From: Sean Purdy Sent: January 14, 2002 1:00 PM
Subject: RE: Regent Park
Hi Simon. How are you?
I found your name in the Regent Park Community News in the 70s and then did a search on the Internet. You’d be surprised by the number of people I’ve found this way. The reason I’m relying on the Internet at this point is because I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil and am writing my thesis here. Sounds strange I know but as I’m writing I’m finding more research leads that are worth pursuing.
I would appreciate if you keep that file drawer of materials for just a little longer. My partner and I plan to return to Canada this summer. And perhaps I can hook up with you in person then. I have no published articles on Regent Park yet but have written a few things about the state and housing ideologies and curated an exhibition at UofT in 1998 on the history of the radical left in Canada.
I’m afraid I’m no relation to Al Purdy, the Belleville, Ontario poet.
It would be great if you could answer a few written questions. Respond as freely and broadly as you want with any stories or memories. I’ve read all the key written documents on Regent Park including the briefs by the RPCIA, the newspaper, general media etc. and have talked to a few people active in the 1960s and 70s as well as a range of tenants, but few activists.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Sincerely, Sean Purdy
1) What was your role as Community Coordinator? What sorts of things did you do?
2) I’m interested in the question of the stigmitization of Regent Park tenants by the media and other sources in general. Is this something that the tenants you worked with were concerned about? What about your own thoughts on the stereotyping of poor people at the time?
3) On the tenant management initiative. What’s your evaluation of its successes and failures? Why do you think OHC pulled the plug?
4) I’d like your opinion on why tenants got involved, the extent of participation and some of the obstacles of organizing in RP during the 70s.
5) Did you work with Janet Ross? She’s central to this stuff as you know. Do you have any idea what her own personal history was? Where she came from etc.? Do you know if she is still in Toronto?
5) Any other thoughts or memories?