The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC) of formed in December 2009 under the initiative of the Carnegie Community Action Project, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and ACCESS for Chinese Canadians. By January 2010, the new group had elected an interim steering committee to constitute the DNC as a society under the BC Societies Act, build an initial membership base, and arrange a first AGM to elect an official Board of Directors.
DNC regular membership meetings are held as often as possible, and all members are encouraged to participate. The Board of Directors is elected to organize these meetings and to implement and coordinate the decisions of the general membership. The Board meets weekly.
All that is required to be a member of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council is to agree with the DNC constitution, and to be a resident of the Downtown Eastside (DTES), or to be voted in as a member of the “natural community” of the DTES. Natural community members cannot exceed 10% of the membership of the DNC nor its Board of Directors.
Below is the DNC constitution, and the city borders of the DTES. You can download and read the DNC’s legal bylaws pdf here: Bylaws of DNC_2011. For more information on membership or for other organizational questions, contact dtescouncil (at) gmail (dot) com
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council CONSTITUTION
Adopted January 9, 2010, edited November 5, 2011.
We are a representative group of Downtown Eastside residents who advocate for the needs, interests, and aspirations of our neighbourhood.
- We seek to act in honor of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum, and Squamish nations whose unceded lands the DTES occupies. We stand for the national, territorial, and cultural rights of Indigenous peoples.
- We defend DTES residents regardless of how each person came to live in the DTES, and regardless of each person’s legal status.
- We seek community control over neighbourhood planning, policy, land use, and community development.
- We are for community directed accessible education and recreation programs.
- We strive to stop gentrification and the involuntary displacement of DTES residents.
- We work for dignified, low-income affordable housing at welfare and pension rates and livable incomes for all.
- We advocate for self-determined and accessible harm reduction health care.
- We support a legal drug market based on health and human rights principles.
- We stand against all stigmas, discriminations, and violence that silence and marginalize DTES residents.
- We support women’s safety as a basic and unconditional right.
- We advocate for the rights of sex trade workers to safety and dignity.
- We stand for accountable, community-positive policing that prioritizes peoples’ safety over property.
- We aim to honor, respect and celebrate the members of our community, including the racially oppressed founding communities of the DTES – Coast Salish, Black, Chinese, and Japanese – and our community’s history of working for social and economic justice by continuing this work with care, love and camaraderie as our guiding principle.
Downtown Eastside Boundaries