Andrea Reimer leans against a wall with a blue mural painted on it. She is wearing a cozy grey sweater, her thumbs are looped into the pockets of her black jeans. An orange, yellow and grey mural is on another wall in the background.

Andrea's biography

Andrea Reimer has the kind of deep knowledge of our community that comes with cherishing everything that makes Little Mountain special — from our independent shops and restaurants to our transit hubs, parks and community services. In a lifetime of community organizing, political action and elected leadership, Andrea Reimer has forged close ties with our community, its organizations and its businesses.

Andrea has an impressive record of public service in elected office, first as a member of the Vancouver School Board and then three full terms on Vancouver City Council. She served as Deputy Mayor and represented the city at Metro Vancouver for ten years. She is currently an adjunct professor of practice at UBC, an instructor at SFU, and a sought-after consultant by governments and organizations looking to make transformative progressive change.

Early years: Early in her life, Andrea was adopted out of her community by working class parents from Vancouver and lived on the streets in her youth. She became an activist and then a mother, raising a child while taking on a growing role in Vancouver’s social and environmental movements. In recent years, she reconnected with her birth family and Indigenous culture, a journey that has informed and further deepened her work advancing Indigenous rights and reconciliation.

Working with the Wilderness Committee first on a job placement program for street-involved youth, Andrea worked her way into leadership, becoming the organization’s executive director — a position she held for nine years. She broadened her activism into municipal politics, winning a seat on the Vancouver School Board in 2002.

Civic government: In 2008, Andrea co-chaired Gregor Robertson’s successful campaign for Mayor and won the first of her three terms on Vancouver City Council. Her decade on City Council saw her become the City’s first Deputy Mayor, spearhead the city’s Greenest City initiatives, give renters and vulnerable residents a voice in housing policy-making, embark on the largest municipal childcare expansion in Canada, drive Canada’s first-ever public sector digital strategy and launch Vancouver’s framework for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

As a Metro Vancouver director from 2008-2018, Andrea played a leading role in housing, transportation, environmental and land use issues across the region. She was a founding member of the BC Municipal Climate Leaders Council, vice-chair of the national Green Municipal Fund and served as the representative for the world’s local governments at the 2nd ever United Nations Environment Assembly in 2016

Studying and teaching progressive change: After leaving municipal politics, Andrea was awarded a prestigious Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University, where she studied and taught urban policy and strengthening democracy through power literacy. In 2020, she became UBC’s first-ever Policy Practitioner Fellow, and continues to teach graduate students in their experiential learning capstone and a course she designed on power literacy. Andrea also teaches in SFU’s Continuing Studies including a new nine-course certificate she designed to help professionals hone their skills in climate action.

Also in 2020, Andrea founded Tawâw Strategies, a consultancy providing strategic advice, facilitation and policy analysis to First Nations, local governments, public sector agencies, labour unions and others prepared to take courageous action for progressive policy change.

Service and recognition: Andrea has served on the boards of dozens of diverse organizations ranging from UBC and TransLink to the Climate Solutions Council and World Future Council, and from a credit union to the Canadian Women Voters Congress. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and the World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award. She has been an active member of the Vancouver – Fairview NDP riding association for many years, and co-chaired MLA George Heyman’s successful reelection campaign in 2020.