Friday, 16 December 2011

DNC Board Meeting Minutes - December 16, 2011

DNC Board meeting minutes
December 16, 2011

Present: Tami, Ann, Jen, Paul, Ivan, Jamie, Harold, Herb, Jada, Kelvin, Roland, Louie, Joe
Guests: Annette Morris, John

  1. Opening and introductions
  2. Discussion about the LAPP and low-income caucus
  3. Committee reports
    1. Action against violence against survival sex workers
    2. Street market
      • Vendors meeting Sunday
      • Other street market business (lock-box etc)
    3. Hotel organizing
    4. End Prohibition project
  1. Board issues
    1. Board conduct and anti-oppression
    2. Funding and petty cash
    3. At large members
    4. Next board meeting
  2. New business
    1. 750 E. 17Th St and city response
    2. Other

  • Kelvin gave our opening acknowledgement
  • Paul read the constitution
  • Introductions were powerful today, all members talked about where we each come from and about out lives and experiences in the DTES.

Discussion about LAPP and the Low-Income caucus
  • We formed the low-income caucus of the LAPP to bring other groups into discussions about forming the LAPP
  • A conflict developed with Scott Clark from ALIVE because we disagree about gentrification, social housing, and maybe even harm reduction
  • We wrote a basis of unity, based on our perpectives, and this excluded ALIVE. We said to Scott that we thought he should not be on the low-income caucus.
  • Word has been out that Scott has been criticizing us on Facebook and in conversations in the community, and some of that has been picked up on by BIAs and developers
  • This could be bad for us and some others in the community might not work with us if we exclude Alive.
  • We should consider the main points of criticism from Alive
  • Proposal:
    • To apologize to Scott
    • To reorganize the caucus around curiosity about eachother instead of hard political positions. Curiosity not righteousness.
    • To ask Rain Daniels to facilitate these discussions
  • Phoenix said yesterday that she thinks that Aboriginal people like to have a space that can hold differences and not exclude people based on differences
  • We can question Scott's intentions and we've seen some weird behavior, but we should take the high road and also think about who he represents.
  • Scott is working with the business organizations in the neighbourhood
  • One of the main purposes of the BIAs is to gentrify the neighbourhood
  • I think Scott has already drank the cool-aid and there's no reason to invite him back. There's others we can work with.
  • If we apologize to him we're apologizing on behalf of the high-impact people to the business people
  • We have done all this work that made the Terms of Reference and we can't just let that be overwhelmed by one guy
  • The LAPP low-income committee should be reformed because it's not low-income people. Scott is not low-income, we don't know where he lives, we don't know how much money he makes
  • Scott doesn't want to be clear, doesn't want to say where he comes from or what he represents, he just wants us to take official positions for him
  • He came and overwhelmed us with his single-issue program of hammering at the Imouto issue
  • We as an organization should not be apologizing for standing by our constitution
  • He seems to be asking us to come over to his side but he's not coming
  • Defending the motion
  • We need to defend the most oppressed people in our community
  • I don't think a low-income caucus would work if Scott was there.
  • We could set up another body to do some bridge building, but I'm not prepared to engage in planning and strategizing for the LAPP with Scott Clark. It would be against our purposes
  • It seemed like Scott was saying that he was leaving the LAPP as a whole
  • The question is: Is he being honest? Is he just using this as an excuse?
  • And: Is it a successful strategy to make this overture?
  • The low-income caucus is a political group. Maybe we could rename it the progressive caucus or something in order to be clear
  • I don't know who this Scott guy is but if he's not low-income then why should we give him an apology?
  • I don't think the constitution or our terms of reference say 100% of low-income people have to live in the DTES, we say 100% of housing has to be social housing in order to replace the SROs
  • And we never said we promote drugs, we said that we promote a healthy approach towards drugs and harm reduction.
  • I get that there's a political concern because Raycam could destroy what we're doing
  • And there is a place for a group like them. It's the big table of the LAPP.
  • If they're not residents or low-income people then we don't need them and we don't need to apologize to them.
  • What are we doing with a group that is funded, we don't know if they have an elected board, and they keep very bad company with Judy MacGuire and others at Raycam.
  • We should say to them that we're only agreeing with a city report that says no one who is poor should have to be driven out of the neighbourhood.
  • Harm reduction isn't just handing out needles and condoms, it's after-school care, it's getting families together, it's teaching people how to cook, it's housing.
  • I wish I could meet this person.
  • Can we acknowledge that we could have made a mistake in how we formed the low-income caucus and we need something else
  • We can create a space where we can try to straddle some differences
  • We need to keep the caucus as a space where we do our planning
  • We didn't make a mistake
  • Could we admit difficulties in understanding? And ask for space to work on understanding?
  • I've heard this one guy's name, but we should think about organizations.
  • The organization should take the seat. Raycam is an organization. We should deal with the organization. There are 3,000 people in Raymur.
  • We do not need to apologize, we should not say there has been a misunderstanding, we understand what Scott is saying. He is saying that he doesn't want Aboriginal people in the DTES
  • We're going to get some flack, so what? We need to stay true to ourselves and not send mixed messages.
  • Scott represents the business interests in the neighbourhood.
  • We should not talk about a person when we should talk about the organization they represent. I don't think he understands himself as a representative of Alive.
  • We should be talking about the organization, not this Scott guy. He doesn't know what our dreams are, he doesn't know what our lives are.
  • The problem is that other voices are rising up
MOTION: To organize an understandings-workshop with Alive and others under the theme: What pushes people into and out of the DTES?
Defeated (4 in favor, 8 against)
DECISION: To form a committee of Wendy plus Aboriginal board members, Thursday January 5, 1pm at AFD (location TBD)

