Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carnegie "Kangaroo" Election

Most Carnegie members didn't know their was an election last evening. And that was no accident.

The notice on the bulletin board was small enough that members could be counted on to miss it. "I had to take off my glasses and put my face right up to it to read it", said one member. He said the notice announced, "CCA AGM", letters that wouldn't catch the attention of most members. The election wasn't mentioned until the end of the notice, in fine print. I recall seeing this small notice myself but it was so small, I didn't stop to read it.

They should have announced the election in large print, said one member. "They hang banners over the steps out front all the time" when they want the poor to turn out for their povertarian projects and marches, but when there is an election, they produce only a teeny weeny poster.

Members of the Carnegie establishment such as paid anti-poverty activist Jean Swanson have worked to disenfranchise the poor ever since the poor's choice of Board members -- William Simpson, Rachel Davis -- didn't match their own. They stack elections with their friends and political allies. One member described last evening's election and the prior well-attended nomination meeting this way. "A bunch of strangers showed up, and they voted in their yes-people." He said the result is that longtime members who use Carnegie on an almost daily basis are finding decisions made by people they barely recognize, and at times don't recognize.

Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty, the City's representative at the meeting, left early, saying she was "busy". Very little Whitty says is believed by members, many of whom are aware of her well-documented record of lying. "Maybe she didn't want to be put on the spot and have to answer any questions," said one man. A woman said she saw Whitty leaving the building after the meeting in the theater had ended, supporting skeptics' view that she hadn't or shouldn't have been too busy to sit through the Carnegie AGM.

One member later sitting at a patio table at Waves coffee shop in the warm evening breeze, summed up the Carnegie election this way. "They pulled a fast one on us again".


Anonymous said...

WTF is a "kangeroo'?

I know what a kangaroo is, but not a kangeroo.

I know you all have some weird animals down there, so maybe you could post a photo of this bad boy for all of us unenlightened conspiracy theorists?

reliable sources said...

"conspiracy theorists"

That's a phrase that is soooo over used, usually by people who haven't done their homework and just want to take a cheap shot at those who have. There is well-documented evidence that the poor are being disenfranchised at Carnegie. Much of it, including the barring of William Simpson from Carnegie after he was elected to the Board, has been covered on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Stacking meetings to make sure certain individuals are elected or certain motions are passed is a long standing, tried and true, method of influencing decisions that both sides can use to their advantage.

reliable sources said...


"Stacking meetings to make sure certain individuals are elected or certain motions are passed is a long standing, tried and true, method of influencing decisions that both sides can use to their advantage."

I told my sources the same thing the night of the election. But it still stinks.

It is hypocritical for Jean Swanson et al to involve themselves in this type of stacking when they claim to be anti-poverty activists. We know for a fact that they have used the internal mailing lists of CCAP to get their friends and political allies out to Carnegie elections, resulting in many people who don't regularly use the Center showing up to vote. Meanwhile, the welfare recipients and other poor people who use the Center on an almost daily basis don't get an email notice of the election and don't even get a decent sized poster that they are likely to notice when walking through the Center. Many were standing on the smoking patio just meters from the theater where the election was being held and didn't know it was on.

No laws were broken -- unlike in the past with the barring of an elected Board member and the refusal to provide a teller's report -- but this handling of an election is not in the spirit of anti-poverty activism. A number of poor people who use the center were angry that they had not known about the meeting. Those who did eventually realize an election was on, got there late.

It would be nice to see Jean Swanson and some of the other anti-poverty activists speak up about the fact that the homeless, penniless man who was elected to the Carnegie Board by poor people two years ago and promptly barred from the Center via a letter from Ethel Whitty, remains barred.

Note from Editors: The ad hominem attacks in your comment were deleted.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the nomination meeting was crowded with people I didn't know. some of the nominees didn't show up at the agm. somebody nominated bill simpson and the president said he's barred.

Anonymous said...

I know how to solve this problem.

Print your own large sign
Put advance notice on this blog
And start organizing for next year, already!

reliable sources said...

The Carnegie Association is obligated by the constitution to give adequate notice to members that an election is approaching. It is not up to members to do it for them.

Furthermore, members do not always know when the AGM is being held. Bill Simpson was one member familiar with the constitution who had his boots on the ground on a daily basis talking with members, but he was barred from Carnegie after daring to get himself elected to the Board. Why not lift that barring so that Simpson could be around to remind people of an AGM? People on the Downtown Eastside rely heavily on word of mouth to learn of events.

Another thing, putting up notices at Carnegie without permission of staff can get you barred. Chances are if a member put up their own large signs and they were known as somebody who had criticized the barring of Bill Simpson, they would be blocked from posting signs and told that was the job of the Association.

Your suggestion that we post a notice of the AGM on this blog would work if we were notified of the date of an AGM. But we are not on the CCAP email list; they only send email notices of meetings to their choir of lip-synchers. The Association could simply post a notice here themselves in the comment section.