Thursday, 29 March 2012

DNC Board Meeting Minutes - March 29, 2012

DNC Board Meeting
March 29th, 2012
Chair: Herb & Ivan
Meeting Minutes: Jada
Clean-up: Herb, Harold, Ivan

Attendance: Jada, Herb, Roland, Harold, John, Tami, Jen, Kelvin, Louie, Ivan, Dave D., Wendy, James

1) Welcome & Opening

  • Opening

2) General Meeting

  • Ivan wanted to do something on Patriarchy, other ideas were policing and shelters
  • Harold expressed opinions that we might not have enough time to prepare on Patriarchy for the general meeting
  • Roland said we could push back the policing committee, but we didn’t want to commit the policing committee without their input
  • These are the 3 choices

  • If we get 300 people in one room, we can get a lot of police complaints
  • We had a journalist from Whistler contact me – steeling cars

  • Talked to Mike from AFD about a discussion on patriarchy
  • He doesn’t have a super clear idea about how the program is going to run, still experimenting, might be better to put it off for a month or so
  • Collaborate with other groups who have been organizing around patriarchy for a long time
  • Might be a better idea to have women lead the discussion rather than men
  • Policing brainstorming would be a great thing to try, especially we can watch a clip from the Beat TV show, they are all on youtube

  • Get peoples’ first impressions from it

  • I have a program where I can download it so we don’t have to stream it

  • This I know there is youtube stuff

  • Drunken women signed a waiver and was on the Beat TV

  • Tracy was exploited on the Beat TV show, maybe it would nice if she could come to our meeting as a special guest

  • Influx of complaints and so much of the community is coming forward really speaks to how you have the finger to the pulse of what is going on in this neighbourhood
  • Motion to have Policing as the theme for the DNC Monthly General Meeting for Saturday April 7th, 2012
  • Moved by Jada, second by Jen.

  • Crowd critique of the Beat TV show
  • Cowboy cops performing for the camera

  • Policing of the alleys?

  • Can be a point of information
  • Discussion?
  • Motion carries unanimously.

  • Can the shelter committee have 20 mins or so, I would like to talk to the people about the shelter bill of rights.
  • We’ve been developing a shelter bill of rights, it’s ready to be proposed, like to talk to the members to find out what they think and if any changes need to be made.
  • It might trigger some discussion.

  • We don’t have to do break-outs, we can try and figure out a participatory thing
  • For the shelters, it will be good if everyone is involved
  • We need to update our members on the Pantages project, and see how members can get involved in that

David D.
  • No more than 10 minutes

  • We can have 45 minutes or so on policing as the main discussion
  • 20 mins on the shelters committee
  • An inspiring message on the Pantages
  • We need to have a report on the LAPP, not at the end
  • 3 committee discussions and main discussion, cut the business at that, I think we could do it without breakout groups

  • Police, LAPP, Shelters, Dave’s Amazing Rally

  • I think the order should be LAPP, Police, Shelters, Pantages

  • Where would the shelters committee prefer to go?

  • The order should be Police, LAPP, Pantages, Shelters
  • Play clips from the Beat while people are eating

  • We’ve lost quorum
  • (Jen and Roland leaving) – Drug war survivors, organized by Ann

3) Committees

Policing Committee

  • Press Release
  • They keep cancelling meetings
  • Information on the Beat Team, offer money for people to shoot-up and film it. Heard it from a social worker
  • Receiving police brutality complaints, everyday
  • We’re doing lots of outreach, we have a lot of cards on charters of rights, Vandu is going to education people on the charter of rights
  • We’ve been meeting every Friday at Ann’s house – successful.  When we’ve been meeting at Carnegie nobody would show up, but at Ann’s we all eat dinner and do outreach afterwards
  • We’ve got 5 lawyers – supporting us, and might get a private investigator to look into incidents
  • We had a really peaceful rally

  • Trying to figure out a place to have the meetings that’s not Ann’s place
  • Ally at Vancouver Native Policing Centre – John, ask to borrow their space

  • Do you think drug dealers would be safe going there? Or Ann’s place

  • Good point

  • We have a bunch of people against the Beat TV, we have enough people with momentum to do something, to say to them that they are not welcomed here

  • Considering running something in the downtown east to summarize what is being done
  • What do you think the main point you’d want to make in a press release

  • Exploitive, it gives the wrong portrayal in the neighbourhood, and plays up certain stereotypes in the neighbourhood
  • People are watching this and think Indians are a bunch of thieves
  • Talk to Aboriginal Friendship Centre to collaborate

LAPP Report

  • 37 page document
  • Several hours to go through it and understand it
  • Expected to slip some bombs in there
  • Ivan and Wendy caught some clangers
  • Scramble how we’re going to combat that
  • We went to Council, 41 people signed up to speak, about 27 spoke
  • Harold spoke, Herb spoke, homeless Dave spoke
  • I told all the Councillors they should be ashamed of themselves
  • Money for playoff hockey parties, you’ve got money to help the homeless
  • I live off of $7 a day if I get all of my support cheque, exactly what it costs for a starbucks and scone, which I don’t get an entire cheque