Committee reports

Action against violence against survival sex workers
  • Needs help with organizing the action
  • Kelvin to do opening prayer
  • Jen will talk about the history of the event and read demands
  • Ester Shannon from FIRST will speak; then Rape Relief; Tami from DNC; Ann from VANDU; WAVAW; BWSS.
  • Some stats we will explain include stats around women who have been murdered, how many arrests there have been.
  • Will ask for support for hate-crime legislation, the same way they lobbied for hate crime legislation for gay rights
  • Will also ask for non-enforcement of section 213 of the criminal code and the bawdy house laws.
  • Our protocols are that when you ask an elder to speak you give them some tobacco. Not a cigarette but a pouch of tobacco

Board conduct and anti-oppression
MOTION: To create a committee to investigate a complaint about Jamie Richardson (board member) by Charles Sanford (general member). The committee will speak with both Jamie and Charles and any others and will bring a recommendation back to the board.
PASSED unanimous.

At-large board members
MOTION: (from Louie) To nominate Annette for an at-large board seat. (PASSED unanimous)
  • Give Annette a board package.

Next board meeting: Friday January 6
Board development: Saturday January 7

Friday, 2 December 2011

DNC Board meeting - December 2, 2011

DNC Board meeting
December 2, 2011

Board members present: Wendy, Louie, Ann, Dave H, Harold, Kelvin,
Roland, Herb, Jada, Ivan, Jamie, Paul
Guests: Charles, John, Agnes

- Thanks to Kelvin for opening

- read by Paul

- Moved by Dave H, seconded Harold. Passed unanimous

General meeting
- Aiyanis to give a report on the crime bill
- Marlene and Ann to report on the inquiry
- Ann to chair a discussion on policing in the neighbourhood where we
ask for brainstorming and cooperative discussion
- I have a map of who is getting arrested, how, and where and could do
a slideshow of crime stats in the neighbourhood
- Ann and Jada to put together a slideshow of the crime stats in the 
- Good to also make space for discussion about police harassment and 
- Would it be useful to have a lawyer there?
Dave H
- Could also bring up stuff that we are facing in the street market,
with fighting bylaw tickets
- Could use this discussion to form a policing committee
Dave H
- Perhaps we could ask the membership if they would like a lawyer to
come to a future meeting
- There's definitely space these days for a policing campaign. The
cigarette hustlers on the corner told me that they'd be interested in
working on policing justice. Could also work with BCCLA on a legal
observers presence in the neighbourhood at hot times in the month.
- Shouldn't work for native cops only. Sometimes that's worse.
- Should leave the specific discussions and proposals for a committee
- Could work on sensitivity training
DECISION: To put aside 15 minutes for the Omnibus crime bill point; 15
minutes for the inquiry; and 20 or so for the policing discussion and
committee formation.

General meeting outreach
- Jamie finishing calls
- Posters are up
- Dave will go to First United

General meeting agenda

DNC General Meeting agenda
December 3, 2011

NOTE: Sign-ups for this meeting will include recording

1. Opening, protocols, introductions

2. Discussion: Police and punishment in the DTES
a) Report on the Omnibus crime bill (Aiyanis and someone from the VANDU 
b) Update on police roles in the missing and murdered womens' tragedy
(Marlene Basil)
c) The state of policing in the DTES (NEED A PRESENTER FROM DNC)


3. Board report
a) MOTION: How to create a vision for 2012 (2 min)
b) MOTION: At-large board members (10 min)
c) Board development plans and our board executive (2 min)

4. Committee and campaign reports
a) Street market report (10 min)
b) Local Area Planning Process (5 min)
c) SRO organizing update (5 min)
d) Treasurer report (2 min)
e) MOTION: Create a committee to abolish homeless shelters (10 min)
f) DTES Not for Developers coalition (2 min)
g) Raise the Rates coalition update (2 min)

5. New business
a) MOTION: December 17th action against violence against survival sex
workers (5 min)
b) MOTION: "Feed the Roots" project (2 min)

6. Closing and moment of silence

and contact updates for 'active members' database
- Should be using the sign-in time to update membership contact 
DECISION: To add a column for contact info with the honorariums
sheet and to create an active-member database.

Natural Community members
DECISION: To table Grant Fraser's natural community membership
application (PASSED UNAN)

Board development meeting
DECISION: To hold our board development meeting 10am to 2pm on
Saturday December 10th, location TBA.
COMMITTEE: Ann, Ivan, Jamie, Wendy, Paul.
NEED: Facilitator, agenda, plan.

