Kelly Newhook, our Executive Director for the past seven years, has accepted a position as Senior Ministerial Assistant in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. We are so pleased for her and we are sure she will shine in her new job, just as she did at TAPS.
Kelly took TAPS from a small organization, running to catch up with the needs of our clients, to an organization that consistently provides a high level of legal advocacy to thousands of people in Greater Victoria. Thanks in large part to Kelly’s tenacity, TAPS has become a leader on poverty reduction in BC and is regularly called on by the media and government to address systemic causes of poverty. We have expanded our profile significantly over the past seven years and have earned a reputation as an organization that isn’t afraid to speak out for what’s right.
Under Kelly’s stewardship, TAPS fought for the rights of View Towers tenants all the way to the Supreme Court. Since 2016, TAPS has been part of a coalition of organizations arguing for more affordable Hydro rates and better policies for low-income families. Through the past two years, we have worked closely with the residents of Super InTent City as they fought and continue to fight for their right to a safe and secure place to live. We have held effective rallies over the years, harnessing the power of collective action to draw attention to the bus pass cuts, the need for a moratorium on rental demolitions in the City of Victoria, and the necessity of a poverty reduction plan in BC.
Kelly led TAPS as we expanded the services we offer to address some gaps in legal advocacy available in Victoria. In 2012, we started the Employment Standards Legal Advocacy Project, which is now staffed full time, and the Federal Disability Advocacy Project got off the ground in 2014. In recent months, the Tenant Legal Advocacy Project has doubled its capacity by adding a second full-time advocate.
Kelly’s influence can be found in every corner of the organization, as she professionalized the day-to-day operations of TAPS and created a strong foundation for our flourishing into the future. Her creative enthusiasm for fundraising is unrivaled, and inspired such fun events as the “Super Sweet Summer Dance Party” and classy occasions such as “Tapas for TAPS”, now in its seventh year.
Kelly is an amazing force and has steered TAPS with skill and grace through the past seven years. Her warmth, cheerfulness, and sense of fun have made TAPS a wonderful place to work. And of course, we can’t forget Kelly’s super mellow pup, Missy, who has promised to visit us as much as she can.
Although we will miss Kelly dearly, we are so excited for this new chapter in her life. We know that TAPS will continue to grow and strengthen, while staying true to our core values. The future is bright for TAPS and we are so grateful for the community’s ongoing support of our feisty organization. See you in the struggle!
All of us at TAPS