Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Joe Keithley and I am seeking the NDP nomination in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. I am a lifelong activist who has worked hard for the past 35 years to try to create positive change in our world. I am a musician, a business owner, an environmentalist, a husband and a proud father. If I gain your support and your trust, I will work tirelessly to defeat the BC Liberals. Once we have achieved that I will work around the clock to ensure that Adrian Dix and the BC NDP team restore equality and fairness to the people of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and B.C. I first joined the NDP at 18 while enrolled at S.F.U. studying to become a civil rights lawyer. Those aspirations were soon put on hold as I embarked on a career in the music business, founding the seminal punk band D.O.A. and running my own record label, SDR Records.
For the past 35 years I have used my music, passion, and business acumen to work towards achieving my ultimate goal, which is to move B.C. and Canada toward becoming a province and country that reflect the values of kindness, inclusion and social justice that I believe Canadians and British Columbians hold dear. I believe that for me, now is the ideal time to enter formal politics and bring the energies and experiences of the activist community to the NDP to help effect change from within the party once again. If elected I will bring these energies and experiences to the task of tackling the big problems that affect Coquitlam and B.C. head on. Issues such as affordable housing, good paying jobs, accessible health care for all, a proper standard of living for our seniors, the protection of our environment and our natural resources.
I am asking first for your support to win the nomination and for your help to secure a historic victory in the riding. I believe that I am a unique candidate who can draw a lot of new people, especially younger voters and those who have given up on the political process into the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding association and into the NDP right across B.C. I talk to folks all the time who tell me that they rarely bother to vote or that they have never voted for the NDP, but when I tell them I am running, they start to believe that all of us hard working, regular people can make a difference with their vote and end almost 12 years of BC Liberal abuse and to return a sense of justice to B.C.
To win Coquitlam- Burke Mountain for the first time in the riding’s history, I have assembled a team of young, energized, committed and experienced voter-contact specialists, communications experts, and organizers that will help build a political machine that will be second to none. Together with your help, we will leave no stone unturned and no voters un-contacted. Together we can defeat the BC Liberals, but I really need your help and knowledge of the riding to make this happen.
I was born and raised in Burnaby and I have lived and worked in Coquitlam as well. As a youth I played and coached lacrosse, hockey and soccer, but when I turned 16 I realized my real passions in life were music and politics. By the time I was 18 I had become a multi instrumentalist, playing guitar, bass and drums. I originally studied folk and bluegrass, but I was soon drawn to the burgeoning Punk/New Wave musical scene, so I founded D.O.A. Over the next 30 years we went on to sell one million albums. D.O.A. and I were honored in 2002 when we were bestowed with an official D.O.A. Day in Vancouver by Mayor Larry Campbell. Geoff Meggs and my longtime friend and activist Jim Green (R.I.P.) orchestrated this proclamation. I found out very recently that I have been nominated for a Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (wish me luck!).
I also know how to run a business. Despite tough times in the music business, my record label SDR Records has managed to thrive despite big challenges like free downloading of music. Through these tough times, I have used a lifetime of business experience and determination to keep the label successful. We all know that small business is the backbone of our economy, not giant corporations that have no real stake in the local community.
The most important part of my life is my family. I have had a big hand in raising our three children with my best friend and wife of 25 years Laura Keithley. I have spent a lot of time at community and youth centers with our kids. I have been coaching our youngest son Clayton’s baseball team for the last six years, our daughter Georgia, has just become a home owner in New Westminster and our oldest son Jake, has just been accepted as the top student in Canada to the University of Toronto’s child clinical psychology PHD program.
I am very media savvy, which will surely help win this riding, I have spent a lifetime in front of mics and cameras. I was a talk show host on MyCityRadio.com in 2002. I also know social media, it’s a must, that’s how I run my business. I have shared the stage with Jack Layton (R.I.P.) Noam Chomsky, Jim Sinclair, Carole James, Gregor Robertson, Maude Barlow, Pete Seegar and Arlo Guthrie. I believe I have justifiably developed a reputation as a straight shooter, a friend to those in need and a person who’s not afraid to rock the boat. “The NDP needs Joe’s energy and spirit, he would make a great MLA and he would shake up old Victoria” – Bob Williams, NDP elder statesman and NDP Minister 1972-75.
Throughout my career I have performed at, organized and done the ground work for over 100 various just causes, which include: women’s rights, environmental issues, fair trade not free trade, union rights, anti-racism, anti-war, free speech, First Nations rights, animal rights, the fight against nuclear proliferation and benefits to stop cuts to the arts. People power is what I am all about – power to the people! The big thing to remember is that we can, we will and we must make this world into a better place.
Talk – Action = 0 Joe Keithley
Photo Credit: Photos by Murray Siple