Petition to Andrew Peek, Justin Fong, Joe Cressy
Andrew Peek - Do the Right Thing
The building at 296 Brunswick Ave, Toronto was purchased by a group of investors headed by Andrew Peek (@drupeek) and Justin Fong. Immediately upon purchasing the building, eviction notices were served to all the tenants, in order to begin construction on a 'boutique hotel'. The residential tenants, who will be evicted first are the most vulnerable, many of them are unable to find similarly priced affordable housing, and will likely end up in Toronto's shelter system. Included in this group is a woman who is battling cancer, and a First Nation's (Danny Beaton pictured above) elder who has been in the building for almost 30 years. There is currently an outstanding certificate of pending litigation between one of the commercial tenants and the above landlords, as the commercial tenant had a right of first refusal to purchase the building in their lease. Please sign this petition to ask Andrew Peek (@drupeek) and Justin Fong to not evict any tenants until the legal proceedings have been decided.
Petition to Solange Knowles, Andy Duggan, Tabbie Burleton
Solange Cancel Rennie Collections!
Written on the unceded and occupied territories of the Coast Salish people, specifically Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam nations, this petition calls on Solange Knowles and Primary Talent International to cancel their show/booking with Rennie Collections in Vancouver, BC currently scheduled for Thursday April 27th and Friday 28th, 2017. We recognize Solange as a feminist, wholeheartedly support Solange's artistic endeavours, and appreciate her work challenging racism and white supremacy and uplifting blackness and black identity through her most recent album, A Seat at the Table. At the same time, as residents, neighbours, and advocates of the Downtown Eastside, we object to Solange's presence at Rennie Collections because of its associations with well-known real estate marketer "condo king", Bob Rennie. We believe the angle of donating all proceeds to Atira Women's Resource Society is a band-aid at best, and a massive distraction and an act of flatulence at worst. "Rennie has been criticized for trying to gentrify Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest communities in Canada, with the Woodward's Building project, which includes 536 condominiums and 200 non-market homes. Critics said that the project pushed residents out and increased rent for the neediest members of the city." "Amidst a growing housing affordability crisis in the run-up to the Vancouver municipal election, 2014, Rennie raised eyebrows and some outrage organizing an exclusive $25,000 a plate lunch for developer colleagues to have a private audience with mayor Gregor Robertson. The $25k lunch became the subject of a popular local internet meme." Bob Rennie is an active participant in the displacement of communities, particularly in the Downtown Eastside (DTES), which includes Chinatown. Low-income, poor, and homeless folks live throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, where gentrification is unfolding in many distinct neighbourhoods. The DTES is particularly vulnerable to the rapid changes in condo development, as the community is made up of the highest concentration of low-income, poor, and homeless folks in Canada. It is imperative to recognize that a large number of folks who are housing insecure in the DTES are also Indigenous, Chinese, Black, people of colour, disabled folks, sex workers, single mothers, neurodivergent folks, addicts, seniors, youth, cis and trans women, and LGBQ+ folks. Chinatown, which is a part of the DTES, came into existence as a result of racism and xeno antagonism. Chinese immigrants were not allowed to live or establish businesses anywhere else, and so Chinatown formed. Today, long-term residents, who are mostly Chinese elders and seniors, have been forced out or are threatened to be forced out of their own communities. Bob Rennie's clear connection to this displacement is made obvious by the fact that his main office and personal art collection is located in Chinatown. Rennie and the developers he works with profit from cutting deals and buying up land and building luxury condo towers which increase the value of land around them. As a result, neighbouring businesses and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels see a hike in rent cost, inevitably driving out the businesses serving the community and the low-income folks living there who can no longer afford their only home. New businesses move in to service and cater to the new occupants of the luxury condos, creating zones of exclusion as products and services are priced beyond what long-term residents can afford. It is also important to note that Bob Rennie was the head fundraiser for the BC Liberal Party and continues to be an avid supporter of the party leader, Christy Clark. Since this party has been in provincial power, welfare rates have been frozen at $610 a month, social housing has stopped being built, and policies and practices introduced have largely benefited the upper middle class and upper class. It is highly ironic then, that Rennie Collections has made a statement about donating the proceeds of the performance to Atira Women's Resource Soicety. We support Atira's work and at the same time believe that Bob Rennie/Rennie Collections should simply donate the amount that would have been made from ticket sales to Atira out of pocket without needing to use Solange as an excuse to do so. Solange Knowles, we urge you to cancel your show with Rennie Collections in solidarity with the homeless, poor, and low-income community of the DTES and beyond. Do not encourage, endorse, and condone greedy capitalist Condo Kings like Bob Rennie! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This petition has been endorsed by the Carnegie Community Action Project. