100 Days of Action
The provincial election is only 18 months away. And we need to hit the ground running if we are to be successful.
Everywhere I visit, New Democrats ask me what specific tasks I will take on if elected leader to re-energize our party. And I have heard some fabulous suggestions. Thats why I have put together this action plan of achievable action items for the fist 100 days.
Of course I want to hear more ideas on action items, and then - lets get started!
Establish a Task Force on Resource-Dependant Communities, led by Corky Evans
The divide between our cities and the rest of the province is growing. Ive asked Corky Evans to chair this Task Force, initiating a dialogue on solutions for resource-dependant communities. Im delighted that Corky has agreed that he would take this project on.
Hit the road with a Leaders Tour
After our convention winds down, we need to introduce a new Leader to the province. I will engage in a province-wide tour to reach out to British Columbians, meet with community leaders, talk to editorial boards and community media, and sit down with potential candidates. I particularly want to meet people involved in the education system, health care, environmental protection, small business, First Nations and Metis communities, and the labour movement. An important part of every stop will be to support NDP constituencies in their organizing and fundraising efforts.
Lead a campaign for seniors
Early in the new year I will launch a campaign for seniors, raising the alarm about the devastating impact of Campbells cuts on seniors and their families, with a particular focus on long term care. We wont give the government notice on the elements of this campaign, but my aim is to have a strong impact on this issue.
Ask for answers on how to ensure safe homes and communities
Like many British Columbians I am terribly concerned about the safety of our communities, homes and families. I want to work with communities on a consultation campaign for safe homes and communities that addresses issues such as:
There is a growing sense that our homes and communities are becoming more unsafe and unstable as Campbell cuts protections and services.
Establish a task force on the economy
The Campbell economic plan is failing. Like everywhere else its been tried, right-wing trickle down economics is resulting in big deficits, high unemployment and economic stagnation.
The BC NDP must put forward a credible, modern, social democratic economic plan in the next election. As leader I will work to bring the best progressive economic minds to the table to put together a plan that can achieve broad support, joining our commitment to social justice and equality with a plan to drive innovation and growth.
Establish a task force on the environment
Gordon Campbells' Liberals are dinosaurs when it comes to the environment.
They don't seem to understand that in the 21st century environmental protection can and must go hand in hand with economic innovation and growth.
The NDP's environmental record is second to none. But we can't rest. New thinking and new ideas are emerging all the time on sustainability and environmental innovation. As leader I want to put a renewed emphasis on a progressive environmental agenda for the next decade. And I want to draw on the incredible policy work being done in other jurisdictions and by environmental organizations.
Speak directly to the public through paid advertising
In addition to our ongoing work in the Legislature, our new leader should be on TV getting our message out to the public. I want us to begin raising the funds for a paid advertising campaign in 2004 calling the Campbell government to account for their broken promises.
Double our membership
We must rebuild our base of active supporters and donors. I will continue my drive to double the partys membership with a special membership appeal led by the Leader, supported by direct mail and an internet campaign.
Get on campus in colleges and universities in Januarys back-to-school week.
Time invested in meeting with young people brings a big payoff when a thoughtful young person catches the spark of electoral change and gets involved in our party. We cant underestimate how important this work is, and I am looking forward to meeting with students and listening to their ideas. Its also not enough just to meet students I want to talk to young people who are in other walks of life.
Open a dialogue with the labour movement
As stated earlier in my campaign, I will launch a dialogue with the party and labour movement on how we can modernize our relationship. I want to talk about how we can build stronger ties with union households and take a strong stand for campaign finance reform. I see the CLC Winter School as a good opportunity to continue these discussions.
Professionalize our partys fundraising
Our partys fundraising efforts are getting more and more successful. We must catch up with the NGO community that conducts successful year-round fundraising through professional methods. Its an important job of the Leader to support these efforts - so our party can do the political work that's so important.
Sit down with prospective candidates
Our electoral success in 2005 depends on a strong team of candidates. We must start now to talk to those people who we want to fly the partys flag in each constituency in the next election.
Craft policy solutions
I will call on policy committees to prepare a review of the issues and opportunities facing their policy area and the solutions we can advance. We must move forward on policy and platform now for the 2005 election, building on existing policy and the important work done by policy committees.
Work with Jack Layton to elect NDP MPs in BC
This spring our riding associations need to gear up to elect more NDP MPs from BC. Lets get out there and give Jack Layton our total support in that election.