On Thursday September 9, the Metro Vancouver Allliance (MVA) along with Simon Fraser University hosted a launch for Power in Coalition at Simon Fraser University. It was a great crowd, with over 70 people attending in an overflowing room (with many having to take a seat on the stairs). Metro Vancouver Alliance is an emerging broad based coalition of religious organizations, unions and community organizations committed to building community power and improvements to the city of Vancouver.
The night consisted of a talk about the book, traversing the three case studies of public education in Sydney, health care in Toronto and living wages in Chicago. Then, short speeches about why alliances are important from from three representatives from the MVA – one from each of the different constituencies. There were dozens of engaged questions from a very diverse crowd – students, unionists, community activists, small business organizations and religious leaders.
Earlier that day I spent time with a group of labor leaders talking about the experience of setting up the Sydney Alliance and discussing lessons for their experience in Vancouver, and on the Friday I met with the team of leaders from MVA who planned their next steps for building their broad alliance in Vancouver.