Mark Vonesch 1: Moving Forward Together

It has been a week since Mark Vonesch announced he would be running for Regional Director of Cortes Island in the October 15th election. In the first of a series of broadcasts, he told Cortes Currents about his desire to bring a new kind of politics to Cortes Island.

Election day – Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

“We are so fortunate on Cortes  to have a real community where we still drive down the road and wave at each other. There is a sense that we’re all in this together, despite our differences and that’s part of the reason why I call this place home  and I want to continue playing a positive role here,” he began. 

“One of the biggest things I wanna do with this campaign is bring people together who think differently than each other. I think it’s  one of the most fundamental, revolutionary things we can do an example and an example that we can set for other places in the world.”

 In the podcasct above he talks about divisions within the community and says it is time for everyone to accept the fact we have different opinions and let gto of past grievances. 

“We’re gonna have to break through some of  the challenges that we have, but the number one issue for me on this campaign is bringing voices together and finding solutions together. 

“The Regional Director is not the person to be an expert on everything, to tell this community what should be done. It’s up to this community to come together and work through our differences and find a find common ground,” insisted Vonesch.

“Part of democracy is not getting your way, all the way, all the time. I think that’s the reality. I think why so many people are disillusioned by politics is that they expect their view of perfection all the time, really living in a society, living in a community means that we need to listen to each other,  find common ground and make solutions that most of us can agree with.”

Last week Vonesch saw an example, of what he believes politics should be, outside Manson’s Post Office. Someone asked about his campaign and before long there were five people discussing the housing crisis: 

‘What do you think about this? What is this? The solution?’ 

“That’s sort of the old style of politics, where we are talking to each other. We are involved in the political process, not just at the polls and voting every four years, but actually playing a role in our community to have conversations and bringing the diversity of opinions and ideas together and moving forward,” said Vonesch. 

“I think it’s gonna give us strength and I’m hoping this campaign can be an example for the way that politics can be.”

Vonesch insists that there is way more common ground than we think. 

“If we can get past ourselves and be willing to look each other in the eye and see the humanness of our community, we can make progress.” 

Vonesch said he has been thinking about running for office for more than a year. .

“I went through some transitions in my life and rethought around, ‘What do I want to dedicate myself to?’ and ‘What are the things I want do in this world?’ It just struck me, ‘Actually, I wanna run for politics be involved in government and make a positive difference on this island,” he explained.

“The best work in the world is when you’re taking the skills that you have and you’re applying it to a place that’s doing good. I’m hoping that I can do that as a candidate for Regional Director and hopefully Cortes Island’s next Regional Director on the Strathcona Regional board.”

This is the first in a series of posts that will talk about:

  • Mark Vonesch’s roots on the farm and what this could bring into Cortes Politics
  • his connection to former Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson
  • his previous work with some of the non-profits on Cortes Island
  • what does he believe is the #1 issue in this election and what he can do about it as Regional Director?     

Top image credit: Mark Vonesch – submitted photo

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