Gregor Robertson for Mayor!

I grew up around politics. Both of my parents were highly involved citizens in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during my childhood. They were liberal civil rights Democrats in the Bible Belt of the South. As a child in the 60's then a young man in the 70's, I worked in many campaigns. Al Gore Sr, then Al Gore Jr. Successful Mayors, Senators, and on the road for Jimmy Carter when he won the nomination and then was elected President.

What a pleasant surprise it was for me when my friend Gregor Robertson first decided to enter politics. He overcame the odds and won nomination and then election against very tough opponents. MLA of Vancouver Fairview, and off to the Legislature Gregor went to fight for economic prosperity that better serves all the people while respecting and protecting natural resources for future generations.

Gregor Robertson was already well known as a magician with fresh squeezed juice mixes.

From his fifth generation local roots, Gregor started as an organic farmer. He, Amy, and their then 3 kids, specialized in carrots and other choice vegetables suited to the rich topsoil of the Fraser River Valley. Then Gregor and his co founder Randal Ius, launched Happy Planet Foods. They shared a vision of putting healthy local organic food into the bellies of as many people as possible.

I showed up via an introduction by Russell Precious, founder of Capers Natural Foods Markets. I was looking to invest in some promising companies, as Renewal Partners was only a sparkle in the eye of Carol Newell. I was helping her look at a few deals as she tested her proposition of committing some millions of dollars to betting on companies with social mission in their DNA.

Gregor and Randal were considering to bring in outside money. Yet they were highly cautious about which money they wanted to get mixed up with. They brought me out to the farm to weed carrots for an afternoon, then fed me a hearty farmstead meal mostly grown on site, dining amoungst the then toddler focused universe of Hanna, Satchel, and Terra, (now some of my favorite teens). Im sure they were doing their own due diligence on me, the stranger who showed up offering money.

Things worked out and the divine juices and smoothies were a smash success. Demand grew and soon Happy Planet was selling product across Canada and down the west coast of the USA. Contracts for BC apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and more, were expanding the marketplace for organic produce in the region. They had found a way to multiply their passion for organic farms into a machinery that fueled the growth of many other farms. The company grew, reached profitability, and Gregor felt he could make a bigger impact faster.

After only three years proving his capability in fighting for those in need, for small business, housing for all, and a powerful sustainability vision, Gregor was asked by dozens of people to run for Mayor of Vancouver.

Being his friend was one thing. Seeing what he could accomplish in office had me ready to go to work fully.

Vancouver is poised with potential to be a global green city. Our creative and entrepreneurial sectors are primed for the emerging economic boom in sustainability. Yet as one of the wealthiest regions on the planet, we have a painful blind spot in caring for the most needy. Our housing boom has ignored too many.The homelessness crisis is soon to be an international embarrassment as the Olympics come to town in 2010.

Leadership in public executive positions is crucial to set the tone and give inspiration and tangible support to those yearning to make things better for all.

As of this writing there are only a few weeks left for Gregor's supporters to sign up members for the Vision Vancouver political party by May 15. On June 15 the members will go vote for the nominee to run for Mayor.
Myself and Carol Newell and many of our colleagues at Renewal are supporting Gregor. There are other capable candidates. We respect them. We believe Gregor represents the very best chance to bring together the broad coalition needed to unify our city.

We hope Gregor wins the nomination and then goes on to win the election.

He'll be a Mayor worth watching.

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