“A true voice is an independent one.”
Jamie Lee Hamilton Is a Canadian politician and advocate for aboriginal people, residents of the city’s poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside and sex trade workers. Hamilton is a writer, entertainer, and guest lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia and in Humanities at Capilano College.She currently serves as an elder for the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society, which has served the aboriginal two-spirited community since 1978. Hamilton is a long time resident of the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona neighbourhoods of Vancouver and now resides in the West End.
A History of Public Service, Community Activism and Advocacy.
- Various positions, Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), 1984–2004.
- Key witness in the Oppal Commission of Inquiry for missing and murdered women. 2012 – 2013.
- Organizer, DERA demonstrations at inner-city hotels which were evicting long-term tenants in favour of Expo tourists, 1986.
- Founding member, Coalition for Responsible Health Legislation, a group initiated in response to the push by the Socred government of British Columbia to quarantine gay males with AIDS, 1987.
- Organizer and founding president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) sublocal 15 at the Richmond Society of Community Living, c.1988. The union remains there.
- Walk for Life, annual AIDS Walkathon, 1991: paid co-ordinator of volunteers; Vancouver, BC.
- West End Sex Work History Project. 2009 – present.
- Sex, Talk in the City. 2013.
- XI elected Ms. Gay Vancouver, 1991. While reigning, performed with the New York traveling cast of A Chorus Line.
- Founder of the Hot Meal Programme and Food Bank for transsexual sex trade workers, First United Church, Vancouver, BC; 1993.
- Proprietor, Rainbow’s End, Downtown Eastside, 1993–1997.
- Helped found the Four Corners Bank to assist people in the Downtown Eastside, 1994.
- First transexual to stand for public office in Canada, for Vancouver City Council, 1996. She came in 14th out of 58, with the first 10 being elected.
- Community Hero Award, Xtra West newspaper; Vancouver, BC; 1996.
- Founder, Grandma’s House, a safe sanctuary for street-involved women; Vancouver, BC; 1997.
- Prominent leader in the campaign attracting international attention to shame the authorities into investigating the 67 missing women from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver,
- 1998 to present. Media attention focused on her act of dumping 67 pairs of stiletto shoes on the steps of Vancouver City Hall. So far, Robert “Willie” Pickton has been convicted of
- murdering six of them. See articles “Twenty women missing, action demanded” and “Too many shoes”
- Keynote speaker at Resolutions and Ruptures: Sexual and Gender Diversity and the Spaces In-Between conference, University of British Columbia; 2004.
- A leader of the successful “No Trademark Campaign” opposing trademarking the word “pride”; 2006.
- Invited presenter, Canadian parliamentary subcommittee on solicitation; Vancouver, BC; 2006
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