Vancouver municipal politicians are always complaining about the lack of turnout at civic elections (although, you will notice, they still claim that the tiny minority of electors that voted for them gives them a mandate to change the City in any way they want!)
There are, of course, several reasons why municipal turnout is so low (not one of which includes the VAST sums of campaign money spent by the major parties every three years), but one of the major ones has to be a feeling among electors that those who run don’t represent the people in their neighbourhoods. We can solve this — by re-establishing the Ward System of government that we used to have in Vancouver and which is standard in every other major City in Canada.
A ward system allows each neighbourhood to elect their own chosen representative rather than to have to rely on someone else who is supposedly representing the entire City but who, historically at least, actually works for the west side money machines. A ward system allows floating coalitions of neighbourhood representatives to work together on specific proposals.
This would be even better and more effective if we banned parties from municipal elections (as is the case in most other Canadian cities) and every Councillor was an independent, bound to represent their voters rather than a party — but one step at a time.