I've finished week 55 of the Hunger Relay Strike to End Homelessness! Today at noon I handed over that imposing wooden spoon...
The week has actually gone quickly and the support quite wonderful, so thanks to all the good folks who dropped by the Carnegie to say hello and show their support for the need for housing. To my friend Sharon - was good to see you on your day off no less, and see how you encouraged people to write messages to Harper and Parliament.
Today was quite busy and Janet from my office spent a couple hours with me inside Carnegie, doing our ‘Traveling Community Office’ that we often do on Saturdays at various locations, so that people can raise issues and bring in case work if they can't make it to our constituency office during the week. We heard lots - as we usually do - and will follow up on specific matters. Then it was outside to continue with peoples comments on the flip chart, and some media interviews, including Working TV with Julius and Sonia, who are always terrific and on the go, and Laura from SFU radio (I'm not sure I got your name right), who has been following the blogs and came down to do a short interview with great questions. Also Fairchild TV who wanted to know how the Olympics would affect the inner city. I let them know lots of people have raised the Olympics and how they see it draining all the money and there's nothing left for them. But I also remember one guy at Main and Hastings who made it quite clear he loves the Olympics and thinks its great they are in Vancouver.
Some of the comments today were pretty cool - including a local resident who wrote a quote from a legendary woman, Delores Ibarri alia Pasionara, who was a leader in the Spanish Communist Party and an anti fascist in the 1930's who said... “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.” Then Dave, who has come by every day to talk, added a very funny one at the last minute before we packed up:
So now I got all these big sheets of paper - covered with comments short and long, heartbreaking and powerful, funny, angry, sometimes a bit off the wall, but always real. Megan in my office has the patient task of typing them all up and then we will set about getting the info out.
A few blogs ago I said I would say more about the Poverty Olympics – here’s the link www.povertyolympics.ca, It’s the 3rd Annual coming up Feb. 7. It's a humourous and pointed take on the Olympics as it relates to poverty.
Well, that's it for today and week 55! It’s been a blast - a tremendous experience. I'm honoured to be a small part of this great effort to end homelessness and make housing a right for all people. As I head back to Ottawa for our federal NDP caucus meeting on Monday, and then back to the un-Parliament Jan. 25 (screw the locked doors!), I commit to do everything I can to get Bill C304 passed and housing built. I've learned a lot, laughed a lot and met great folks this past week - not to be forgotten.
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