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Non-profits incorporated under the BC Society Act need to be aware of the recent changes to that piece of legislation.  The New Society Act: What you need to know is a workshop offered by Non Profit Charities Legal Outreach; scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 9:15 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT).

To register click here

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Many good resources are available related to the Congestion/Transporation Referendum in Greater Vancouver.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives issued a good survey document in early March.  And the Columbia Institute has also published an excellent paper on the proposed transportation plan, good for jobs and good for public health.  

The Mayors Council attempts to speak directly to the greater public interest. Contrary voices are few (but vocal), and represent a small number of people.  Voting closes May 29th, contact Elections BC for details.  

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Michelle Fortin, CCEC Co-chair, has been nominated for a Women of Distinction Award through the YWCA of Metro Vancouver. And Michelle deserves the recognition. Michelle is a powerhouse ED at Watari Counseling and Support Services, in the inner city. There she displays vision, tact and compassion working with families, youth and others who need assistance. As well she participates in a several service sector coalitions and advisory boards. For the last 8 years she has been a director at CCEC, and has served as Co-chair for the last three years. Michelle is a natural leader, convener and negotiator.  Michelle distinguishes herself as an outstanding communicator and thinker everyday, CCEC is glad to see her get this nomination. 
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The roundtable cynic:

 

I often have a kneejerk reaction to the word dialogue. I’ve got a bone to pick with community. Too often, these words get bandied about in flimsy and placating ways. So it’s a little ironic that my role has been to facilitate over ten hours of “community conversations” in the past month, in the form of Roundtable discussions for CCEC credit union.

 

It’s not that I’m completed jaded. I’m sure when the Community Congress for Economic Change named itself back in 1976, “community” wasn’t yet the relatively empty buzzword that it is today. What I mean is just that CCEC, in spite of its name, can’t take “community” for granted.

 

The Roundtables, which wrapped up last week, have been a step in the right direction. After locking up at Watari last Monday, I joined Ross Gentleman, Steve Kisby and Tammy Lea Meyer—CCEC’s manager and two directors--at Pat’s Pub for celebratory beers (cider for me). Amid plentiful jests, in true CCEC fashion, we reflected on questions like, How do we build coalitions to improve banking access for low-income people? How do we create more racial diversity on our Board and among our membership? How does CCEC build more meaningful relationships with Indigenous people and organizations?

 

These questions have become more tangible thanks to feedback from Roundtable participants. In all, twenty-seven invitees attended the Roundtables. If you count Board members, that means more than thirty people have spent over ten hours dishing with us about economic justice, generating an archive of wisdom about this economic and cultural moment. That’s wealth, right there.

 

We didn’t just talk about money; we also waxed philosophical about trust, shame, time, and knowledge. Participants offered myriad concrete ideas for projects and collaborations, some of which are already being pursued by CCEC’s Board and management. What’s more, it was a refreshingly cross-generational dialogue, with nearly a third of the participants under thirty, an age group that’s typically underrepresented at CCEC.

 

In the words of director Jan Berman: I’ve watched a lot of organizations become kind of wishy washy.... As you get older, I think you get more disillusioned and less driven for change. I think CCEC fell into that as well, but now we’re really trying very hard to connect with new visions. And it comes from youth, I believe.” 

 

Next up: questioning the internet! 

 

Nat Marshik is a writer, sauerkraut maker, and visual artist currently working for CCEC as a community engagement organizer. Stay tuned for more blog posts over the coming weeks. You can find Nat’s blogs all in one place at: http://ccecroundtable.tumblr.com/

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Many CCEC members are supporting the the yes side.  The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published an excellent primer on the Lower Mainland transportation Referendum.  The primer is a very complete discussion of the related policy issues: The use of direct votes on taxes.  The best ways to fund mass transit.  The need for responses to climate change. The narrow focus of the no campaign. The actual net burden of the tax, projected to be somewhat progressive. CRED BC has also offered a good view.  

CCEC supports constructive urban transit development. Many of our members rely on buses and Skytain service.  All of our members will benefit if emissions are reduced. We encourage all readers to get their ballots into Elections BC.  

 

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AS PROTESTS GO, it was a small one, but it saved lives—and now it’s inspiring art.

With 14 original compositions performed live by CCEC member Bill Sample, directed by CCEC member Jay Hamburger and featuring ex Raymur resident protestor mom and CCEC  member Carolyn Jerome.

The Raymur Mothers—They Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer at the Russian Hall from Wednesday (October 29) to November 9.

 Tickets online only $22/adult!  

Actors Danielle St. Pierre and Karita Sedun flank the people whose story they’ll resurrect: (left to right) daughter Liisa Atva and mothers Barbara Burnet, Joan Morelli, Carolyn Jerome, and Muggs Sigurgeirson.

Back in 1971, the trek from East Vancouver’s Raymur Place housing project to Seymour Elementary was a short but dangerous one, involving the unsupervised crossing of a busy inner-city rail line. From her living-room window, Raymur resident Caroline Jerome could see neighbourhood children, including her own daughter, dodging locomotives and tank cars as they made their way to class. “At 8:30, the trains would jiggle around, back up, start again, jiggle some more, and then they’d stop,” Jerome recalls, interviewed by phone from Galiano Island, where she now lives. “And I would have to witness the kids standing there waiting for the train to move—or some of them, being bolder, when they’d hear that buzzer go they would climb through the train sections to get to school.”

