Freezing temperatures and cheery Christmas shopping brought out the best in everyone in Vancouver DTES
Roland Clarke, Richard Cunningham, Jacek Lorek, Hendrik Beune and Vendors braved the sub zero weather to work at the DTES Street Market.
Metro Vancouver Alliance is a broad based alliance of community groups, labour, faith and educational institutions working together for the common good.
Broad-based community organizations operate on the principle of ‘power before program’. In other words, they build strong relationships amongst diverse groups in the community. Those groups then come together to listen to their members’ concerns and to agree on issues that can be worked on together. This ensures that the alliances are sustainable over the long term and that members work on those issues that concretely matter most to them. Members develop leadership skills and learn “the art of politics” through active engagement and participation.
MVA is based on a model of community organizing pioneered by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Founded by Saul Alinsky in the 1930’s, IAF has over 60 active community alliances across the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia.
Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA) was founded in 2009. Over 30 organizations are now in membership and the alliance continues to grow.
MVA builds leaders. Our main goal is to build leaders within our institutions who will become leaders in the community. We listen to the concerns and feelings of our diverse membership and then discern common ground from all of the unique voices. Before MVA will take on an issue it must be relevant to a broad section of our membership, encourage the development of new leaders, have specific and winnable actions, and improve the community.
MVA organizes through relationships.
We build relationships both within and outside of our institutions to learn where people’s passions lie, build power, and remain accountable. Personal face to face conversations and meetings are the most effective way to connect with our neighbours and fellow citizens and discover their interests, pressures, and hopes.
What we’ve accomplished.
MVA has built an alliance of constituency based organizations that support our objectives and methodology. Hundreds of people have taken part in MVA leadership institutes and innovative projects. MVA recently held a summit of senior community leaders. On May 27th over 120 people from 38 institutions came together to kick off MVA’s listening campaign. Over the summer, our member institutions will shape the action agenda that will be taken forward when MVA launches in early 2014.
Last night 70 people gathered to share news about the listening campaigns going on in their organizations. MVA member organizations have been meeting over the past few months in one-to-one meetings and small groups, to discuss the issues that matter most to them. These issues will form the core of the public agenda MVA will take forward when in launches on March 19, 2014.
Roland Clarke, Coordinator says:
182 Sunday Markets at Pigeon Park!
Surprisingly sunny despite reports of rain! To me, anyway, this is clear proof that the gods of weather surely shine on our little market here in the DTES.I did a little calculation earlier today, and figured out that this market, on December 1, 2013 is actually the 182nd consecutive market held at Pigeon Park on Sunday for the past 3 and half years. 182 markets is nothing to sniff at. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication at the hands of the volunteers and the coordinators.
Here is how I did the calculation:
1) The first Sunday market at Pigeon Park was held on June 13, 2010
2) 29 market days were held in 2010, 52 in 2011, 53 in 2012
3) December 1 is the 48th market held on Sunday in 2013
This gives a total of 182 Sundays where there was a market held at Pigeon Park by the DNC or the DTES Street Market Society.
Our 200th market day will take place on April 6th (close to my birthday), and I am proposing a large celebration for this event. We should invite the mayor, councilors and dignitaries from all over Vancouver. Lots of time to plan…
Loss of a Loved Volunteer – Steve Beharriel
On November 20th, 2013 we lost one of our volunteers at the Street Market. Steve Beharriel was an RPIC (Responsible Person In Charge), and our Sergeant-At-Arms for the board of our Society. He had never missed a meeting for as long as people could remember, until he missed the Saturday meeting after welfare day. Later, on Sunday, we found out that the coroner had been to his room the day after welfare and taken him away. I can say that he was always pleasant to work with, never caused trouble and really loved the market. We talked briefly a few times and he told me that his mother was a school teacher. Friends say that his family is from Ontario.
The DNC would like to invite special guest Jak King to our next board meeting for a discussion on the Coalition of Neighbourhoods and the Grandview Woodlands Area Plan.
Jak King has lived in Grandview for more than 20 years. Now retired from industry, he is an historian and has published two books of local interest: “The Drive to 1956″ (2011) and “The Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive to 1999″ (2012). He is currently preparing two further volumes on the history of the Drive. Jak is active with the Grandview Heritage Group, has a long-time interest in questions of urban design and streetscape preservation, and is an inveterate blogger.
Pete Fry, Chair of Strathcona Residents Association also spoke to the DNC Board
Roland Clarke, Secretary Treasurer says:
Members of the board of the DNC, along with two members of BCS met today with the City of Vancouver to address long standing issues of process and inclusion in the DTES LAPP. Satisfactory outcomes are hoped for on both sides.