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Vancouver's new city council expected to fast-track measures to 'uplift' Chinatown

Vancouver’s new mayor and council hold their first meeting this week and one of the items on the agenda involves helping the embattled Chinatown neighbourhood.

On Tuesday, Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung will put forward a motion titled “Urgent Measures to Uplift Vancouver’s Chinatown,” which aims to fast-track a number of measures for the community.

Motion, Urgent Measures to Uplift Vancouver’s Chinatown, November 15, 2022

“They need support in dealing with things ranging from graffiti, vandalism, ongoing random attacks, just general cleanliness and to create a neighborhood where people want to visit,” Kirby-Yung said.

Immediate plans include beefing up cleaning of streets, alleys and sidewalks, creating new graffiti removal strategies and adding more lighting and murals. One long term plan is to establish a satellite city hall in Chinatown, one of the ABC party’s campaign promises.

“It would be so that mayor and council could work on a regular basis from this office and see what’s really happening on a day-to-day,” Kirby-Yung said.

The idea is being welcomed by Jordan Eng, president of the Chinatown Business Improvement Association.

“We’re really excited that they're going to open an office here,” Eng said. “In order to feel the neighborhood you have to be in the neighborhood.”

Eng was part of a Vancouver delegation that travelled to San Francisco earlier this year to see how the Chinatown community there achieved successes after dealing with similar problems of street disorder, racist vandalism, and crime. The trip was paid for by the Vancouver Police Foundation.

“The big difference was there was support from the leadership up top, that was really evident in San Francisco,” Eng said, adding there were also “beat cops” who patrolled the area 24/7 and improved communication between business owners and the local council.

Kirby-Yung’s motion will be presented to council on Tuesday and is likely to pass with an ABC majority. Top Stories

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