Peter ladner hopes Vancouver voters won't dance with anyone else but him.

At a rally to encourage the youth vote at a Gastown pub Thursday night, Ladner performed Beatles covers to woo a younger crowd.

"It's like we saw with Obama," says Ladner. "Younger voters are waking up, this is their world, we better get it right and we need their help to do that."

Seeing the mayoral hopeful rock out isn't a side the public is used to, but Ladner wants to convince voters he's a fresh face for the NPA party.

"We're working together to go forward, not back," he says. "I'm confident we've pulled in new people from a wide range of ethnic groups and interests."

Ladner was first elected to city council in 2002. Since then, he says he got property tax relief for small businesses, introduced an anti-idling bylaw and pushed for more community gardens.

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"One of the accomplishments of the last council and NPA, which was undersold, is people don't believe that we've got 3,800 units of social housing either built, under construction or in the pipeline," he says.

Ladner says he'll try to get other municipalities to step up their effort to combat homelessness and work with the province to improve mental health and drug addiction treatment.

Safety first

As mayor, Ladner says his number one priority is making Vancouver a safer place to live.

"Safety for people who are sentenced to the streets on the Downtown Eastside, right to people like my son, who had his apartment ransacked and for people like you and me who've had their cars broken into," he says. "People have accepted that as the background of the city, but that's not good enough."

Ladner is big on taking advantage of Olympic economic spin-offs. But the controversy over the 2010 Athlete's village and a $100 million loan guarantee made behind closed doors at city hall pushed other issues to the back burner.

"Of course, I looked at this and thought, I'd much rather not be giving this loan, but what is our choice?" he says. "We don't complete the athlete's village or give it to a hedge fund in New York?"

Although council unanimously voted for the deal, Ladner took the brunt of the criticism until former mayors Philip Owen and Larry Campbell spoke out earlier this week.

"I was very relieved to have the founder of Vision say its absolute garbage to have the city negotiate in public," he says. "The property endowment fund has $2.7 billion in assets. We've never negotiated a deal in public."

Promises to the public

But how does he reassure voters that this agreement won't cost them money?

"It's worth $1.4 billion. We own it. If we have to take it back, it's all ours," says Ladner. "Unlike a stadium in Montr�al, which a money loser, it's a revenue producing property. We sell condos, or rent it out. Either way, there's money coming in."

"When I'm the mayor, I'll continue to act with integrity and honesty, and be as open as I can be about all issues of finance. We've got nothing to hide."

Ladner hopes voters will give him a chance so he can start shaking things up at city hall.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry