During 2020, COPE Councillor, School Trustee, and Parks Commissioners have been hard at work on many of the pressing issues that our city faces.
A list of motions passed at City Council, initiated by COPE's Jean Swanson:
- Jan: Designation of January 29th as a day of remembrance and action against Islamophobia.
- Feb: Declaring a homelessness emergency: making an emergency plan to drastically reduce homelessness
- March: Safety for residents with precarious status: delivering access without fear
- April: COPE defends city grants continuing to be allocated to arts groups
- April: COPE Petitioned and Organized: Housing all the people that are homeless (motion passed though watered down)
- May: Protecting and saving equity public programs from cuts
- June: Amend to the current definition of social housing so it includes affordable markers for low-income tenants
- June: Komagata Maru apology and remembrance day proclamation
- June: Pilot project proposal to provide free transit passes for youth
- June: Race-based and socio-demographic approach on public data collected by B.C.
- July: COPE petitioned and organized: Motion to decriminalize poverty, defund the police and fund community-led initiatives (links to CNN coverage)
- Oct: SRO revitalization update: $1billion to acquire SRO buildings and protect the tenants with rent control on units
- Oct: Protecting Tenants. Taking actions against reno and demovictions
- Oct: Call on the province to ban no pets clauses in apartments
- Oct: Call on the province to forgive rent for people who can’t pay because of COVID
- Oct: Calling on feds and the province to make “Emancipation day” a holiday
- Dec: Motion to propose a cut of 5 million dollars to the Police Department. (The motion did not pass, however, the amendment and the organized movement in favour helped to stop the planned 2021 police budget increase)
Other motions, campaigns, call for action and events organized during 2020 were:
- Feb: Barb Parrott, COPE’s school trustee starts a campaign for lowering the age of voters in BC to sixteen
- April: COPE’s COVID-19 online town hall on organizing during the pandemic. Speakers emphasized vulnerable communities
- June: Barb Parrott campaigns for the suspension of police presence and the school’s police liaison program at Vancouver schools
- June: John Irwin, COPE’s park board trustee, pushes for more bike lanes at Stanley Park
- July: The defund the VDP and reinvest in communities campaign is launched. This was a very successful public request to contact local authorities and ask for their support on decriminalizing poverty
- Sep: Barb Parrot campaigns for the safety of teachers, staff and students at schools during the pandemic
- July: John Irwin refuses a simplistic approach to allow overnight camps for homeless people that include them decamping and leaving the premises in the morning
- Sep: COPE Park commissioner Gwen Giesbrecht requests Park Board staff to defer any enforcement of any bylaw that requires homeless individuals sheltering in parks to remove their temporary shelters on a daily basis
- Nov: COPE’s “Reshaping Public Safety” townhall. An online event in support of defunding the police in 2021 in order to invest in our communities
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