Bessie Lee became an activist in the 1960’s when her neighbourhood was threatened by demolition, urban renewal and freeway development. Bessie was a tireless campaigner to save Strathcona, home to Chinatown and a predominance of non-English speaking residents. Bessie helped with founding and organizing the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association, the citizen’s movement that successfully stopped the City of Vancouver from changing the face of the neighbourhood. Bessie is a soft spoken, respectful but determined force who is clearly effective and persuasive. Because of Bessie’s leadership role in her community organization, Vancouver’s first neighbourhood is a thriving and livable one today.