It was an accident waiting to happen, but it wasn’t going to happen on Jerome’s watch. After repeated phone calls and a letter-writing campaign failed to prompt a response from city hall or the two railroad companies using the tracks, she’d had enough. Along with a small group of other mothers, she decided that the only way to make their point was to shut down rail access to the Port of Vancouver. While working-class moms could be ignored, she reasoned, business is business.

“The first time we went out [to physically block the tracks], we linked arms to stop that train,” she says. “And what I remember when I think back on that first morning is the feel of the train o

n the ground as it came towards us. We had to stand our ground and stay there and hope this train was going to stop—and it did stop. We felt very empowered when we saw that we could actually do this.”

After three more blockades, the railroad companies won a court injunction to keep the mothers off the tracks, but they also adjusted their schedule to allow for safer school-day crossings, and in time a pedestrian overpass was built. Direct action had won the day.

The story of the mothers’ struggle for safety has recently been revived in both online and musical-theatre form. To see historic footage of Jerome and company, visit blackstrathcona.com/#militant-mothers. And now Theatre in the Raw is launching The Raymur Mothers—They Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer as part of the Downtown Eastside’s annual Heart of the City festival.

The new piece joins Bruce—The Musical, which celebrates the life of community activist Bruce Eriksen, and Yippies in Love, a politically charged flashback to the Age of Aquarius, in th

e activist theatre

 group’s “Untold Stories of Vancouver” series. Like those earlier pieces, The Raymur Mothers draws on the talents of director Jay Hamburger, composer Bill Sample, and playwright Bob Sarti, collaborators for more than a decade. Their chemistry is remarkable, although not always easy: in a separate telephone interview, Hamburger talks about having to shrink the show from its original three-hour running time—“Bob’s a stickler for detail,” he notes wryly—and describes how numbers like “Hell No” and “Direct Action” have been developed.

“What happens is Bob gives Bill an idea by saying, ‘

Well, look, why don’t we do this in the style of Bobby Darin, or the Beatles, or Frank Zappa,’ ” the director explains. “And then Bill takes that, with the lyrics, and is inspired to write a song. Bob turns out the lyrics, and sometimes they have to be modified in a very minor way, to fit the rhythm and the tone and the tempo of Bill’s music.”

(Unfortunately, Sarti suffered a stroke on September 27 and is recovering in hospital, so will miss the opening of a project he’s been dedicated to for the past several years.)

Hamburger adds that in the interest of theatricality, a relationship-oriented subplot runs parallel to the story of the protest. Jerome isn’t entirely sure about that development, although she recognizes that The Raymur Mothers has to be entertaining as well as educational. “It’s really generous of them to take the time to put this into the history of Strathcona,” she notes, before adding that she’s especially happy that the show’s message is clear.

“If something’s wrong,” she says, “you’ve just got to stand up.”

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Thank you to Councilor (and CCEC Member) Andrea Reimer who presented the Credit Union Day Proclamation signed by the City to Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager, CCEC.  In attendance at the event, which was part of our Annual Pancake Breakfast was BC Co-op  Association Executive Director, Carol Murray and Sherese Johnson, Engagement Coordinator; and CCEC Board Members Tammy Lea Meyer and Marty Frost. 

Ingredients for our pancake breakfast purchased from East End Food Co-op featuring  products produced by co-ops.  

 
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Join us as we celebrate Co-op Week, October 13-19. There are lots of activities planned to learn more about the co-operative movement and how co-ops contribute to our local economy and to the betterment of our community. Click here for more information on the BC Co-op Association Website.  

 

Thursday, October 16 - Credit Union Day!  CCEC's Annual Pancake Breakfast
Join us at the branch as we host our annual pancake breakfast from 10am-12nn.  Pancake flippers include your CCEC Board Members and BCCA staff.  I Choose Co-op T-Shirts will be on sale. 

Other events in the CCEC Neighbourhood on Wednesday October 15

BBQ in  Grandview Park hosted by the BCCA and the Co-operators
Location: Grandview Park, Commercial & Charles St. 
Time: 11 am to 2 pm

Co-ops & The Social Economy Workshop
Location: Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
220 - 1651 Commercial Drive
Time: 3 pm to 4:30 pm
As part of the BCCA’s Momentum Centre: The resource hub for new, emerging and established co-ops, this FREE workshop will explore co-operative solutions to social and environmental issues.

 


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Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED) is a great source for information on the BC economy and proposed mega-projects.  The CRED research provides an important resource to CCEC as we assess the Kinder Morgan proposal for the Trans Mountain Pipeline.  In particular, CRED observes that the oil and gas industry is only a small part of the BC  economy (Gross Domestic Product) and unlikely to generate significant sustained employment gains. 

The CRED Blog and newsletter are great public resources. 

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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is seeking proposals for papers on the subject of job creation, with an emphasis on constructive interventions - environmentally and socially.  The invitation is in preparation for a a mini-conference that CCPA-BC, BC Federation of Labour and the Progressive Economics Forum are holding on Nov. 21, 2014 – A Good Jobs Economy in BC

 Proposals are requested by September 8th, one page only! 

 

 

• Solutions to youth unemployment
• Green jobs
• Sustainable and value-added resource development
• The role of the public sector in wealth and job creation (including crown corporations,
post-secondary education sector, government procurement, infrastructure and services)
• Financing alternative job creation
• A jobs vision for rural and First Nations communities
• Moving from “any job” to Good Jobs
• Effective employment strategies for more marginalized populations (recent immigrants,
Aboriginal people, people with disabilities)
• What does modern industrial policy look like?
• Role of co-ops, social enterprises and community economic development
• Encouraging and retaining high-tech and creative sector jobs

 

 

For more information Click Here.

 

 

 

 

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