Pivot Legal Society Annual Report 2010

Pivot turned ten this year. It seems fitting that our tenth year would be a year of change and renewal. 2010 was an exciting year, but it was not easy. The recession finally caught up with us – we saw some core funding erode and our social enterprise – Pivot Legal LLP closed its doors.

At the end of August we left our offices on Hastings Street for a smaller space in the Duncan Building on Pender. We made the choice in order to cut overhead and bring everything and everyone closer together. The change in space has led to a tremendous coming together for the Pivot staff. We have also recruited some amazing core volunteers and interns who

are adding great energy and ideas to our work and increasing our capacity. The team is feeling very re-energized. Right now, it feels like a lot is possible.

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Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.

And work is getting done – at the heart of our work is a deep connection with people’s lived experience of poverty and social exclusion. 10 years ago – when Pivot was just an idea – John Richardson recognized that people living on the margins of society all had a story, understood their own lives, and could be real actors in finding solutions…solutions that could

impact our entire society. Pivot works to find legal solutions to these issues.

In the fall of 2010, when the Ontario Superior Court struck down key provisions of the criminal code that relate to adult sex work – Pivot joined sex work groups across the country in celebrating a legal victory that will help make sex work safer. Pivot’s campaign to decriminalize adult sex work started with conversations with street based sex workers in the
downtown eastside – through these conversations the push for decriminalization emerged.

It is this listening that is the heart of our work. It is this listening that makes our work different than that of other legal organizations working for social change. I believe that it is listening that makes our work so compelling to more and more people every year.

Taking the time to allow new ideas to emerge is not easy. It requires commitment and faith in people. The staff at Pivot all share this deep commitment – whether it is Katrina, Darcie, or Doug working on our legal campaigns or Paul or Carolyn working on Hope in Shadows. Their commitment to people make Pivot work.

Taken from the message from the CEO, Peter Wrinch