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