All eyes were on Chinatown Calgary this month as the community fought back against plans for a 27-storey development pegged for the largest vacant lot in the community. Chinatown’s existing Area Redevelopment Plan hasn’t been updated in 30 years, but with three more developers drawing up plans for the neighbourhood, it’s now getting some much needed attention.
“Policy documents like this should be reviewed every five years,” says Terry Wong, spokesman for Chinatown’s recently founded Business Revitalization Zone, “so it’s 25 years overdue.”
Public Advocate Letitia James attended a protest against landlord Joseph Betesh with his tenants on Tuesday.
A tentative deal reached Tuesday will spare 27 low-income immigrant families in two Chinatown buildings from eviction, the Daily News has learned.The settlement between residents of 83 and 85 Bowery and buildings owner Joseph Betesh revolves an angry and escalating dispute over the properties.
In the 1960s, Vancouver’s historic downtown was at risk of being razed for modern road projects – only for an extraordinary protest movement to turn the tide, helping transform it into one of North America’s most ‘liveable’ cities
Vancouver’s proposed freeway would have separated the city, shown here in 1971, from its harbour waterfront. Photograph: Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Half a century on, Shirley Chan can still picture the freeway that would have destroyed her old neighbourhood. “Three storeys high; eight or 10 lanes of traffic … you can imagine the dead zone along here,” she says, indicating with a sweep of her arm the swathe it would have cut through Chinatown and across Vancouver’s historic downtown east side.
In the 1960s, Chinatown was a vibrant, messy place. The sidewalks spilled over with fishmongers and fruit sellers. There were mom-and-pop grocery stores, benevolent societies, dim sum places, gambling parlours – even the alleyways had restaurants.
Following last week’s protest of three hundred Chinatown and Lower East Side residents, workers and supporters, the 83 & 85 Bowery tenants have made a breakthrough in holding their landlord Joseph Betesh accountable for allowing the buildings to fall into disrepair.
Yesterday, a housing court
judge ordered the 83 & 85 Bowery landlord to repair major violations including a sloping staircase and sloping floors within 60 days. If the repairs are not
done, the landlord could face arrest and jail time.
In Canada, the month of May is officially recognized as Asian Heritage Month to acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada.
Tons of events in ExplorAsian 2016 – check out the festival program here
Of special mention in the program is our friends at Chinatown Action Group is organizing a study and discussion on the legacy of the revolutionary Asian Pacific American movement on May 3, 2016 at 6:00pm at Hua Foundation, 418 East Hastings.
Serve the People: A study and discussion on the legacy of the revolutionary Asian Pacific American movement
A generation of Asian American activists in the 1960s arose from workingclass
communities to transform US society. What can we learn from this