Pelé Gouda says he’s compelled to be active in politics and he hopes to be able to bring that motivation to the Nanaimo city council table.

VIU student and political activist running for council

Pelé Gouda on the ballot to try to become a Nanaimo city councillor

Pelé Gouda says he’s compelled to be active in politics and he hopes to be able to bring that motivation to the Nanaimo city council table.

The partisan political organizer and activist is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in political science at Vancouver Island University.

“I’ve been political my entire adult life, studying in the theoretical, abstract and systemic levels but also insofar as how to get those abstract ideas into the real world through studying good policy, through writing good policy,” he said.

Gouda was formerly the policy director for the B.C. Young New Democrats and saw his work there embraced by the membership, he said. He’s also been involved recently in rallying people against the Soldiers of Odin and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“Once you understand that you’re needed, that you can create positive change in the world, then you ought to do it. I feel that way,” he said.

Gouda said a response to homelessness is one of his two main areas of focus. He said Nanaimo watched earlier this year as city council “dithered away” a needed supportive housing project. On the campaign trail so far, he’s found that people are asking him whether he’s in favour of or against tent city.

“I don’t think anybody’s really pro tent city. I don’t think anybody wants the situation as it is right now,” he said. “I think people are either pro or against solutions and it seems to me that the city so far has not been pro solutions, they’ve just been pro dispersion which is not how you fix your homelessness problem.”

Gouda said another priority is trying to bring decorum and a different demeanour to city council. Nanaimo needs leaders who listen as well as speak, he said.

“There’s this notion that in politics, especially, you have to be so persuasive, but you also need to be persuadable if you want to be effective and if you want to be truly working for the capital ‘G’ good,” he said.

To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.K. press wonders if Nanaimo bars lured Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Canada

‘Prince Harry’s favourite snack revealed,’ trumpets tabloid

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s have a referendum on auto insurance in B.C.

We need a wide open debate that lets the people most affected have a say, says letter writer

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield near Nanaimo

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Astronomer discusses search for life in oceans of moons of Jupiter and Saturn

Jon Willis will present at Nanaimo Astronomy Society meeting Jan. 23

Regional District of Nanaimo to consider HandyDart bus fleet replacement

New light-duty, gas-powered buses sought by funding partner B.C. Transit

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Nanaimo theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat

Nanaimo RCMP seek identity of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Quarterway Liquor Store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

City of Nanaimo reaches settlement with fired chief operations officer

Brad McRae had launched human rights complaint after being fired while on medical leave

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read