Since October, I've been trying to send the message through Friends of Soccer that Citizens have the power to make the Whitecaps Stadium a reality. The thousands of you who have responded through your letters, e-mails, postcards, and signatures on the "Build the Stadium Now!" banner have made this effort one of the most gratifying experiences in my life. For those of you who've taken a few minutes of your day to tell a city councillor how important this stadium is to our sport and our city, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.
But there's still one thing left to do.
On Tuesday, June 27, at 7:30 PM, City Council will meet to decide whether the Whitecaps Stadium can move on to the next step, or be delayed for years yet again. If you support the stadium, it's vital for you to be there. They'll be hearing the arguments, both for and against, from Citizens just like yourself. They want to know for certain that the Citizens of Vancouver are behind the stadium, and that they'll support the councillors who show real leadership, vision and courage on this project. Whether you choose to speak, or just watch, your presence at City Hall can make all the difference on June 27.
Please, make plans to be at City Hall on Tuesday evening, even if it's just to support those of us who'll be speaking to Council. If you feel you can make a strong argument for the stadium, then please sign up to speak. Either way, we need you.
For myself, as much as I love the game, the debate on the stadium has never been about soccer. It's about the type of city we want to live in. It's about whether we allow someone to use their own money to create a gathering place for all of the Citizens of Vancouver, or if we decide to make this land yet another exclusive enclave. It's about whether the downtown core is open for all Citizens of Vancouver, or just those who can afford to own there. It's about whether Citizens run Vancouver, or just a select few. By supporting the stadium, you and thousands of Citizens have already stepped forward and told City Council about the Vancouver they want to see.
Thanks once again. I hope to see you on Tuesday, June 27.
Friends of Soccer
P.S. There are two ways to register to speak at Tuesday's public hearing. Please call Nicole Ludwig, Meeting Coordinator at 604.871.6399, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, go to the meeting about 30 minutes early and register to speak at the sign-up table. Speakers are limited to five minutes for their comments, and should be prepared to answer questions from City Council. Your written comments are still welcome as well. Simply e-mail City Council at email@example.com .