Highlights of 2013, a year full of action!

Happy new year! We hope you enjoyed the holiday break and had a chance to spend good times with your family and loved ones – whether you actually celebrate the occasion or not.

Since 2009, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has been working to push for BC to implement a Poverty Reduction Plan. Every year has brought us a bit closer, and 2013 was particularly exciting. From provincial elections to growing the organization, from launching an Action Committee to engaging MLAs around the province, we’ve had plenty to keep us busy!

Below we’ve prepared some of the highlights of 2013 that we’re proud to share with you. All this has been possible thanks to your support and your continued interest and engagement in our work. We feel a shift in the public response to poverty that gives us hope for the future, and you should be proud that you are part of that movement. Thank you!

As we get rolling this year, there will be many more opportunities for you to participate and help us reach more communities. Please let us know if you’re interested in getting involved, or if you have other ideas. You can always visit our website for more details, like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter to keep informed.

Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

Trish & Gil

Highlights of 2013

#rethinkgiving canJustice Not Charity holiday campaign: This past holiday season we were out in full force! We developed and launched school activities, social media materials and wrote an op-ed, “We also need to teach our kids to be active citizens,” about engaging children around long-term solutions to poverty and hunger. Action Committee members also launched the #rethinkgiving poster blast!

Meet your MLAMeet Your MLA campaign: This year we expanded our efforts to engage supporters around the province to meet their MLA and ask them to support a poverty reduction plan for BC by launching a series of resources and materials, setting up a network of community champions ready to assist, and offering everything they may need in order to prepare and visit their local MLA. Almost a quarter of all the MLAs in BC have been reached and it’s not too late to get involved to meet your local MLA.

Chew on this!Chew On This! was a national day of action to push for a federal anti-poverty strategy. With supporters and volunteers, we took to the streets and handed out hundreds of lunch bags with postcards demanding a commitment from the federal government.

End Poverty Day: During this second annual day of action, students from 15 schools around the province organized and led events to raise awareness about poverty in BC using the materials and support we offered.

Success at UBCM!UBCM Success: In support of member organizations, Raise the Rates and Faith in Action, we were successful in getting two resolutions passed at the Union of BC Municipalities: to increase welfare rates and to provide food security.

CBC Right to Food Day: We participated in this effort to lead a united call for the CBC to host a Right to Food Day, and hosted a series of activities in front of the CBC building.

Join the PRAC!Poverty Reduction Action Committee: One of the most exciting initiatives this year was the launch of the Poverty Reduction Action Committee (PRAC) as a way to engage individual youth, seniors and anyone in between wanting to get involved in the Coalition’s campaigns and launch their own. PRAC members have already organized a holiday campaign and had letters published in the paper, and are looking forward to the many activities in store this year. The monthly meetings are open and accessible to anyone in Metro Vancouver. If you live further away and want to get involved, and enjoy writing, please join PRAC’s Letters to the Editor team.

Where is BC’s Poverty Reduction Plan? election campaign: During the BC election last year, we launched a campaign that included an End Poverty Rally in Victoria, a webinar featuring multiple members, political analysis, media commentary (“Anti-poverty programs save money in the end“), and a strong social media component to inform BCers as they got ready to vote!

Princess Margaret studentsEngaging communities: Last year we travelled far and wide raising public awareness and engaging people to get involved. Our activities included: many public presentations and meetings, several high school, youth, and teachers conferences and workshops, supporting low-income community partners, like Raise the Rates in the “Welfare Food Challenge,” continuing our queer and trans poverty project, and much more.

Growing the coalition: In 2013, we reached almost 400 supporting organizations and over 40 members, and also welcomed a new part-time Communications and Outreach Assistant, which provides a wonderful platform for amplifying our work in 2014.

Thank you again for your support and continued engagement with our work!