RJ Aquino, co-founder of OneCity, failed to get nomination. (Facebook)
OneCity fails its founder
By Ted Alcuitas
In an ironic twist, the man who co-founded the political party OneCity, failed to get nominated in last Saturday’s meeting (June 16) for city council.
RJ Aquino, by now a household word for his several attempts to get elected to Vancouver city council is not sure if he will seek political office in the future.
“I cannot overstate how much this movement that OneCity represents, of politics and values and audacious ideas, means to me. It’s not overly sentimental to say that I love the people who were there since the beginning because those feelings of kinship, respect and admiration are real and drive us to do the work we so sincerely believe in. The work that makes Vancouver a more just, kind and better city for all to live in,” he states in a Facebook post today. (June 22).
Beyond saying that he will continue to be involved in the coming October 20th election, there is no hint of coming back to politics. He hints that having a new baby (his third ) and the extensive travel in his new job might affect his getting involved in the campaign trail.
Aquino, then a young IT worker sought nomination with the left -wing party Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) in 2011, beating veteran candidates. He garnered 39,055 votes, not enough to win a seat in the 10-member council.
His run ignited young, second-generation Filipinos who never got involved in politics, getting their support.
In 2013, Aquino and former B.C. NDP Vancouver-Kensington MLA Chudnovsky resigned from the COPE executive, subsequently forming OneCity the following year.
He was the lone candidate for the new party in the 2014 election but failed again with only 30,050 votes.
He was expected to get the nod of the party he founded but didn’t.
He did not provide any comment for the results.
His loss means Vancouver will not have a chance to elect a Filipino politician unlike Winnipeg.
Councillor Mike Pagtakhan has been a city councillor for several terms and there are three sitting MLAs in the legislative Assembly.
Winnipeg elected the first MLA – the late Conrad Santos and the first Member of Parliament – Dr. Rey Pagtakhan.
British Columbia has its lone MLA, NDP member of Vancouver-Kengsington -Mable Elmore who is now on her third term.
Ontario failed to elect any Filipino candidate in the just-concluded election on June 7.