Thursday, 15 November 2012

DNC Board meeting minutes - November 15 2012

DNC Board meeting minutes
November 15 2012

Present: Richard, Tami, Jamie, Kelvin, Jenn, Herb, DJ, Harold, Ivan
Guests: Richard from West, Leanne, Jacek, Dave D

DT East
Finances and banking
Social Housing Coalition

Last week Copwatch was in Toronto for the Right to Resist conference. It went very well.
We have five new complaints going against cops who have attacked people in the DTES
Aiyanas is helping us create a strategy to get in the way of the Beat enforcement team
We have a new investigations group that is a civilian oversight group over police brutality. So we can refer things to the new office.
We went to a forum about the new Independent Investigations Office (IIO) and heard the inspector, Richard Rosenthal, speak about the new process. It was bad because they won't investigate anything in the DTES. Only will investigate if someone dies
There has been a long demand for an independent, civilian oversight body to deal with police brutality and harassment. The IIO comes from that demand.
But the mandate of the IIO is so narrow that it will only deal with the embarrassing cases that delegitimize the system. Won't affect the daily police brutality and harassment problems.
There has been intense criticism. First that they are coming at police complaints from the wrong end. If they dealt with small stuff it would help everything but it is dealing only with the most extreme. Also a terrible problem that rape and sexual assault is not covered in their mandate.
We were going to ask for an office in the DTES but the way it is there's no use.
This office is working under the existing laws and those laws are made to protect people not to protect the police, but they're not working.
A lot of the stuff you're talking about is very important but we're just one group and we need to get all our communities together with a bigger voice. We need new laws
I want to move a motion that we flood the complaints process
I agree we need a campaign to deal with the complaints process and
We should also include the security guards in a campaign
Also Canadian Border Services Agency
There is a complaints process and if we don't follow it then then don't know there's anything wrong
A major problem is that we don't follow up on our complaints.
AGREED: To set up a meeting with other groups to strategize a police complaints campaign.

Information: if you have been strip searched in custody in the past 6 years then you might qualify for compensation. Go see Doug King at Pivot to seek such compensation
Also: Copwatch wants to organize a protest against Michelle Davey as inspector for the district because she won't meet with copwatch and she refuses to do anything about attacks on native men by BET squad
Could we put this problem in a bigger context and identify and address the systemic problems
I agree. Need to deal with the police accountability crisis.
We should do more than replace figureheads, need systemic change.
I'll withdraw the motion for now and bring it back when it's better worked out.

We're trying to get ready for the round tables but there's not much to report on that yet. But Ivan drafted a letter to the city.
Drafted a letter from DNC proper, as the group behind the co-chair.
(We read the letter)
This has happened because the city has its own agenda. The white government has really pushed us to the limit and they're really doing it to our people
This table has to come united with all its people and defend the community.
The rents in the SROs down by the 900 block of East Hastings are going to jump twice over.
We need to come united with all the communities down here. But we're fragmented. We're falling apart even after all this work.
In the LAPP I see the system not working. We make good contracts and they're not followed.
There's lots of good stuff in the letter that I agree with and people are feeling.
The question is who is it addressed to and what is its purpose. It can work to expose the role of city hall and show how the process is not working. But some of it is more addressed to our own community.
One is a criticism of what city hall is doing and the image of strike-one is okay but I'm not sure what it accomplishes exactly. We're not ready to come to a conclusion yet.
I also think we won't get the BIAs, or Alive to sign on to this but maybe we can get some more people to sign on to it.
For the conclusion: I have only been co-chair for a month but there are already bad signs like that the committee is starting to police itself.
I like the point that there's a vested interest in the LAPP of people who are seeking profits
Getting other members of the LAPP to sign on would be important.
Could get others on the LAPP committee to write a character reference letter.
I agree with getting more people to support this letter.
The DNC elected Ivan. As a member of DNC I won't tolerate Ivan being removed from the committee.
This committee should send a request to other organizations and get their views on what's happened since this LAPP has come together. Also the slanderous remarks towards the previous chair and the ousting of that chair need to be responded to.
It's not to say Herb's not doing a good job or that we want to go back to Ivan, but to look at what's happened and have the LAPP look at it again.
Go back and look at the policies of governance again.
We need to nip this in the bud or its going to be worse
I think we should send this just as DNC and write a separate statement with the LAPP Committee
The purpose for the public letter I think is to expose what's going on in the LAPP and help mobilize our community to fight for a plan that works for the community
I agree with Harold that the “Strike One” metaphor doesn't quite work because it binds us to three strikes and also maybe is too severe
We could go deliver it to council ourselves in a delegation
We should demand a letter from council explaining why our co-chair was removed.

