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Kyla Epstein

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Biography

submitted by the candidate or their team
I am a parent of a teenager and am the Manager, Stakeholder Relations at BCIT. I have served on a number of boards of directors and am the past Chair of the Vancouver Public Library Board of Trustees and was a Director with the BC Library Trustees Association.

My work in the public, post-secondary education sector, provides me with the opportunity to contribute to advocating for the incredible work of students, faculty, and staff. I am an active volunteer and currently serve on the boards of the Vancouver Writers Festival, The Laurier Institution, and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. I have been on a Parent Advisory Council Executive for over ten years, first at Grandview /¿Uuqinak’uuh Elementary and now at Van Tech Secondary.

My family left South Africa before I was born and came as settlers to Canada. I was raised on the shoulders of my parents going to anti-apartheid rallies, marching in Pride protests, and attending public, alternative schools that were child-centered, social-justice-focused, and showed me that public education and learning can take many forms.

I spend a lot of time thinking about governance and how to make it more accessible and transparent while also imagining a different way of governing that advances equity, justice, and decolonization.

When not thinking about governance, I’m probably connecting with friends, reading (love libraries and bookstores, especially Massy Books!), or hanging out with my kid, who is awesome and makes me laugh!

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team
I care about protecting public education and advocating for funding that reflects the realities of the district. We need to make sure that students with a range of diverse needs can thrive and every teacher and worker has the tools and resources they need.

We also need to ensure that our school district is a place where everyone is treated with dignity and where their well-being is cared for, regardless of their race, class, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, ability, or any other part of their identities. We also need to fully implement UNDRIP and develop a co-governance model with the Local First Nations.

Being a child of a teacher (my dad was my kindergarten teacher!) and being a parent of a Van Tech kid, makes me feel strongly that students in every neighbourhood should have access to the wide-range of programs that the Vancouver school system offers and the tools needed to adapt to a constantly changing world, including the current pandemic and the climate emergency.

I chose to run with OneCity Vancouver because we believe that every family should be welcomed at their schools, and be able to safely access the services and information they need to support their young people.

onecityvancouver.ca www.onecityvancouver.ca