Over the next few months he attended meetings where residents openly disclosed their accounts of police abuse and the impacts of a decade of provincial and federal cuts to social services and housing programs. Recognizing the power of people’s lived experience and shocked by the rights abuses, John connected with neighborhood residents, members of the legal community, and local activists – including VANDU founder Ann Livingston. Together they prepared to act. The following spring Pivot Legal Society was born.
By making the most tangible violations of human rights the focus of their efforts, Pivot could create the kind of force needed to carry out legal campaigns around policing, housing, and sex work that would result in meaningful positive change for people living in poverty. Since then, Pivot has exerted this force through legal challenges, legal education campaigns, public engagement, and innovative projects that highlight the struggles, hopes, and insights of people living on the margins of society.