Night Music: RIP Percy Sledge

April 14, 2015

I know this was a Night Music selection less than a month ago, but with his death today, it is worth while to remember Percy Sledge once again.

The New GWAC

April 14, 2015

I went to the monthly GWAC meeting last night. It was sparsely attended, which is a problem as this was the first membership meeting for the newly-elected Directors. I’m glad that I was one of the half dozen residents to show up.  We need to work on growing the base again and getting these meetings largely attended by providing genuine community value.

The Directors held their own meeting prior to the public event, and chose their leaders for the year.  The new President of GWAC is Dorothy Barkley., which is great news because Dorothy has spent the last couple of years becoming deeply involved in community activism though OCOP, the Grandview Heritage Group, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods, the Grandview Garden Group, and on the GWAC Board.

Several members of the new Board are active involved members of the Citizens’ assembly process; and I would suggest that this year’s Board, which also includes broadcaster-activist Garth Mullins and Nick from the BIA, along with GWAC veterans, is perhaps the best prepared Board for many years.

Dorothy threw the meeting open to the resident attendees, by asking them each in turn, what issues should GWAC be involved in this year. This generated an exciting conversation that produced a list of issues such as inclusivity, especially with First Nations residents, substance abuse problems, welfare rates and austerity in general, better liaison with other neighbourhood groups. There was also an excellent discussion about the kinds of “workshops” we could sponsor, includihg work on urban land economics and planning terminology.

There were also good signs that this year’s GWAC will return to a more activist agenda including, importantly, the taking of positions on contested issues.  A letter from GWAC has already been issued regarding the reform of electoral financing, and at last nioght’s meeting, after a vigorous debate, we passed — unanimously, I think, — a motion demanding that the Community Plan include a 10-year moratorium on spot rezoning.

Good signs.  I urge everyone to attend.  It’s worth spending two hours out of the first Monday of each month to put your ideas for how our community will develop.  Put it in your diary for next month.