Downtown East editorial
The very existence of the low-income communities of the DTES is threatened by rapid condo development and retail gentrification. The area is being invaded by high-end restaurants designed solely for those who reap the benefits of our unequal society. While some enjoy expensive food and fine wines, thousands of residents are homeless, warehoused in shelters, or forced to live in crappy SROs, with too little money to meet their basic needs.
Recently some 3000 people, mostly DTES residents, signed a petition that called for the establishment of a Social Justice Zone in the Oppenheimer area of the DTES, which would prioritize the housing, income, health and security needs of low-income people. Their collective voice formed a strong message: they don’t want more condos and pricey restaurants; they want social justice.
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