Letter to Mayor and Council: A shadow has been cast over the proposed Airbnb bylaws

Dear Mayor and Council,

Today, you will be voting on a new set of proposed bylaws, which, if passed, would make Airbnb and other short term rentals legal in Vancouver. The move to legalize short term rentals in the city have been spearheaded by Kaye Krishna, General manager of Development, Buildings, and Licensing.

Ms. Krishna served as a principal at the New York City-based lobbying company HR&A Advisors between October 2013 and her appointment to the City of Vancouver post. It has been recently revealed that during Ms. Krishna’s time with HR&A, Airbnb commissioned HR&A to produce three reports, in 2013, 2014 and 2015, highlighting Airbnb’s positive contributions to New York City.

It has also been recently revealed that sections of Ms. Krishna’s report to the Vancouver City Council bore a striking resemblance to the content found in Airbnb-commissioned reports produced by her former company.

There have also been calls for Ms. Krishna’s resignation over her perceived reluctance to enforce the existing bylaws against short term rentals.

I firmly believe that a shadow has been cast over the proposed bylaws you will be voting on today. For that reason, I urge you to postpone the vote on these bylaws until a thorough investigation is carried out into the issues raised above.

Your decision today will shape the Vancouver of tomorrow. It could be one where individuals, families and communities thrive. It could also end up being a mere playground for the rich where those who work and contribute to the city are no longer able to afford to live in the city.

You are duty bound to get the new bylaws right. Otherwise, you risk hurting the hundreds of thousands of citizens of our city who elected you and to whom you are answerable.

Thank you,
Rohana Rezel

Letter to City of Vancouver: Accepting Property Use Complaints over Twitter

Mayor Gregor Robertson
Connie Pavone, Executive Assistant to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff
Jessie Adcock, CTO
Kaye Krishna, General manager of Development, Buildings, and Licensing

Dear Sir and Mesdames,

I learnt yesterday that the City of Vancouver has abruptly decided to stop accepting property use bylaw infraction complaints sent to @CityofVancouver Twitter account.

A quick analysis of @CityofVancouver Twitter account’s posting history shows that the City has been accepting such complaints over Twitter for years, but decided to stop doing so once Twitter handle @VISTRO11 started reporting illegal Airbnb hotels.

It also appears that the City continues to accept reports of other bylaw violations over Twitter, but has decided to exclude just illegal Airbnb reports.

I find your decision to be arbitrary and capricious.

There would be no @VISTRO11 were it not for your nonfeasance. By wilfully deciding to ignore reports of bylaw violations in such an arbitrary and capricious manner, you seem to be pushing the needle from nofeasance to malfeasance.

I respectfully urge you to reconsider your decision, and resume accepting property use bylaw infraction complaints sent to @CityofVancouver Twitter account.

Thank you,
Rohana Rezel