We have a financial committee working on fundraising and have a letter drafted looking for funds. We should read the letter here.
Will DNC still not know what's going on in the DT East account?
The DT East asked me to report to the board regularly about DT East finances and there will be regular financial reports.
We decided that we were not as transparent as we should have been.
All the money is being spent on is the printing cost, which is $705 a month, or per issue
The board should know what's going on.
So the DNC has two treasurers?
The DT East finances are only for the printing of the paper and it was decided that it be worked on in the past.
It says here that the DT East is the newspaper of the DNC. Why is it not under the control of the treasurer.
MOTION: To accept and send out the DT East finance letter. Moved: Harold. Second: Richard. Passed, unanimous.

Will be a vendors meeting on Saturday and we hope Jenn will come to talk to vendors about vending tickets

We're booked for a pre-AGM on December 1 and AGM December 8
(Distributes package for AGM)
The question I think we have to answer is whether we will have honorariums at the AGM. We should put it on the poster so that people know.
The stipends have caused a lot of grief for us lately. There has been bad blood with the honorariums at this last meeting and the one before.
I think we should stop having honorariums
The thing that's bad is not knowing if it is available. Not everyone takes it but those who do need it.
Unless we know for certain that the money is available then we should not put it on the poster
We didn't find out until the day before that there was not going to be an honorarium at this last meeting and it was partly that reason that many people were pissed off.
Should put it on the poster one way or another. Need to find out how we can streamline the process before we bring it back
I feel that the honorarium's time has come and gone. Nothing more evident than how it has been mismanaged and abused. The dynamic of the last general meeting was different because of that.
I find it distasteful that our membership finds out through 3rd hand sources that there's no money for that meeting
The two main things are that I think the honorariums have been mismanaged and even abused. And also I think it has been a failure.
I made it clear that there would be no stipend to VANDU and Political Action Group
I think we had a good showing for a meeting without
MOTION: To use honorariums at the AGM if it is available. The co-presidents to approach Ann and seek the release of $300 for the AGM and have the money deposited to the DNC Bank account. If this is not possible then we will announce that we will not have honorariums available at the AGM. (Moved: Tami. Second: Harold. PASSED unanimous)

Tami, Ivan and I went to Van City and got the account activated finally. We sorted it out.
We got some cheques and wrote and signed a cheque to Streams of Justice to pay for the Dodson Hall rental for the October meeting. Need to write a cheque to Dodson Hall when we get that invoice.
Tami has also written me a cheque for $55 for board meeting food for the past couple weeks but I have not cashed it because I worry about the process we're in.
Tami has tried to contact the treasurer  and has not been able to reach him and he is not coming to these meetings so we have no way to deal properly with our finances. But we need to deal with money. We have to spend money to do our work and it is not acceptable for us to just have individuals pay for things and keep receipts forever.
I would be willing to take over as treasurer for the time being.
We need to deal with these problems or we will hand over a sinking ship to the next board.
MOTION: To ask Tami Starlight to manage up to $1000 from the VanCity account for necessesary DNC expenses including board food, printing, and space rental until the AGM on December 10. (Moved: Herb. Second: Richard. PASSED unanimous)

Which are the organizations that are accountable for the street market? We are accountable to the community and right now it is not clear.
The Street Market is not VANDU's project, it is DNC's market.
It started as a protest. And it is DNC's project.
We followed the motion just over a year ago from the DNC board for money for the market and to negotiate with the city about 62 E Hastings. Me and Roland did that not VANDU
There is a memorandum of understanding between DNC and VANDU about the way the market is to be run.
Roland is saying that the process now is that the money comes from VANDU even though the MoU says that it is a project of DNC, under the control of DNC.
The street market committee sometimes reports to us directly and a lot of times it seems like it is being run autonomously. We have not been setting the budget.
When Lynn was working as the coordinator and we ran low on money the market committee recommended and the board agreed that she be laid off.
There is a crisis in the market because the way we are operating structurally is not consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding. We need to have a structure that is consistent with how we operate.
I don't think we can answer that here. We need to meet between the board and the street market committee and create an official structure that matches with our practice.
DJ and I are both on the street market committee and on this board and we can bring reports back each week.
I do not intend any disrespect to the people who are on the market committee they are doing great work and the market is running great.
We have permits from the city and we have money from the city so it is not a protest.

MOTION to close (Passed, unanimous)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

DNC Board meeting - November 1, 2012

DNC Board meeting and discussion on 2012 in review
November 1 2012

Present: Tami, Herb, Kelvin, Jamie, Ivan, Harold, DJ, Jenn
Guests: Daeshawna, Colleen, Victoria, James, Richard from the West, Jacek, Dave D

Opening and introductions
Urgent issues for decision
General meeting / AGM
Discussion: Year 2012 in review

Kelvin acknowledged Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh territory
Round of introductions
Tami outlines agenda. Motion to approve agenda: Passed unanimous

