SURREY – Mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode has confirmed she has a team.
Dubbed "One Surrey," Rasode’s slate is made up of candidates with backgrounds from law enforcement, business, community advocacy and farming.
"The One Surrey team is a group of independent thinkers who are united by their shared goal of creating a safe, vibrant and prosperous city," Rasode said.
"Complacency has led to a culture of neglect in Surrey, and our citizens deserve better."
Some of those eyeing council seats as part of Rasode’s team have announced their candidacy already and some have not.
Those who have already publicly announced intentions to seek office include 27-year-old restaurant manager Maz Artang, farmer Mike Bose and Narima Dela Cruz, a realtor and founding director of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society.
Jumping in for the first time are three other hopefuls: Merv Bayda, Darlene Bowyer and Brian Young.
Young is the chief operating officer of the Surrey and Delta golf clubs and is president of Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce.
Bowyer is president of the Port Kells Community Association, and is also involved with Surrey Environmental Partners and Surrey Association of Sustainable Communities.
Bayda served as an RCMP officer for more than 35 years and has spent the last 10 working as the Surrey RCMP Auxiliary Constable Program manager.
There is likely one more member of the One Surrey team, but his organization had yet to respond to his intentions to run by the Now’s deadline. Visit Thenownewspaper. com for updates.
So the big question is: Why a team? Rasode split from the Surrey First team earlier this year to sit as an independent, claiming her teammates became increasingly hostile after she spoke out about needing to do more on the public safety front.
"Why a team now? I think that’s a big one, because I stepped away as an independent and want independent voices," Rasode acknowledged during an interview at her community hub on Tuesday. "I think that looking at the personalities that have formed the team of One Surrey, one thing that speaks is their record on advocacy in the community," she said, adding, "the culture of complacency where you hand the torch down to insiders is not something that people want."
Asked what her response is to her critics who will likely say she wasn’t able to be part of a team, as demonstrated by her leaving Surrey First, Rasode said "the team will always remain the City of Surrey. Full stop. Who we’re accountable to are the residents."
So why a team instead of running as independents? "Because the culture of complacency that has not only existed at city hall but has actually become entrenched at city hall," she said. "There’s clear denial of even wanting to talk about the fact that we have public safety issues. My job is to be responsive and the community has compelled me to say this: We need some change. Let’s work together to elect some new faces at city hall," she said.
Last week, Rasode announced a 10-point plan to crack down on crime, which was developed in collaboration with senior law enforcement professionals, including Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford.
Her plan would see the city adopt a similar policing model to that of Delta, embracing the "no call too small" concept.
The One Surrey team is expected to present a full election platform in the coming weeks.
Rasode’s team joins two other slates in the upcoming election: Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition and Linda Hepner’s Surrey First team.
Fellow mayoral hopefuls Edwards and Vikram Bajwa have not released slates.
To read details of election platforms released so far, visit Thenownewspaper. com.
email@example.com -With files from Vancouver Sun