The importance of the Little Mountain story and one filmmaker’s campaign to capture the struggle through a documentary film
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David Vaisbord discusses the importance of the Little Mountain story and his campaign to create a documentary film to showcase the community and residents’ struggle against the BC government.The Little Mountain story centres around Little Mountain residents – many of them seniors – fighting to remain in their apartments in Vancouver’s first social (public) housing development and demanding demolished social housing units be replaced on the site.
Find out more about David’s campaign to produce a full-length documentary – and how you can help.
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On the program, Valery Jean of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) reflects on the Michael Bloomberg era in New York City and what the mayoral election of Bill de Blasio might mean for (in)equality, public and affordable housing, and urban development policies. De Blasio, a former New York City Public Advocate, won the mayoral election by a landslide, receiving over 73% of the vote. He is the first Democratic mayor elected since 1993.He is the first Democratic mayor elected since 1993. Jean also discusses the organization’s important work empowering public housing residents to organize to preserve and protect the city’s public housing.
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) is a Brooklyn-based multi-racial organization made up almost exclusively of women of colour. They organize low-income families to build power to change the system so that all people’s work is valued and all have the right and economic means to decide and live out our own destinies. FUREE has organized around the City of New York’s redevelopment plans for downtown Brooklyn, which was the focus of the film My Brooklyn. Allison Lirish Dean (My Brooklyn filmmaker) was interviewed on a past podcast.
On October 25th, 2012, the Province of BC and the City of Vancouver announced that the four remaining tenant-households at the Little Mountain social housing development would not be evicted, and that up to 50 social housing units would be fast-tracked and built on a portion of the site. Previously, the existing tenants (in the remaining townhouse who refused to be displaced) were served eviction notices, despite the fact that site redevelopment had not even reached the rezoning stage (and construction completion was still years away).
On the podcast, The City evaluates the recent social housing victory at Vancouver’s Little Mountain and we reflect on the history of the struggle. We begin with an excerpt from UBC Geography graduate student Tommy Thompson, who conducted extensive research on Little Mountain and found that “through an analysis of the distribution of benefits and losses of redevelopment to various relevant groups, Little Mountain tenants are being squeezed out of the benefits of redevelopment while bearing significant losses.”
We then hear from David Vaisbond, a documentary filmmaker, who has thoroughly and intimately documented the history of the Little Mountain housing struggle. We ask him to reflect on some of the most profound moments of documenting this struggle. Finally, former MLA and Little Mountain advocate David Chudnovsky reflects on this victory and provides a history of the proposed Little Mountain privatization and redevelopment.