I presented at council for the first time a couple weeks ago, about the rezoning application for 955 E Hastings. The councilors cross examined me pretty harshly. Then at the next day of the public hearing Scott Clark came and undermined the co-chairs and presented different vote outcomes. Ivan said that was a lie, and then Scott yelled at Ivan.
At the
We discussed this at the co-chairs meeting and have a suggestion about how to resolve it
I want DNC's support for Herb not to apologize because we never agreed to not protest
I had someone from LAPP call me this week and tell me that I should keep people beneath me in line. That was completely unreasonable.
I'm really pissed off that they called me, that someone gave them my number
I support what Herb did, I don't care what happens up at city hall.
I am under a lot of stress from family issues and getting that call was more stressful
I am speaking with a lawyer to see if I can get support to stop these calls.
I used to get calls about Ivan and the LAPP which I used to just ignore.
I'm hurting inside and I need support.
I am asking for support from the DNC board to send a letter to the LAPP and ask for them to not call me on my personal phone.
I responded to some of the emails going out criticizing Herb.
I spoke with Kathy from the Powell St Festival asking for her support of us through this conflict.
I replied with a fairly distinct email to everyone who received Joji's complaint letter, naming Joji's position of privilege
I don't believe in engaging in these discussions over email
I think that Scott Clark is bullying the committee and especially Herb and Ivan, at the governance committee.
The city is not listening to us. I see some joining of forces and some bullying happening. I saw some real smugness between Wes and the city at the meeting today
I feel we're really losing our edginess. We're being too polite.
There's a danger of the DNC within the LAPP playing too much of their game and not pushing our own game.
- When I say I'm a sovereign Nisga'a and Nuu-Chah-Nulth man it's because
For DNC to send a letter to the LAPP asking that Kelvin not be harassed about the conduct of others on the LAPP committee and that no one call him on his cell phone without his permission, that his number has gotten out somehow. (Moved, Herb. Second, DJ. Passed unan)
For DNC board to support Herb in his decision to not apologize for protesting at city hall. (Moved, DJ. Second: Victoria and Kelvin. Passed, 1 abstention for conflict of interest)

It's been an emotional week for copwatch and me.
Rob Morgan, who we have been supporting in a complaint for police brutality, just got an email from the Office of the Police Complaints Commission saying that the officer he has launched a complaint against was not working that night. We are trying to verify that and to figure out what to do next.
Earlier this week I witnessed a heavy attack on a woman on the street; two cops handcuffed her too hard and she was crying, was forced to drop a tissue, and then they gave her a ticket for littering.
I called the staff sgt and he dismissed my complaint. He said that it was only my opinion that the person was assaulted and they he would not meet with me because even the district inspector Michelle Davie would not meet with me.
Jamie and I are discussing that we should not meet with the police any more. We need a special branch of the Independent Inspections Office (IIO) in the DTES to take complaints.
The sgt also said that if I don't like the way police function I should get my MLA and MP to change the police act. So I have approached Jenny Kwan and Libby Davies to work on this.
I made a report and filed a complaint against the cops for coming into my room with the Beat TV show and they are not saying they want me to drop the case because they can't substantiate the date.
I have a lawyer to work on it and I don't want to drop it
Copwatch is in the Georgia Straight because Charlie Smith went along on a ride along with the BET team. His story glorifies the BET. We want to invite him to do a walk along.
I agree that Jenn should not meet with the cops any more. I think there's a political opportunity here with the beginning of the Independent Investigations Office. They have to prove they're actually effective and that's a lot to prove.
I think we should arrange a meeting with the new Investigations Officer Rosenthal and Doug King and David Eby and push for a special investigations office in the DTES.
If they're not willing then we should organize a delegation to go to the forum they are organizing about policing on November 19 and deliver a statement.
We have to make this a human rights issue. All aspects of our condition in the DTES are human rights violations. We need to make it a bigger issue and to take it to the UN if we can.
The very constitution of Canada is racist against Native people. And now it's becoming more of a crime to be poor, to be a sex worker.
In the LAPP we're wasting a tremendous amount of energy spinning our wheels and we should be organizing.
In the early summer I had a complaint that Cst Sean Shipper was harassing me and they dropped it.
When I made my complaints, the only result I got from the police was that they received my complaint. That's all.
DECISION: To pursue the following actions
Jenn to contact Jenny Kwan and Libby Davies about the Police Act
Ivan to set up a meeting between Copwatch, Pivot, BCCLA, and the IIO to ask for a special complaints office in the DTES
To organize a delegation to the forum at WW about policing on November 19

- The special committee requested that we push back the AGM one month, so we had a motion last week to reorganize the general and AGM meetings but didn’t have quorum. I contacted some other board members and they agreed. We had to move ahead.
CONSENSUS DECISION: To support the reorganizing of general meeting and AGM as follows:
- November general meeting: Saturday November 10, 2:30pm at Dodson Hall
- Pre-AGM: Saturday December 1, 3pm at Carnegie Theatre
- AGM and board elections: Saturday December 8, 2:30pm at Dodson Hall

(Recorded on flip chart. Ivan went through DNC’s actions month-by-month. Go-round of all present to state their “favorite actions” of the year.)
CONSENSUS DECISION: To have a “best of 2012” discussion at the November general meeting, with comparisons between our work in 2011 and in 2012 (under the pressure of the LAPP).