DTES resident searches for some crack cocaine - Flickr photo by Patrick Doheny
Recently CityCaucus.com received a note from Downtown Eastside business person Carlos Herbst asking our help in promoting the open letter written by him and signed by fellow business owners in that vicinity. We provide here below in its entirety with Herbst's follow-up comments.
This is an open letter and responses from policy makers, government officials and law enforcement.
This is our city. We hire these people at the voting booth and we have the power to fire them if they fail to do their jobs or lie to us.
I will not comment on the responses on-line although I may or may not comment to the individuals themselves. This is not about my opinion. It is about the responses provided by those who have the power, authority and political clout to instill change in policy. I feel if comments are posted they may be used as "ammunition" in future political promises. In other words we will be assisting those seeking re-election or reinstatement by providing them with the words and solutions that we want to hear.
If however enough of you feel that it is important to include a comment box, I will consider and respect your wishes.
The following is Mr. Herbst's open letter...
- The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia
- Mayor Gregor Robertson
- Jenny Kwan - MLA Vancouver - Mount Pleasant
- Chief Constable Jim Chu
This is unfortunately the third time that I have had to take the time out of my very busy schedule to voice, on behalf of myself and the business owners whose signatures are included, our collective and utter helplessness and disgust, in regards to the situation presented to us on a daily basis on the 200 block of the DTES.
I have personally run a business on the 200 block for six years, a relatively short period of time as compared to some of my neighbors but it sometimes seems as if I've actually been here for sixteen years. It is hard to describe the frustration that one feels when confronted with the daily chores of sweeping condoms, syringes and piles of refuse which have been discarded by the nocturnal drug culture which gathers in front of my and every other business to traffic in and abuse illegal narcotics.
Perhaps if it was cleaned up before I got to work everything would be fine, correct? Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong!
This "criminal" behaviour continues throughout the day, every day, 365 days of the year and it is getting worse since the conclusion of the 2010 games.