal Mable Elmore supporter, proudly showed off her orange scarf with Mable campaign buttons and fridge magnets from 2009.
Elmore has declared that she is dedicated to doing whatever she can to make the lives of people in her community, and across British Columbia, better. And her declaration is as strong as her track record of actions and accomplishments. Never been one known to be complacent in anything, Elmore has taken the work for the May elections as a political campaign and an organizing campaign, two essential ingredients for success. (#TeamMable on your side)