Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Hi All!

These past few days and last weekend were fun times for the Queen of Hearts campaign.
On Saturday, Organic Politics returned to the Drive bringing our message of a New Sustainable Politics. We were warmly received (the Sun was out) and I enjoyed many conversations with off the Drive residents. Independent Council candidate Bev Ballantyne joined me as did Independent Mayoral Candidate, Pedro Mora.

On Sunday, Hearts @ Lick welcomed guests. I went to our Public Library for a Taping of Vancouver Community Television. In a room next door to the VCT taping, was the Bus Riders Union Strategy meeting. I wandered in for 10 minutes listening to their plans for their transit action from November 14-18.

Later on Sunday evening, my good friend, MARK, served us snacks and witches brew at his home in Strathcona. Editor Ian King and reporter April Leaf of Terminal City joined us for a politically dissy evening. It was sad to receive the news today that the alternative weekly, Terminal City, is ceasing production. This is a great loss for Vancouver. Hopefully, concerned Citizens come together and perhaps lend a hand to keeping TC afloat until they can devise a longer-term strategic plan to keep themselves solvent.

On Monday-- Halloween--I along with a few volunteers from the Queen of Hearts campaign were invited to the India Bistro in the Heart of the Davie Village where we were showered with the most Heart-warming south Asian hospitality. The drinks kept flowing and the food was out of this world. Note to self, I must find out if I'm to declare this hospitality as a campaign contribution. How do you put a financial value on Hospitality, Friendship, Entertainment and a Culturally enriching evening? A great big THANK YOU to the wonderful staff, owners and Gerard the Maitre'D at the India Bistro.

Tuesday, our Campaign visited the venerable Saint Paul's Hospital. I was joined by my volunteers, my Campaign Co-Chairs, Ryan & Dan and Little Sisters owner, Jim Deva. We spoke with the Dietary Aides of the Hospital who are out on strike. I was saddened to hear that their starting wages have been reduced from $18.00 to $10.50 an hour since the contracting out of services at the Hospital, began. My concern is that when one is ill, proper nutrition is vitally important to regaining strength and good health. It seems to me that if the staff have had their wages drastically reduced, the private companies are more fixated on profit rather than wellness and this raises troubling issues. The most concerning of course, is the complete closure of Saint Paul's. We must keep the pressure up and not allow Developers to dictate our Livability.

Tonite, our weekly strategy meeting takes place. Tomorrow (Wednesday November 2) at 7pm an all-candidate meeting, hosted by the Davie Village BIA and West End Residents Association takes place at the Coast Plaza hotel on Denman street. Please come out and voice your issues! Remember to vote on November 19.

Jamie Lee Hamilton