LETTER: Tweet meant to highlight homeless problem

Dear Editor:

I write in response to two letters to the editor, one on my use of bike racks authored by Ms. Pamela Roskell, and the other on my use of a picture of a homeless person that I tweeted out, written by Ms. Kate Black.

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The use of C-media bike stands located throughout the city for campaign marketing purposes is a breach of the city's sign policy, at sections 2.6 and 4.0, adopted by council on March 8, 2004. Despite this fact, city staff authorized the use of the C-Media bike racks by Mayor Darrell Mussatto. I devised a fully legal and creative solution to combat the advantage granted to Darrell. When I become mayor, I will put forward a new sign bylaw that ensures no one will ever again be able to use the bike racks for campaign purposes.

Being homeless is no joke.

If we continue to pursue the current "developer first" strategies, the 23 per cent of our three-and four-storey walk-ups currently under attack from developers will rise to more than 40 per cent. These units are occupied by some of our most elderly, vulnerable, fixed income and price sensitive residents, and as such those people have no ability to pay the market rates applicable on newly developed condos or rental properties.

The picture I took and tweeted out of a homeless person sleeping in a Lonsdale alcove is but one example of the more than 400 homeless residents living on the North Shore. If we continue to pursue these failed "Mussatto Slate" strategies and developersfirst initiatives, our homeless count will increase even further.

We need to find creative solutions to help homeless people, and that will not come from pretending the problem does not exist. I do not apologize for framing the issue. The more people who see and understand how terrible the situation is, the more chance we have of getting the public resolve for change.

We need to find creative solutions to the challenges of homelessness by refocusing the community's energy.

By drawing attention to the problem of homelessness we will heighten community awareness. By following Darrell's strategy of throwing grandma and grandpa under the bus and continuing with his unabashed support for developer projects, we will not resolve this issue; we will make the problem even worse.

Kerry Morris

City of North Vancouver mayoral candidate

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