The City of Vancouver has bestowed its highest award, the Freedom of the City, on former Vancouver City Councillor and tireless advocate Jim Green.
“Jim Green has made a profound impact on the City of Vancouver and he continues to be a passionate advocate for social justice, democracy, the arts and the shaping of an inclusive city for all residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
The full text of Jim Green’s Freedom of the City Award is as follows:
“Jim Green was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1943, and moved to Vancouver in 1968. He not only became a Canadian, but a leading citizen of Vancouver, advocating for a continuous expansion of social justice, inclusion, democracy and the arts as the foundation of a successful, prosperous city.
“Through his work, Jim empowered the marginalized, first as a union shop steward, then as an organizer for the Downtown Eastside Residents Association, mobilizing the community to demand decent housing in Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Countless units of social and affordable housing are just part of his legacy.
“As a teacher, Jim Green brought the university to street level. Through the Bladerunners program and Humanities 101, he demonstrated the tremendous gains possible through investing in people, nurturing their humanity and affirming their ability to change both their own lives and the wider community.
“The Woodward’s project, with its social housing, university facilities, public spaces and respect for the city’s heritage reflects the transformative power of Jim Green’s vision.
“Whether it was as a city councillor, developer, university lecturer, opera lover, author, union organizer or community advocate, Jim Green has demonstrated an unbounded love for our city and all its citizens. Vancouver is better for it and countless Vancouver residents have been touched by his work.
“Therefore, Jim Green is hereby entitled to the Freedom of the City.”
In recognition of his many accomplishments, which continue to serve as a model for cities across Canada, Green was also bestowed with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Roll of Honour award by Mayor Robertson. Mayor Robertson bestowed the award in his capacity as Chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors Caucus.
The Freedom of the City is an honour reserved for individuals who have gained national or international acclaim in their field and brought recognition to Vancouver through their work. The City began awarding the Freedom of the City in 1936. Nominations are submitted by City Council members and must be approved by a unanimous vote of Council.