  • We pushed back pretty hard
  • People at the last LAPP meeting passed a reasonably good motion about the process stuff, and around the Chinatown and Victory Square stuff
  • Aside from the BIA’s, there wasn’t a lot of opposition
  • Ray wasn’t totally onside
  • Ivan summarized things well
  • Basically controlled all of the speakers except for Scott Clarke who made a complete idiot of himself

  • We were worried he was going to undermine what we were doing
  • He didn’t undermine us

  • He demanded a full status for the Inner City neighbourhood Coalition, shadow group, which is Raycam, ALIVE, Board of Trade, and Strathcona Residents Association
  • The City is not hiring enough Aboriginal people, after kissing their ass
  • We had a lot of allies there, people up in the galleries, we had the show to ourselves
  • Reactions on the Council was interesting, some Councillors looked like they absolutely hated us
  • Some were worried about what was going on, scrambling, but actually listening
  • Most of it centred on the definition of social housing, ram it through for Pantages
  • They were forced to admit they couldn’t do that
  • Mayor Robertson made a motion, put on his social democratic face, praised everyone, gave LAPP Committee more time, 18 months
  • They didn’t criticize the staff, but they made it clear that people need a lot more time to receive documents
  • Some of them realize that they are going to have to come up with something closer to the welfare rates, small victory, but real victory
  • They didn’t want to say much about the Pantages, behind the scenes
  • It’s going to the development permit board on the 23rd, but now there is no agreed upon definition on what social housing is
  • We have every right to create arguments that this doesn’t fit into the social housing of the neighbourhood
  • Staff had interesting stats on the income levels according to census, the demographics were quite useful for us
  • Adrian Carr was better than the rest of the Council, voted for some of the things we liked
  • Other Councillors were complaining, like Meggs, he really dislikes us

  • Councillors themselves were confused about the 20% and the 60% and the…they don’t know what’s going on themselves

  • They didn’t understand what they were voting on
  • Specific decisions were made: extension of time, but listened more carefully. The first thing they did was extend the interim rezoning policy for 18 months but not the LAPP program.  Council still expects the LAPP Plan to be done in 12, but the rezoning to extend an extra 6 months.
  • Council reaffirming that they want it done in a year, we’re second month into it.
  • Appendix B: Interim Rezoning Policy, was passed without amendments
  • Meggs said that why would they put a stop to Chinatown development, he said it was unanimously supported by the community

  • He would twist facts, without letting people respond

  • Appendix C: Took guideline 1 out, defining social housing.
  • They appointed Reimer and Tony Tang, the liaisons with the LAPP committee
  • They gave us more time on processing documents, we get documents 3 weeks before council and 1 week online before council meetings
  • Policies are based on proposed development projects
  • Appears that Council’s policies are made based on project proposals, when developers are proposing, they are working on things on the background
  • Shows who makes policies, not the elected officials, it’s the developers
  • DEOD social housing definition, small victory, lets us keep fighting
  • Pressure we’re applying there is working, researching, years of work, but intense over last couple of months
  • Experiences backed-up by data, publications, news, town hall meetings, resulted in this tiny victory
  • Setting precedence at the City of Vancouver
  • Developers are calling the shots, but now it’s obvious, pointing it out how it happens

  • 10 days to full-court press to organize the town hall at last meeting
  • On a Sunday, 2 days after cheque day, about 80 people showed up
  • Heard the most moving speaches
  • Herb made an amazing, moving speech, moved mountains with Penny
  • Penny pushed for the province to kick-in for housing at the Board of Trade meeting
  • Yesterday was pivitol
  • Ivan was able to do that hard chairing at that LAPP committee, kick-out staff, figure out a future way to go through this LAPP process
  • You can watch entire council meeting online, should be transcribed, Greg will do it
  • Andrea Reimer, surprised she came through with us, I think Jean met with her before the Council meeting
  • Jean put every ounce into it
  • Andrea said that the definition of social housing that applies around the city doesn’t apply to the downtown eastside
  • We were lucky that Andrea she came through for us
  • We could write a letter to Vandu for getting people out there for their support
  • If we can show some of our speeches at our General Meeting
  • So proud of Herb as our leader
  • Next LAPP meeting, Tuesday the 10th, we get a break
  • At board of trade meeting, Judy asked, how accessible is Council going to be – families can’t show up at these meetings, equal access to Council meetings
  • They want some sort of job training program, they want a unique program to get people back to work
  • Penny was very progressive, didn’t mention P3 stuff, she said the main thing to do is housing

