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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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The DOXA Film Festival is coming April 30 - May 10.  DOXA is a long time CCEC member and we are proudly sponsoring the festival. CCEC members will be given a benefit of $2 off ticket prices for three films (limited number of tickets, available on a first come first served basis). 

Buy your tickets online

Once you click on the BUY TICKETS button, you'll be taken to a page where you select the number of tickets you want and on the right there is a box to enter a Promotional Code.  That's where members would enter "CCEC".

Once you click the "Best Available" button, you will see the discounted CCEC ticket pricing.

 

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Ross G and Robin P.
CFRO Vancouver Co-op Radio (100.5 FM) provides a whole host of programs about our city and our struggles. Notably, Each for All features BC's co-operative sector.  Host Robin Puga is eager to make the show a true meeting place for people interested in co-operation.  On March 31/15 Ross Gentleman of CCEC was his guest for an hour long conversation about CCEC Credit Union and credit unions more generally. Credit unions are consumer co-ops that provide financial services, owned by depositors. The conversation started with some of the history of CCEC and then it explored some of the innovations that this little credit union has introduced.  CCEC is still eager to push boundaries and develop community through the more effective use of our own resources. "What is your money doing tonight?" 
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