Here's what happened at our General Meeting on July 28th, 2018...
Item 1: Territorial Acknowledgement & Community Agreements
The meeting started with introducing our Community Agreements, (which will be re-iterated at all our meetings). They are:
1. One-mic - means to respect each others speaking time.
2. Speak Up/Listen Up - means that people who are comfortable should step up on their listening skills and people who tend not to speak should step up speaking more.
3. Break It Down - explaining words or phrases that are unclear/ inaccessible.
4. Respect Each Other - oppressive behaviour will not be tolerated.
5. Challenge Ideas, Not People - disagreements should be expressed with what people have said and not the people themselves.
6. Be Present
7. Take Care Of Yourself - do what is best for your physical and emotional well being
Item 2: Introductions of present members/Advocacy Rounds
[Confidential - VTU does not publish names of meeting attendees or their tenancy situations]
Item 3: Real Rent Control Campaign Update
- The VTU’s number one policy ask for the BC Government is Vacancy control, a kind of rent control that means that landlord’s can’t jack up the rent in between tenants. Would help with affordability and end renovictions
- Petition available on our website for Real Rent Control
- Campaign meetings are on Mondays at 5:30 PM at the 3rd floor classroom at Carnegie
Item 4: Dolores Huerta Tenant Training Update
Dolores co-founded the farm workers union in the USA and some of her team are coming to do some organizer training with some of our members and folks from Unite Here Local 40
- The training will not be filmed, but we will be passing on what we learn to future members in OAT and otherwise
- VTU will be launching a campaign afterwards that tackles how we can build tenant power
- Dolores co-founded the farm workers union in the USA and some of her team are coming to do some organizer training with some of our members and folks from Unite Here Local 40
Item 5: Outreach and Advocacy Team Update
OAT has started doing preemptive info sessions for tenants whose buildings have gone up for sale. A great way to get people organized before things like renovictions hit.
Item 6: Motions:
1. Motion put forward to allocate $1360 to fund 100 new union-made T-Shirts
Discussion - VTU sells the t-shirts for about $20/ea and give some away to volunteers
Motion passes. None opposed
2. Motion to for VTU to support Our Homes Can't Wait Coalition
Rationale - Coalition started years ago after the Tent City at 58W Hastings during the Olympics and includes a range of groups and community members who are working to get 100% welfare and pension rate housing at 58W Hastings. Groups other demands aligns with the VTU - City purchase of 10 SRO buildings to fix and convert to social housing, Rent Freeze, Real Rent Control
Motion passes. None opposed
3. Motion for VTU to join the City We Need Platform
Rationale:Last year groups like the VTU and SFU Teacher Support Services Union endorsed the Rent Freeze and Jean Swanson as its candidate in the City by-election.
The VTU’s 50 point policy platform recently submitted to the Provincial Government is in alignment with the Rent Freeze and other policies in the City We Need platform
The City We Need is tenant and worker centred, with the goal of ending homelessness and the crisis of affordability for tenants in Vancouver.
There are multiple working class and tenant-oriented groups who are campaigning on these policies now - prominently, COPE and Jean Swanson, but also, other left parties such as Socialist Alternative, International Socialist, Work Less Party, and other groups.
The goal of the City We Need platform is to form a broad coalition in order to give renters a voice, a vehicle to fight for their rights in the coming election and a basis of unity to continue organizing a movement after the election.
Note: Adoption of the policies is not an endorsement of any of the groups or parties who are also advocating for the same policies and platform.
Motion passes, none opposed
Item 7: Community Announcements
- First Kitsilano Local Chapter meeting on August 18th at the Kits Neighbourhood house. Details will be sent out soon
Member proposes the VTU should come up with a position on Proportional Representation
- Discussion - Sydney (from Steering Committee): We don’t have the capacity (in relation to other ongoing priorities) to come up with a position on PR, but the VTU has been contacted by votePR BC and can distribute their materials to our members via email and have a brief discussion at the next GM.
Item 8: Break Out Groups
- Outreach & Advocacy
- Rent/Vacancy Control Campaign
Item 10: Next VTU General Meeting
Saturday Sept 8. Location to be determined.