  • Some of the BIA’s and others on the other side of the fence, that even though we are radical in their eyes, we are actually capable of being civil
  • This is going to help us in the long run

  • We don’t have enough board members to talk about LAPP focus
  • We are in a healthy place politically speaking, but tense spot all the time
  • We’re really stratlling the border of the community and politics
  • We’re feeling a lot of pressure, and pull, from each side
  • Sometimes we cross over too far on the City side, we put our creativity and resources into their side which makes them too powerful
  • But if we go the other way too far, then we can’t influence. But we influenced this time

  • It was a victory, but we sacrificed a lot

  • We might lose our ability to build our community independently of the City, and ability to fight what we really need
  • Our strength is staying on this border place

  • We could lose our legitimacy of a grass roots group

  • And lose our perspective
  • We need to be aware of these dangers, dangerous slope
  • 12 months to be wrapped up in their world
  • I would like to talk about this more with the board
  • It’s worth bringing it up, so we can think about it, bring it up again
  • Figure out how to navigate this.
  • And what we’re not doing because we’re doing this

  • I totally agree
  • Me missing the thing, this has been the DNC great element of going to City Hall and talking about our life experiences in front of city hall, whether they listen or not
  • DNC street market as an example, it’s inspiring, doing it on our terms

  • Part of these difficulties, pulling in more people who can take on responsibilities that Ivan and Wendy take on
  • We need to get more people who can rattle the cage, and know where they stand

  • This makes us unique

  • I understand your concerns
  • The red road

  • Structure of the DNC, monthly meetings reminds us of what and why we’re doing these things
  • Stipends?

  • Provide handouts at this meeting
  • And then we’re going to announce that we’re not going to give out stipends afterwards
  • Say that we’re a volunteer organization, and can’t afford it, and provide food
  • We agreed in principle, table it.

  • Stipends.  Do we have real membership participation? We need to figure this out of our general members.
  • Last meeting, people didn’t care.
  • Who has time to engage with members? We’re always putting out fires.
  • Best way to explain it to our members is that we’re broke.

  • Next board meeting we’ll discuss the organization of general meetings, stipends, etc.
  • When we decided to do honorariums, it would be a board decision and not a membership decision

  • We’ll have to have a vote

  • Maybe we are broke, but we have to be upfront

  • At shelter meeting, people wouldn’t have showed up if it weren’t for stipends

  • Write a letter, saying Scott is offending people in the community, and has produced a lot of resentment and anger
  • Expressions like the four blocks of hell, and high-impact people, this language is violent and oppressive
  • It’s shocking and hurtful
  • Reaction Herb had wasn’t anything specific from something that happened at the meeting, but the build up to that point
  • Cut off their ability to go after Herb
  • What he was saying is a perfectly good thing to criticize

  • They went to Kelvin to mediate
  • They want a sitdown with me
  • I’m willing to have a sitdown with an elder, with Grace, and with Scott to talk about it

  • The sitdown is a good idea if Kelvin is there
  • We should see what comes of it
  • I don’t think Herb should apologize, but he’s in a position to say what triggered him
  • Not sure how much we want to do, like send a letter?
  • I think it’s something we should discuss, concerned it might set something off

  • I could say, that I said what I said as an individual and not as the DNC
  • Sit down with an elder and Scott, and a mediator, and try dealing with it that way
  • If they continue, that’s when we send a DNC letter
  • Maybe send letter regardless
  • We can’t let him continue to communicate this massive hate speech, we can’t allow it to continue
  • Could be a community relations issue
  • I’ll support you as a board member
  • Consider taking Mona with you

  • It may be a conflict of interest for Kelvin to mediate
  • They might not want to meet, they won’t respond to Kelvin

  • The letter is important
  • He’s hurting people, and silencing people

  • We should leave it for a week, see if a meeting is setup, see if they are trying to set up an attack on the DNC
  • I don’t want to put this on the centre of attention
  • I think it’s much better if the response comes from the Aboriginal community instead of the DNC

  • If a letter is drafted, I think Herb should take the first stab at writing it

  • The Aboriginal community has been taking this for a long time from this man
  • We need to put him in his place
  • He makes blanket statements about us while we’re in the room, and we’ve been ignoring him

  • Our facilitator doesn’t read these dynamics in the room
  • We need to take note of it

  • I expected so much more from her facilitation

  • Should we push to get rid of her?

  • It’s more important to figure out the replacement, rather than just kicking her out

  • Co-facilitate, but if we facilitate then it’s too awkward to be a speaker

  • We should float this by some others from the LAPP Committee

  • It’s not really our job here to make the decision
  • Just assess what the feeling is
  • The LAPP is the place to be dealing with it
  • See what people think

  • Liz is super defensive

  • So is Tom
  • He’s a bully

4) Board Business

Membership Database

  • Point of information, meeting with Latizia tomorrow night to work on our membership database

Meeting Closed.