Our October monthly member meeting took place on October 28th. Here's what happened...
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: Round of introductions & immediate risks with all present members
[Confidential - VTU does not publish names of meeting attendees or their tenancy situations]
Item 3: Renovictions Workshop with Liam
Item 4: Endorsement Requests
Pets OK BC
Eliot: After going through personal experience with landlord discrimination against pets.
- Campaign launched in Feb, and have collected 10K signatures for a petition to amend the RTA to prohibit landlords from discrimination of tenants with pets - There is a letter to the BC Housing Minister, and Pets Ok BC for individual VTU members to sign the letter, as well as the VTU as an organization.
Questions/comments from members:
- What about pet allergies?
- What about pet deposits?
- There can be processes in place to accommodate, or mitigate damage and those policies can be developed once ‘no pets’ policies are removed
MOTION: Should the VTU co-sign the Pets Ok BC to the BC Housing Minister?
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
The BC PRC wants the VTU to join their coalition to help push for issues around housing justice. Joining the coalition includes agreeing with the BC PRC's Policy Actions
Question from Members:
- Would Rent Control be a good policy action?
- Does the BC PRC dictate our policy actions or can we influence theirs? Both?
The VTU will bring in someone on behalf of BC PRC (maybe at Convention) so that the process of the VTU joining the BC PRC can be further explored and understood
Item 5: Working Group Updates
Outreach & Advocacy Team (OAT):
OAT has created signup sheets for VTU members interested in becoming building representatives. Meetings for this working group are on Monday evenings on the 1st and 3rd week of the month at 133 Powell St.
VTU convention is next month (November 26th), and planners are looking for volunteers to help with prep and assistance on the day. Convention planners will be meeting every Saturday from 2:30-3:30pm until the convention.
Constitution & Bylaws:
Draft documents of the VTU constitution and bylaws are on track to be ready next week. On November 18th, Pre-Annual General Meeting will be held in place of the general monthly meeting. VTU members will be given the opportunity to comment and give input on these documents prior to ratification at the Convention. Additionally, the call for nominees for the VTU elected Steering Committee will go out soon. Nominees must attend the Pre-AGM in order to get on the ballot, and the election process will be reviewed as well.
Item 6: New Business
- Solidarity w Chinatown Action Group: Rally @ City Hall Monday, Oct. 30 @ 2:30pm. (WEAR VTU T-SHIRTS) Can register to be on speaking list at Development Permit Board Meeting … Facebook Event
- Solidarity w Clayton Tenants Rally @ Surrey City Hall Civic Plaza, Nov. 5th @ 12:00pm. (WEAR VTU T-SHIRTS) Can sign petition (link on VTU Facebook Page) & Facebook event
- Tabling at Unifor BC Regional Council Meeting Nov. 3-5 @ Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond: Looking for volunteers, contact us via VTU website to learn more
- National Housing Day of Action is Wednesday Nov. 22. Is VTU interested in participating? Nov. 22 is also ‘welfare cheque day’, so Raise the Rates is interested in maybe doing action on Nov. 22 or 25. Possibly a rally and demand for $11B of Social Housing over 2 years and a Rent Freeze? If on Nov. 25th, this action could be tied to VTU Convention, which is on Nov. 26
NEXT MEETING IS THE CONVENTION PRE-AGM: November 18th (Email reminder will be sent out to members with time & location)