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AGM and new Constitution, Auto Theft, LAPP, Union Street and more

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello, Strathcona friends and neighbours.

Apologies for the lateness of this email, the AGM is this Wednesday, and we've been working hard to put together our constitution and bylaw - big thanks to Gordon and John for pulling that together. We'll be submitting our bylaws to the province in the next few weeks as part of registering as a society, and members will have a chance to comment on the document this Wednesday (link below). The AGM will also see the election of the 2013-14 Council: our secretary Gordon Roe, Elana Zysblat, John Hawkes and I are all standing for reelection, and there are two seats up for grabs.

We have a few other things to go over, including the Local Area Plan, and ongoing changes to Union Street. There has been an increase in theft from auto in the neighbourhood, and our Strathcona Neighborhood Police Officer, Ali Gailus will be making a presentation about target hardening and how not to be a victim.

Last, but certainly not least, this month marks the 10th Anniversary of the Heart of the City Festival, read on for details or check our events page for more on this and upcoming events 'round the 'hood!

- Pete Fry, SRA Chair


In this newsletter:

  1. Community Announcements:
    • Heart of the City Festival
  2. Vehicle break-ins and target hardening, with Ali Gailus
  3. Updates on LAPP
  4. Updates on Viaducts Removal and Eastern Core Strategy
  5. Updates on Union Street
  6. Review of new constitution and bylaws
  7. Election of executive council

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Community Announcements

Heart of the City Festival
The 10th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival
Featuring over 80 events at over 25 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside, with special events including the premiere of Bread and Salt on the post festival weekend of November 8 to 10. To celebrate the Festival’s 10th Anniversary and to honour the talents, wisdom and power of our home community this year’s theme is: “Drawing Strength from Our Roots,” with a focus on the rich and diverse communities of the Downtown Eastside.
Presented by Vancouver Moving Theatre in association with Carnegie Community Centre, the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, and a host of community partners.

Auto Theft

Our Neighbourhood Police Officer Ali Gailus would like to warn residents of an increase in Theft from Auto crimes in your neighbourhood.

The Vancouver Police Department is asking for your assistance:
- When your vehicle is parked or unattended remove all spare change, valuables, and electronic devices:
GPS, cell phones, stereo faceplates, etc.
- If you must leave personal items in your vehicle, ensure they are not visible.
- Be alert and call 911 to report suspicious activity, including the sound of breaking glass or car alarms.
- Report any suspicious persons trying door handles, or loitering around and peering into vehicles.
- Be a good witness and obtain suspect and/or suspect vehicle descriptions (license plates).
- If you are reporting a crime which relates to a crime alert – please inform the 911 operator.
Please join or start a neighbourhood Block Watch team. Knowing your neighbours and watching out for each other is one of the best crime prevention tools available. Take time to visit the VPD home security website for valuable crime prevention suggestions
Non-Emergency Police 604-717-3321 If you observe a crime in progress call—Emergency 911
If you have any questions or concerns, please email Our Neighbourhood Police Officer at

Ali will give some pointers on target hardening to prevent vehicle break ins, and answer any questions about neighbourhood safety in light of the recent attempted sex assault in MacLean Park.

Local Area Plan

On September 27, City Council agreed to extend the DTES Local Area Plan delivery date from November 20 to January 31. This decision came on the heels of the #OurVancouver rally on the steps of City Hall, and three days of speakers from various communities around Vancouver, all sharing the same dissatisfaction with the comunity consultation process.The feeling in many quarters around the city is that the community consultation process is largely window dressing and that the real decisions have already been made.

Despite the SRA's initial misgivings about the LAP Process for the DTES, we have had representatives working on this since January. While we don't yet have a firm date for delivery of a plan that the communty can review and comment on, Pete Fry, who has been representing the SRA on the LAPP will give us an update and go over some of the issues. Earlier drafts of the plans (the "Emerging Directions" document) caused a great deal of consternation (and according to the City's online survey) garnered only a 25% approval. With the City's new proposed deadline of January 31st for the Local Area Plan, we are anticipating a lot of important discussion and community engagement over the coming months.

Viaducts Removal and Eastern Core Strategy

September marked the first multi-stakeholder roundtable to discuss this project, council member Elana Zysblat will be reporting.

Union Street Closures, Adanac Bikepath

On September 25, residents recieved notice that The City's proposed expanded bike path and resultant closure of Union Street east of Gore "will not be implemented at this time". The letter does go on to hint that these closures will be happening by 2017 —  so presumably that means sometime after next November's civic election.

In any event, concerns remain about the lack of community consultation, that continue even now, despite the explicit instructions of City Council in June of this year. Following the SRA's unanimous motion at last month's meeting, we'll continue to pursue this matter. A copy of the Adanac Bikeway Project Update can be found here.

SRA Constitution

When the SRA embarked upon the new executive council model, one of the promises we made was to register with the Province as a neighbourhood association. Part of registering involves the creation of a constitution and bylaws. Thanks to Executive Council members Gordon Roe and John Hawkes, with help from Ray-Cam's Judy McGuire for doing the work to make this happen. Download and Review our new Constitution here. If you have any comments, please be sure to bring them up at the AGM as we will be voting to ratify this on Wednesday.

Election of New Executive Council

The Strathcona Residents' Association is a volunteer-run neighbourhood group. SRA business and operations are facilitated by an Executive Council: a six-member council that streamlines our operations and allow for more timely decision making. The council operates with full transparency and accountability, as mandated by the general voting SRA membership. SRA business, guest speakers, committees and reports are presented at our general meetings - along with a report of council business. Council members are elected from eligible residents at our annual AGM, and the council is mandated to have at least one renter and one home-owner.

Anyone interested in the sometimes tedious and time committing duty of SRA council invited to run, and be prepared to maybe say a few words (if you think that might be you, please drop us a line). Thanks to Danielle Sherring and Jodi Spargur for their work as council-members this last year, both will be vacating their seats - Elana Zsblat, John Hawkes, Gordon Roe and Pete Fry are all prepared to continue in their roles.

For the purposes of the AGM, anyone may run for a Council seat but our three previous meeting rule is required to vote.

Next SRA Meeting, (AGM), Wednesday October 2, 7:15
at the Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer Street