30 VTU members and guests attended our June general meeting which took place on April 29th in-person and over zoom. Here is a summarized version of the minutes.
Item 1 - Land Acknowledgement and Community Agreements (15 mins)
Item 2 - Introducing the Solidarity Working Group
VTU members already work in solidarity with other groups
- Stop the Sweeps Coalition, VTU is a member. VTU has organized members to volunteer as legal observers among other things.
- VTU is apart of Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition, VTU members have been volunteering there and have been organizing SROs through OHCW
- Labour: No Rent Debt Campaign, Vancouver and District Labour Council voted to support this campaign at the convention. They also took a motion to support us at BC Federation of Labour Convention. Though we didn’t succeed with a no rent debt campaign but we now have a good relationship
In our 2023 goals, we think they made a mandate for this working group
- Make VTU more accessible and relevant in racialized communities
- Establishing relationships with a list of VTU friendly orgs
- Solidarity campaigns goal. Be physically present near our allies and contribute to the efforts
- Our office is a shared space between VTU and other organizations in solidarity.
Item 3 - Volunteer Update
- An email was sent out with volunteer survey, so please fill it out!
Item 4 - Chapter Updates
- We have monthly socials, this week we brought in someone from Rent Strike Bargain to have a conversation about what would we collectively bargain for, it was a great exercise. Good to collectively decide to demand more. We do not have to give into city hall, and we’ve had proven success before. With RSB we’re doing a BBQ on the 6th. Or if it rains it will be in a building’s common area.
- Lots of organizing, several new buildings that we’ve gotten into in the last few weeks. Things like landlord control, landlord finding reasons to make your experience hell, bogus evictions targeting most vulnerable in the building. All the harassment is connected to the giant uptick in land value.
- One building that got organized was for sale but it’s not anymore. We are still organizing. We got heat fixed for a tenant when it didn’t work for 7 years. We got some small neighbourhood grants that we want to do garden stuff with. We want to do a block party to build more connections in the neighbourhood.
- We have relaunched the chapter! Had a meeting two weeks ago where we met to get oriented and now we are figuring out when our meeting will be because Saturday don’t work for a lot of west end members. We sent around a poll so please fill it out if you are in the West End.
- Organizing two buildings next to each other sold as a land assembly to demolish and build a tower. Also maintenance issues next door and they aren’t renting empty units in one of the buildings. Many tenants have pets, it’s often hard to find rentals when you have pets so there is a lot of solidarity
- Templeton and oxford building: Lost at public hearing. Council still voted for it but they felt uncomfortable.
- Large multi building group, tenants are going to send a letter to property manager
Item 5 - Steering Committee and Working Group Updates
- Presentation and discussion on Special Resolution to change VTU's Bylaws for Neighbourhood Chapters and Steering Committee
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Membership of the Vancouver Tenants Union accept the changes to the VTU Bylaws as presented, discussed, and amended at the April 29th, 2023 GM.
Motion Carries unanimously
Item 6 - Motion Regarding VTU Delegation to the Upcoming ATUN West Coast Convention
- Presentation and discussion and friendly amendments made to the motion.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the VTU appoint two (2) delegates to attend the Convention of the Autonomous Tenant Union Network (ATUN), in San Francisco, on June 24th and 25th ;
And That, the VTU agree to pay for the delegates flights there and back, on the condition that the expense should be deemed reasonable by the Steering Committee, and up to a cost of $500 per person, round trip, and totally $1000;
And That, the VTU allocate the total amount of the $1000 not spent on tickets, should there be any, to delegates to subsidize food and accommodations;
And That, the VTU additionally agrees to meet with members of ATUN to:
(a) Assess if the VTU could put on a session for the convention, to educate other unions on our experiences in BC, as has been requested by ATUN organizers;
(b) Consider becoming a member union of ATUN again, now that we meet membership requirements once more.
And That, the two delegates appointed to attend the convention are [members' names]
Item 7 - Motion for Submission to “Financialization of Purpose Built Housing Written Hearing”
Presentation and discussion
Be it resolved that the Vancouver Tenants Union make a submission, to be presented and discussed at the June 18th, 2023 General Meeting, to the “Financialization of Purpose Built Housing Written Hearing” on the National Housing Council’s website, to be submitted by June 23rd, 2023;
Be it further resolved that an Ad Hoc Working Group be struck to draft the submission.
Motion Carries unanimously
Item 8 - Community Announcements
- Portland Tenant Union is planning another action
- RSB Day of Action on May 6th
Live minutes are recorded at each GM and condensed for the website. For more detailed minutes any member may contact us: [email protected]