Yesterday, provincial New Democrat Carole James sent supporters a lengthy, 1517-word email that we can summarize in seven words: give us your ideas and your money. Ms. James is asking for their opinion on what action a "new NDP government" should take as the party prepares it's "platform for 2013." And she's asking for $500, $100 and $50 contributions to "pay for photos, videos and other materials to communicate with members and supporters about the good work we're doing and the momentum we're gaining." The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned message.
We can learn a lot from our children.
Their boundless optimism and enthusiasm. The excitement in their eyes as they share with us a new discovery about the world in which we all live.
Children have an innate sense of fair play. They know when something is right. And they know when it is wrong.
And right now things are not right or fair for British Columbians.
The BC Liberal government has left British Columbia a deeply divided province.
One in five children in British Columbia lives in poverty. Tens of thousands of good family-supporting jobs have been lost. Health waitlists grow and classrooms are more overcrowded. Too many British Columbians feel shut out of the decisions that affect their lives.
I know we can do better. For our children. For our future.
That's why I am writing to you today.
To talk about a new vision for British Columbia and how, by working together, we can achieve it.
One of the great things about my job is travelling to every corner of British Columbia talking to British Columbians where they live and work.
In every community I visit, British Columbians tell me they are looking for change.
They are tired of a government that thinks it knows best and that isn't listening.
And they tell me that they are looking to New Democrats to offer a renewed vision for a just and prosperous British Columbia that listens, that cares, and that offers hope for a better future.
A vision that joins the enduring values we all share with the urgent need to create a sustainable future for every community and for every child.
I am proud to say that work has started.
Let me give you just a few examples of the work New Democrats are doing.
First, we put forward new ideas to grow our economy by becoming a leader in new green technologies and green jobs.
Using carbon tax revenue for investments in green infrastructure and green technology like transit and retrofits, we will create new jobs and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Second, we proposed new legislation to restore faith in our democracy by establishing tough new conflict of interest and freedom of information rules to protect the public interest and campaign finance reforms to put people back at the centre of our politics.
And third, we put forward a series of reforms to enhance our public services, including new laws to protect tenant rights, to enhance public health care and to set targets to reduce child poverty.
These are just a few of the practical, progressive proposals that New Democrats are working for.
To build the province we want for our children and grandchildren, we need you.
Without your commitment, ideas, and energy, we simply won't achieve our hope for a better future.
In this package you will find a postcard. I ask that you take a few moments to write me a personal note about your vision for a sustainable, prosperous and just province for every British Columbian.
What kind of province do you want to leave to our children?
And what actions do you want to see from a new NDP government to get us there?
These are key questions.
I need your input as I work with British Columbians to prepare the NDP's platform for 2013.
I am also writing to ask for your financial support to build for the next election and bring change to British Columbia. We need to be ready with the best campaign ever.
And that work needs to start today.
We need to build our resources to be able to pay for photos, videos and other materials to communicate with members and supporters about the good work we're doing and the momentum we're gaining.
We need to create print materials, rent space and provide training materials for our stellar campaign workers, volunteers and organizers in key communities.
And we cannot wait another minute.
Our opponents are well funded. Their political machine is fierce. They will use every means they have to hold onto power.
If we want to work to eliminate child poverty....
...If we want to be part of a movement that will enhance our public services, like health care and education...
...If we feel strongly about fighting climate change and growing our economyby creating green jobs, then we must make our contribution today.
Every donation, no matter how large or small helps us move closer to an unbeatable campaign for a better British Columbia. I hope you will agree this work is critical. Please send your $500, $100 or $50 contribution today.
And let me assure you that every dollar we receive will go to fulfilling our action plan to change BC and to create a more just and fair province for every British Columbian. That starts with developing a strategy to ensure everyone benefits from a strong and sustainable economy.
Over the last nine years, the gap between the rich and poor has increased in British Columbia.
We see the homeless on our streets. We see it in the increased child poverty rates that have led the nation for the last six years. We see it in stagnant wages and lost jobs in rural British Columbia. And we see it in a minimum wage that is now the lowest in Canada.
Growing poverty is an outrage in a province as rich as ours. It poses a serious long-term economic challenge for our province.
In a world where brains drive change, we can't afford to leave any British Columbian behind.
That's why I have put education at the center of my plan to renew our economy.
Education offers everyone the opportunity to make the most of themselves and to give back to their communities.
As a foster parent, I saw first-hand that when we bring out the potential of every child, there is nothing we can't achieve. And as head of BC's school trustees, I saw the impact of education on a child's life and our society. I also saw the economic power of education.
This fall, I will be travelling to communities throughout British Columbia to talk to parents, educators and students about what we can do to build on BC's education advantage; how we can give every child the opportunity to learn and grow and to provide access to skills training and post-secondary education that gives young people the tools to build a better world.
But just as we must meet our obligation to build a sustainable, new modern economy, we must meet also our obligation to fight climate change and preserve our environment.
In April, I spoke to union, business and environmental leaders at an international Green Jobs conference in Washington D.C. We looked closely at new economic strategies to build a sustainable economy. I was struck by the energy and excitement that was shared by people from every walk of life and every part of our economy for this task.
As I told delegates to the conference, building a sustainable future starts with a commitment to keep public resources in public hands.
And it means we must reject the old thinking that says social justice and environmental protection come at the expense of economic growth.
For me, that's what social justice is all about: working towards a fair and prosperous society where every person is valued for the contribution they can make.
That's why New Democrats are working so hard to ensure seniors get the care they need so we are all able to benefit from their wisdom and experience.
It's why we stand with First Nations in their centuries long battle for justice and opportunity.
It's why we stand with the lowest paid workers -- people who don't have a voice -- and help them fight for a raise in the minimum wage.
It's why we stand with workers fighting for workplace protections, and parents trying to balance the needs of home and work.
And it's why we are joining with British Columbians everywhere to say no to the HST, a regressive tax that benefits a few at the expense of the many.
A new tax that raises the cost of living and does nothing to better secure our social programs or grow our economy.
It's not fair. And it's not right.
I am asking you to join with me and be part of that renewed vision for British Columbia and to help make it a reality by making a contribution to our movement.
British Columbia's New Democratic Party is poised for an historic breakthrough.
But we can't do it without you, without your energy, your ideas and your financial support.
Together we can, we are, going to build a better British Columbia.
A province that offers a brighter future of hope and opportunity, for every family and for every child.
Join the discussion. Take a few moments to send me your ideas.
Please, make a financial contribution to build our vision so that we can carry it to every corner of British Columbia.
It's our province. It's our future. Let's build it together.