DVA Directors Report – December 2015

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16 Dec DVA Directors Report – December 2015

DVA Directors Report  – December 2015

This time last year we thought we had done our heavy lifting.  But then the fun began!  We had determined that transportation was essential infrastructure like water, whose tap should not be choked off. We summarised that as transportation = efficiency + joy.  But as we started the year we realised that the relevance of DVA’s engagement lay in our advocacy.  And so we spent a lot of slow brain time (consuming Peter’s beer and pizza) as we created a quilt of snappy cartoons aiming to vacuum up support for the doomed transportation referendum.

As spring turned to summer we had our new website, and we now had several successful cycles of the DVA quilt.  We have a lean machine that is fun to operate. We have not established a sure fire model for sustainability, but we now have currency and collateral.

We have evolved an approach of using sevens lens to cumulatively develop a 360 degree view of a topic of focus.  At our summit in June we decided to tackle the issue Health & Well Being in our Downtown.  This topic came from a number of strands of thought.  In considering transportation we had seen the synergy between seemingly disparate factors, and the false assumptions of “it seemed like a good idea at the time” actions of divisiveness.  We are aware that health is more than physical illness, of the damage of social isolation, and the thrill when community comes together in well-being.  The role of urban planning in improving community health outcomes is rapidly moving from the periphery to the centre of our societal attention.  If nothing else health care consumes over half our Provincial budget.  On the horizon for the Metrocore is the creation of a new Providence Hospital. This initiative not only entails thinking at forefront of health practice and meaningful regeneration of the False Creek Flats, but also healing of any disruption to the communities that interact with the existing St Paul’s.

So let’s do a series of roundtables exploring health and well being.  It took about three seconds to say this, a few more seconds to vote yes, and then suddenly it was Fall 2015 already. Amazingly, with Herman as the leader and Brendan, Stephen and Sam as the aides de camp, we have, as of this morning conducted seven roundtables with high powered panels of people contributing to each.

So it has been a good year.  We have done work to modernize our bylaws and governance, we have a compact operating model, and our wisdom is being sought out from various quarters.  The quarter we still have to address is reaching out to engage more effectively with our membership, and friends, so that we continue to renew our energy as an organisation.

Our aim is to engage, educate and advocate.  Through that we provide robustly thought through policy inputs developed through the DVA’s broad outreach across business and professional perspectives.  Following the AGM we will continue the synergy of energy and insight into our Round up process. Fast brain, slow brain, pizza and beer will undoubtedly be involved, and the challenge will be to determine where best to place our energy of advocacy. Those specifics I will leave for 2016 and now, as The DVA enters the age of being 70 years young again, I salute one and all for a magnificent team effort throughout 2015.

Respectfully submitted,

Graham McGarva
DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER ASSOCIATION