Call to Action: Community members & organizations are asked to endorse the demands below and call on the City of Vancouver to #StopTheSweeps
Seven demands to #StopTheSweeps
1. Eliminate the enforcement of Street and Traffic By-Laws against people who rely on public space.
2. Defund City Engineering & Police Budgets and redirect funds currently allocated to Street Sweeps, in order to redistribute resources and funds for cleaning to local organizations and individuals who reside in affected areas.
3. Implement directives related to the confiscation of belongings from people who rely on public space, which recognize that this practice has continued potential for harmful and discriminatory impacts.
(a) In the rare event that belongings must be confiscated, directives should clearly detail how City staff are to protect the rights and dignity of those who are impacted, including rights to procedural fairness.
(b) City staff must provide advance notice prior to seizure.
(c) If someone’s belongings are justifiably confiscated, City staff must be provided a receipt that details what was taken, and clear instructions on how to retrieve personal belongings.
4. Provide funding to storage facilities in an easily-accessible area. Storage facilities must be secure, easily accessible, of an adequate size, and informed by best practices and cultural safety for people who rely on public space. Retrieval processes must respect the limited access unhoused people have to identifying documentation. Storage facilities must provide long-term, low-barrier storage space (i.e. 3-6 months).
5. Conduct a peer-led stigma audit to specifically review the operations of City Engineering Services to identify instances of potential discrimination on the basis of social condition.
6. Drastically expand permanent parklets, green spaces, hygiene facilities, and garbage disposal sites through the DTES, as these are essential public spaces.
7. Lobby the provincial government to add “social condition” as a protected ground in BC’s Human Rights Code, as recommended by the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.
Take the Pledge to #StopTheSweeps