Mary Jean Dunsdon is running for a seat on Vancouver City Council.
She is a popular Vancouver activist, business owner, model, and entertainer.
Better known as "Watermelon," she has been a local community leader for over twenty years.
Mary Jean is passionate about a Vancouver that allows everyone to thrive.
Mary Jean was brought up in a military family, her father was Major Ray Dunsdon, a skilled fighter pilot. She was born on an Alberta army base, and spent her childhood discovering Canada as her family was stationed in a different region every few years.
Her family eventually settled in Kamloops, where her father became an Alderman, and ran for Mayor against Phil Gaglardi in 1988.
In 1992, Mary Jean made Vancouver her permanent home, and soon gained prominence as a leader in the cannabis movement.
Mary Jean was an early pioneer in providing safe cannabis access, working at selling watermelon slices and cannabis-infused cookies on Wreck Beach. She gained national prominence after a series of high profile arrests over her infused edibles, eventually challenging the cannabis cookie laws in court, and winning an important legal victory.
Mary Jean founded and currently runs the family-friendly Commercial Drive Licorice Parlour, and recently opened a second location on Granville Island in the Kids Market. Her stores provide high-quality, old-fashioned candies and locally hand-crafted hula hoops. She provides a living wage for her employees, and believes diversity and inclusion are the keys to a successful and well-balance workforce.
In her community, whether it's the fight against cannabis prohibition, unlawful renovictions, or restrictions on public parks, Dundson takes a stand. Her experience and support of small business and harm reduction will make her an invaluable leader for the future of Vancouver as a responsible and ethical city.
Her work takes her all around Vancouver. As an active transit and bike user, she knows first-hand how important a good network in and around the city is vital to the strength of our neighbourhoods.
Creating safe, recreational spaces for all ages is vital for a healthy city. She believes a city should encourage people get out, get fresh air and do something positive, especially if it's something we can all do together.
Recently, Mary Jean has been spending time at the Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society, helping provide edible cannabis products for medicine and opiate substitution.
Mary Jean lives in East Vancouver. Along with her business, activism and political work, she is working towards a degree in Philosophy.
"I love Vancouver, and I want to give back to this incredible city," says Mary Jean. "I will bring a fresh voice to city council. I will speak for those people and groups who aren't currently represented in local government. I believe in a city that makes room for everyone."
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