June 2018 General Meeting

Here's what happened at our General Meeting on June 23rd. Thanks to the Pollyanna Library at 221A for generously sharing of their space.

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 Introduction

A brief introduction of this new VTU working group and campaign focused on pushing for amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act to tie rent control to rental units, rather than just to the tenant. Members encouraged to join the working group and to attend the NDP Renters Task Force community meetings happening June 27 and 28

For more information on the community meetings go to the rental housing task force website at  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/rentalhousingtaskforce/communitymeetings/

Members can also post your comments at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/rentalhousingtaskforce/2018/06/08/discussion-2-share-your-experiences-being-a-landlord-or-tenant/

Item 4: Outreach & Advocacy Team (OAT) update:

OAT has been very busy responding to member requests for help. To learn more members were encouraged to join the OAT breakout group at the end of the meeting.

Item 5: Financial update:

Members were given a current statement of the VTU's finances. Thank you to everyone who contributes as a member! 

Item 6: Motion to support the Moratorium on Demovictions lead by Acron BC.

Member from ACORN BC briefly spoke about the numbers of demovictions happening to rental buildings in Burnaby and asked for our members support of this very important call for a moratorium. Tell the Burnaby City Council you oppose more demovictions and take action in support of renters in Burnaby. For more information go to  https://www.acorncanada.org/take-action/moratorium-demovictions

Motion - That the Vancouver Tenants Union supports the Acron Canada/BC call for a moratorium on demovictions in Burnaby.

The motion was passed unanimously by the membership present.

Item 7: Motion to join the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.

Kell introduced the BC PRC - a coalition of 400+ organizations fighting poverty in BC. VTU needs to be a part of this coalition so that we can help spread the word about tenants rights in BC and the need for tenant activism, leadership and organizing in BC.  

Motion - That the Vancouver Tenants Union join the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition. 

The motion was passed unanimously by the membership present.

Item 8: The VTU Dolores Training Project

Three separate motions were voted on. Wendy and Marina provided a brief introduction to the Dolores Project. A working group has been formed to organize to get Dolores Fuentes up to Vancouver for a day and a half training session. A number of different funding raising ideas and strategies have already been implemented and the project organizers are confident they can raise the money to bring Dolores and her training sessions to Vancouver. Twenty (20) tenant organizers will be trained by Dolores and will commit to working on tenant rights and power in Vancouver and the lower mainland.

Motion - That the Vancouver Tenants Union support the VTU Dolores Project

The motion was passed unanimously by the membership present.

Motion - That the VTU to provide $2,000 to the Dolores Training Project to be spent to bring Dolores to Vancouver on this Aug 2, 3, and 4, 2018.

The motion was passed by the membership present.

Motion - That the VTU support the charitable organization Network of Inner City Community Services Society (NICSS) as fiscal sponsor for the Dolores project.

The motion was passed by the membership present.

*For more information on this organization go to http://www.niccss.ca/VRB

Item 8: General Announcments

  1. Burnaby ACORN Anti-demovictions Rally (Tuesday June 26th @ 6:30pm Burnaby City Hall)
  2. Mountain Village (Lynn Valley) Apartment Fire Go-Fund-Me Campaign
  3. All-candidates meeting to be held on Sept 19 sponsored by the Residents for Community Control on City Development group. Get involved with the city election this fall to learn more about this issue go to https://www.votelivablecity.ca/

Item 9: Break Out Groups

  1. Outreach & Advocacy
  2. Rent/Vacancy Control Campaign

Item 10: Next VTU General Meeting

Saturday July 28. Location to be determined.