Hey folks,

Just another fly-by posting here.

I wanted to draw your attention to this toolkit from Vancouver’s Pivot Legal (check out page 13 of the tool kit, in particular, fyi).

YIMBY, as you may have guessed, stands for “YES, in my back yard!”

It’s a direct response to the “not in my back yard” attitude held by those who don’t want to share their neighbourhoods with poor, brown, sex-working, mentally ill, adicted, or otherwise marginalized people/communities (even when those people/communities were in that area before the NIMBY folks turned up ).

I live in a historically working class, imigrant neighbourhood
I live in a (more recently) historically brown imigrant neighbourhood
I live in a neighbourhood that, in the past 30 years, has been home to many of my city’s more marginalized residents – folks who are struggling with poverty, with adiction, with mental illness.

I also live in a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood[1].

My neighbourhood includes two food banks, at least one methedone clinic, a safe inhalation program, and a women’s shelter[1], and I am damn proud to have every one of them here.

I want a safe injection site in my back yard.
I want a hassle-free clinic (and you don’t get much more hassle-free around here than at the Somerset West CHC, I don’t mind telling you) in my back yard.
I want Food Not Bombs and other community food-sharing programs in my back yard.
I want shelter for my neighbours in our neighbourhood.

So yes. I want this. In my back yard.
Because it isn’t just my back yard.

Ms Syren.

[1] There was push-back against the women’s shelter going up from a subsection of my neighbours – because, yes, they’re my neighbours too, even if they can’t see past their own noses – who said things like “these women shouldn’t be here” (live, in radio interiews, no less…). That’s “NIMBY” for you in a nut-shell: “Down-trodden? Go somewhere else!”
This is my impressed face. No, really. >:-(