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ References:Out of control: Record high rent in Downtown Eastside SRO hotelsGentrification report calls out dozens of DTES businesseshttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ccap-downtown-eastside-gentrification-report-1.3995159Out of control: Record high rent in Downtown Eastside SRO hotelshttp://www.carnegieaction.org/2017/03/20/out-of-control-record-high-rent-in-dtes-sro-hotels/Gentrification as Symbolic Cannibalism: From “Fraserhood” to Chinatownhttp://themainlander.com/2017/03/05/gentrification-as-symbolic-cannibalism-from-fraserhood-to-chinatown/'They expect you to live with nothing': B.C. welfare rates lag behind inflationhttp://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/02/27/bc-government-welfare-disability-assistance-stagnant-budget.htmlBob Rennie to step down as B.C. Liberals' head fundraiser http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bob-rennie-to-step-down-as-bc-liberals-head-fundraiser/article33630956/How much for a salad? Online competition mocks Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s $25,000 lunchhttp://theprovince.com/business/real-estate/how-much-for-a-salad-mayor-gregor-robertsons-pricey-fundraiser-mocked-in-25klunch-meme-competitioGentrification of Mount Pleasant: Developers, Displacement and Real-Estate’s New Frontierhttp://themainlander.com/2012/01/23/gentrification-of-mount-pleasant-developers-displacement-and-real-estates-new-frontier/Bob Rennie, DTES condo king, connects Olympics and real estatehttp://www.carnegieaction.org/2010/03/24/bob-rennie-dtes-condo-king-connects-olympics-and-real-estate/
Petition to Dianne Turner, Trustee
Reject Crosstown, Name New School "Cumyow Elementary"
A new school at International Village in the Downtown Eastside was nearing completion, and it needed a name. A report with a list of suggestions was presented to the one-person Vancouver School Board with the name "Crosstown" at the top for her consideration. This is interesting, seeing as most Vancouver schools are named after notable Canadians and British monarchs (some of which are a little troubling now, but I digress). The last new elementary school, built on the edge of Pacific Spirit Park on the UBC campus, was named for Musqueam elder and education advocate Norma Rose Point, a namesake fitting for a school on unceded territory. There were notable names on the list for the new school, too. Won Alexander Cumyow was the first known person of Chinese descent to be born in Canada. FIRST IN CANADA. He was also one of the first to vote, until rights for Chinese voters were revoked again. He was a loyal public servant and activist for his neighbourhood. Naming this school after him would have honoured the history of Chinatown and the Chinese people who have been a part of Vancouver's history since the very beginning. Read more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Won_Alexander_Cumyow On Dec. 14, the one-person Vancouver School Board voted unanimously to name the school Crosstown Elementary. This is an active erasure of the history and culture of Chinatown, a re-branding that acts to gentrify one of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods. "Crosstown" is not an official Vancouver neighbourhood; it's a shiny new name to make Chinatown seem less like Chinatown. By embracing Won Alexander Cumyow as the school's namesake, neighbourhood and community connection to the school would be strengthened, Chinese students, parents and citizens would be represented, and the VSB would officially recognize in a meaningful way that Chinese-Canadians are an ingrained and integral piece of our city's history...and future.We call on the Vancouver School Board and the sole trustee Dianne Turner to reject the name Crosstown in favour of Cumyow Elementary.
Petition to Director of Planning at the City of Vancouver
STOP the Proposed 4-Storey High Rise Building on Main St. and 20th Ave. (3594 Main St.)
As residents of this neighbourhood, we oppose the current development application to construct a Four-Storey building containing 45 dwelling units. The size of the lot in proportion to the proposed building height particularly concerns us, as it will stand out over neighbouring buildings, and block scenery views and sunlight from residents in the surrounding area. Furthermore, the architecture of this building will stand in deep contrast with the current style on this stretch of Main Street, giving an unnerving gentrified atmosphere. Such a building would dramatically increase traffic in the surrounding back lane, which the underground parking lot will exit onto. This not only poses a risk to the children who play there, but alongside the building generators and air conditioners, such traffic would increase noise pollution and end the peaceful ambience enjoyed by the current residents of the area. Parking availability for these residents on 19th and 20th Avenue is already an issue, such a building would only exacerbate the circumstances. To all of those who live by and enjoy this corner of Main Street, with its cafes, shops and other businesses, we urge you to help us resist the gentrification of our neighbourhood. Not only does it reduce the tight-knit community atmosphere we love, the construction of such buildings changes each Vancouver neighbourhood to look increasingly similar, and pushes locally owned businesses out in favour of more lucrative corporate outlets. The current coffeeshop located on this corner is an important community hub, a meeting place for the neighbourhood. We ask that the future tenants on the ground-floor be locally owned businesses, with preference for a new coffeeshop. Finally, as residents we ask the City to approve a smaller building, of maximum 3 storeys and a different architectural design that better fits with our community. Visit vancouver.ca/devapps for more info on this proposal