One in a series of profiles of first-time Vancouver candidates in the May 9 provincial election.
James Lombardi, born and raised in B.C., has spent a decade working at global non-profit organizations. He was the head of global business development and the director of We Day for the international charity Free the Children. He founded Minded Projects, a Vancouver startup that works with purpose-driven brands and non-profits to deepen their social impact. He was a 2016 recipient of a Business in Vancouver Forty under 40 award.
Q: Why run now?
A: I spent about 10 years in the charitable sector, really trying to make the best difference I could. But you can only take the issues so far. I want to take the issue even further in government, and I think we need a seat at the table in government to do that. And young people in particular: our voices deserve to be represented in Victoria.
Q: What is it that makes you feel you’re ready now?
A: My career has been focused on building partnerships, building community and putting big ideas into action. I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve gotten to work hand in hand with schools, superintendents, school districts, non-profits, government, corporations from every sector of the economy. I know what makes them tick. I have a sense of our collective priorities and how to bring people together for a common purpose.
Q: What are the issues that are personal for you?
A: I think technology and innovation. When I think about the jobs of the future, when I think about the new economy, when I think about reducing our impact on the environment, technology is going to drive all of that. And I’ve been a really vocal proponent, sometimes even out in front of where the party is. I was one of the first voices to push for ride sharing in the Liberal party. I’m happy to see that they’re bringing it now, and I’ll continue to be out in front of these issues so we can build the new economy we need.
Q: What are your ambitions?
A: I would like to be seen four years down the road as a bridge builder, both in and out of our riding. We have an aging population in Point Grey, as well as the large concentration of 20-year-olds in the province. In the legislature I want to be seen as collaborative, someone with positive relationships on all sides of the aisle, so that we can come together to do what we were sent there for, which is to deliver progress and a brighter future for all British Columbians.