Diego Cardona has a fresh vision to shake up Vancouver’s political scene.
An immigrant from Colombia, Diego moved to Canada as a refugee in 2005 — and since then, he has devoted his life to making Vancouver a more welcoming, progressive, affordable and inclusive city for everyone.
Diego is one of the spokespersons and member of Fresh Voices, a BC-based, youth-driven organization of immigrants and refugees that helps make BC a better place for newcomer families, by helping to improve policies and practices that affect racialized immigrant and refugee youths’ sense of belonging in British Columbia, and Canada as a whole. He was most recently Programs Coordinator for Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, where he managed services for marginalized youth, Indigenous youth, and young mothers.
Diego has also worked as an organizer, and advocate with the Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, and Immigrant Services Society of BC. He has served as a policy advisor to government in different capacities, including as a member of the cultural communities’ advisory committee of the City of Vancouver, and the Anti-Racism Advisory Council of the Vancouver School Board. In 2014, Diego received the National Terry Fox humanitarian award for his commitment to social justice, and in 2016 was named one of BC’s Top 10 under 20 by the Globe and Mail.
A sought-after speaker at conferences and leadership forums, Diego’s personal journey speaks to his resiliency and determination in the face of hardship. Following the kidnap and murder of his father in Colombia by guerrilla forces, Diego moved to Canada as a refugee with his mother and sister. After losing his mother to leukemia in 2012, Diego and his sister were placed in the foster care system. He later became his sister’s legal guardian while they both attended public schools in Vancouver.
Diego has dedicated himself to lifting people up, and amplifying the voices of the most marginalized in our city. As someone who has overcome great adversity in his personal journey, Diego is a firm believer that in order to develop effective solutions that address the issues of affordable housing, homelessness, inequality, and systemic discrimination, the lived experiences of people most affected have to be at the center of our discussions in City Council. Diego believes in an activist city council that empowers communities to organize, and self-advocate, and that is committed to speaking up for renters, young people, low-income families, and racialized and Indigenous communities to make sure that their needs are at the top of the agenda in City Hall.
Diego lives in Vancouver’s Killarney neighbourhood, and is seeking a City Council nomination with the Vision Vancouver team.