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The Vancouver election is over, but the fight for the City We Need continues

Lisa Descary

November 13, 2018

When Jean Swanson was elected to Vancouver City Council on October 20, some activists in the City We Need campaign for renters’ rights said they felt as if ‘we (in the movement) had all won.. This rings true because Jean and the members of the COPE/City We Need campaign realize that it is only as part of an ongoing movement that a city councilor can make real change. So it’s not a surprise that on November 9, less than three weeks after the election, Jean was one of the speakers at the ‘Rally to Ban Renovictions’ organized by the Vancouver Tenants Union (VTU). There tenants of Berkeley Tower told their stories of how they were being evicted by their landlord so that renovations could be done, providing a pretext for vastly inflating rents. Swanson was clear in condemning “predatory landlords…who are destroying communities to build luxury commodities.”
Unlike the mainstream political parties, COPE hasn't quit just because the election is over. The City We Need campaign will continue to build the movement we need. Swanson’s two upcoming motions, to ban renovictions and to amend the presently fairly toothless Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy so that it better protects tenants, will both be heard in council next week. In order to put pressure on city councilors to support these motions, the VTU and City We Need campaign are asking renters and supporters to sign up to speak at the Council meeting, and to rally outside City Hall (North side) before heading in to the council meeting to show their support. The rally will take place Wednesday November 14 at 12:30 PM. Join the Facbook event here. If you are in Vancouver, please spread the word and join the rally! To find out about future VTU events, message them on Facebook at @tenantsunion.yvr and to stay in touch with the City We Need campaign, message Jean Swanson at @swanson4council on Facebook.

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