Street market report
- We laid off Lyn. She decided that she wants to stay on as a volunteer.
- Means we can support the volunteers for longer
- Location issue is important: City says that they have been clear
that they want us to leave Pigeon Park. We told them that we will
never leave the site.
- Wendy, Ann, and Roland will replace Lyn as a volunteer-management
team to liaise with Dave H as onsite coordinator.
- One day we showed up at Pigeon Park and set up a street market and
the city said we needed a permit and insurance etc.
- We said that if they don't stop giving out vending tickets and set
up a space for people who don't have a yard or garage to sell their
things then we will keep running a market place.
- We have secured enough funding to support volunteers to run the
market and that's stabilized the market.
- Our vision has always been to support vendors to run the market
themselves. The first vendor meeting is going to be December 18th. It
will be a long meeting with stations in the Interurban gallery to
collect information from vendors and give them spaces to plug in to
organizing efforts. The meeting will seek to establish a vendors
committee that can work out maps of where people are vending and where
they are getting tickets etc.
- The Portland has offered us the Interurban but there could be
strings so we might want to use the Dodson instead
Dave H
- Also have a leaflet that we'll distribute, which outlines what is
good about the market and why new condo owners should not try to wreck

Local Area Planning Process
- The first public meeting of the DTES LAPP is Wednesday December 7
- All DNC board members should come in order to present a strong face
to the others at the meeting
- This is the first time we'll be working with the City and BCS to
explain what we're doing to the general public
- It's important because we're setting the tone for how our other work
will be done together
- We also have an issue with blowback from business groups and others
in the neighbourhood
- The BIAs might even refuse to participate in the process because
they think the "foxes are in charge of the henhouse"
- There's a rumour that the Strathcona Community Centre is considering
boycotting the process
- And that Raycam is currently only willing to meet with the city and 
not us.

SRO organizing
- Held a community meal at the Balmoral bar and served 75 people.
Successful discussion and need more support next month with more board
members as organizers.
- Also held a meeting at the Washington, want to do the discussion
next month about the Harper crime bill
- Wonder and Palace campaign has taken a blow, Wolsey has taken the
buildings over again and it's nearly back how it was before our
campaign started.

DTES Not for Developers Coalition
- Thursday felt like a strong action because it was resident based
- Shouldn't use the "Occupy" name because the media said that we were
Occupy Vancouver
- I thought the blockade done by the tank brigade was inspiring
- I thought it was good inside. We held it together in a disciplined
way and did not damage any property or anything.
- You could see that some of the allies inside wanted to do something
else inside, but we held it together
- But I think we should not use the "Occupy" name because the media 
confused it.
- The AFD was there at the beginning to support the action but had to 
- My hands go up to the organizers and the occupiers for supporting
elders to be part of the action outside. Elders don't always feel like
we're part of the actions in the community.
- The general contractor was really nice too
- The workers said in the media that the occupiers were very nice
- The Thursday action was good. Some of us went and spoke there with
Naomi Klein and someone from Occupy New York. We delivered a gift
basket to the developer at 21 Doors.

Raise the Rates
- Today RTR and VANDU went to the CBC Food Bank day to protest for
justice not charity. CBC blocked our delegation from getting in to the
- One CBC employee told me to get a job and I said 'This isn't the
CBC, this is the Canadian Bullshit Corporation.' I spat on the ground
25 times trying to get arrested.

Homeless shelter rights committee
- Going to found a homeless shelter rights committee
- The presentation at the general meeting will give the background to
the reason for the campaign
- Will make a big low-literacy poster to explain the issue
- I'm glad to see that we're expanding our criticism and campaigning
around shelters beyond women's safety and more controls
- Need to include women's safety at FUC as part of this
- Also need to set a time for a first meeting

December 17 action against violence against survival sex workers
- Proposal from Jen to organize an action as part of the int'l day of
action against violence against survival sex workers
- Could organize a surround-the-police-station action
- Get others to endorse
- I support the action as long as we target the downtown police
station and the BET squad
- Also we should take some time and sort out demands for this action
MOTION: To organize a direct action against the police as part of the
international day of action against violence against survival sex
workers. We will sort out specifics later. (PASSED, unanimous)

"Feed the Roots"
- Organizers at Rhizome Cafe invited us to join a school they're
running in the spring, 8 - 10 weeks Monday nights. Will be interaction
between members and organizers from different groups.
- Good to meet with others and share experiences
- And it's skill sharing too
MOTION: To spend register for the workshop series and try to fundraise
the $300 fee. (PASSED unanimous)

Charles' report
- I challenge every member of the DNC to pledge $5 to $25 a month. I,
as a pensioner, will give $25 a month.
- I think it's not appropriate to pressure our members to give money
that they might not be able to afford
MOTION: To defer the matter of fundraising to the board development
meeting where we can strategize it fully. (PASSED unanimously)
Closing - Kelvin.