Trish Kelly: Community centres are at the root of my activism

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      The root of my community activism goes back to 1992 when I was 16. Growing up, I was probably what’s now termed an at-risk youth.

      I grew up in a single-parent family, under-housed and sometimes hungry. With nothing for youth to do in our neighbourhood, my friends and I were at a loss. With the help of a youth worker, my friends and I opened a youth drop-in that went on to become the all-ages venue The South Wall. The Province covered the story.

      Community centres became my haven. That same year, I performed spoken word for the first time. A punk band called Rancid was playing a show at the Hastings Community Centre, and I was their opening act.

      With my best friend holding my hand, I stood on the wooden stage of the community centre’s auditorium, and I spoke about what it was like to be young and a girl in a culture of violence against women. I got heckled a bit by some guy with a mohawk, and then he got told to be quiet. It was exhilarating and made me feel strong.

      I want to run for park board because I see community centres and parks as important public spaces. For Vancouverites, especially those living in tight spaces, our parks can be our yards and community centres can be our living rooms.

      The connections we make to these spaces are personal, and these assets are precious. I want to help leverage what we have and continue to plan for a park board system that makes everyone feel as welcome as I did as a young person.



      Community Observer

      May 29, 2014 at 5:09pm

      No member of Vision will be elected to the Park Board in November. The current incompetent visionistas have pissed off as many people as they possibly can.
      They have said to hell with the community centre associations, and those who go to them, as well as insulting democracy by having meetings until 3:30 AM. The Vision members are so weak they are afraid to stand up to city hall because they are afraid of their political futures will be affected if they don't do as told. They are the Peter Principle personified.


      May 29, 2014 at 7:28pm

      I have no doubt that she is well intentioned. The problem isn't her, it the Vision party.

      We have seen what Vision Vancouver really cares about. Endless development, few green spaces, and ever-rising housing costs, both in terms of rent and price. All of this is disguised under the facets of "social justice".

      There's been a complete carving out of Vancouver to developers, who often only care about selling condos fast to foreign owners. Can't really understand why people would vote for Vision and Gregor anymore.


      May 29, 2014 at 10:36pm

      Oh, community center organizers. Like Jesse Johl, great guy...trustworthy


      Jun 6, 2014 at 7:32am

      If you want to run for Vision Vancouver the root of your activism needs to be putting a green spin on profits for developers investors. A speech about how we need condo towers in Stanley Park would probably thrill your Vision comrades.