50 Coffees #20 – Spencer Chandra Herbert


I recently read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneurs equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I’ve decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over the next 50 weeks I’m going to invite 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m going to use this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.

Name: Spencer Chandra-Herbert
Occupation: Member of the Legislative Assembly
Beverage: Latte

Meet Spencer Chandra Herbert. The current MLA for the West End of Vancouver and the BC NDP Official Opposition Critic for Tourism, Culture, and the Arts. He keeps an office right in the thick of things on Denman street and encourages residents to come in and express their concerns or generally give feedback or ideas on what they want to see from the Provincial government.

We met at his office and then walked over to Delany’s Coffee House to chat. Spencer is the first politician I’ve met with for this series and seeing as I was fairly clueless to the way provincial politics work I asked him for a crash course on the ins and outs and exactly what his role is. He gave me the skinny on what goes down at the parliament buildings in Victoria, what he does with his time when he’s not sitting in the legislature as well as his history as a Vancouver Park Board commissioner. He also clued me in to something that I thought would be driven purely by civic politicians: the new rent bank that’s supposed to be launching this spring that will provide people who are temporarily down on their luck a loan to cover their rent. He was the convener of the first meeting about that project and worked as a connector between the City of Vancouver and various partners involved. Learn more about the project in THIS story published by the Province.

West End Vancouver MLA

Learn more about Spencer and the work he does at his web site SpencerChandraHerbert.ca and stay tuned as I plan to meet with a handful of other politicians for this series. Perhaps a prominent BC Liberal, a Green and some folks from city hall?