It worries me that, as a resident of Vancouver off-and-on since 1983, I am engaged so much on the Internet and so little in my home-town. My local outings have been limited to music, children’s sports, and dining out with friends. I’m attempting to become more local and have thus recently become a member of two organizations: the Vancouver Hack Space (Motto: Down with Betamax! <snicker>) and Vision Vancouver. They aren’t like each other at all.
Vision · Short here for Vision Vancouver, a still wet-behind-the-ears municipal political party whose members and allies currently comprise a majority of our City Council and occupy the Mayor’s chair.
I had some conversations with David Eaves, who is well-connected in both the open-source and civic-politics worlds, and decided that, while Vision hasn’t been perfect, what they’re trying to do with the Vancouver administration seems plausible and sensible and practical, and I like politics, so I filled out the form and sent off the check.
This Wednesday evening I went to a social and only stayed for an hour or so, but it was fun. I talked to Mayor Gregor Robertson about Olympic-security issues, and was re-assured; best news is that the vaguely-fascist-smelling Integrated Security Unit only has jurisdiction at the venues. The bad news is of course that it’s led by the RCMP, whose reputation these days for fairness, honesty, and courage is in tatters. I think it’s going to matter a whole lot which individuals are in the key spots in the management chain. From the RCMP institutionally I expect nothing good, but the right person in the right place could make it work.
I talked to Steve Tannock and Phillip Djwa about the local Web-design scene, which is doing well. Unless I mis-heard Steve, there are nearly a thousand indie Web-building shops here in Vancouver. Yow!
And I met some other Vision folks; It was fun, but I won’t really be part of it all until I pitch in and get my hands dirty with some electioneering or organization or whatever.
Hackers · The Vancouver Hack Space is accessed via an unmarked steel door off a back alley in pretty well the worst part of Vancouver. It’s small and comfortable (sofas, beer) and dingy and full of computers and networks and workbenches; entirely appealing.
Their events are mostly evening things, tough for a busy guy with kids, but I’ll try to drop by sometimes. This coming week, you can learn how to build your own TV-B-Gone for the cost of parts.
Here’s to becoming rooted!