I wanted to thank those members that voted for me at the selection meeting last week and I hope that I will be a good Labour-Co-operative candidate for East Brighton.
The campaign will launch straight after the referendum with door knocking and deliveries of leaflets. Below you can see the speech I gave at the selection meeting.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee..”
That John Donne poem was read today at the Orlando Massacre service in St George’s Church and I hope it is a fitting way to start today.
It has been an incredibly difficult week for many of us, and standing here asking for your votes without reflecting on that didn’t feel quite right.
On Monday after the disgusting events of the weekend seeing hundreds of people come to the New Steine to support the LGBT community, of which I am a part, was both heart breaking and heart warming.
Equally last night, hundreds turning up to remember Jo Cox to deplore her assassination and remember her gave me strength as a member of the Labour family.
These events must not reduce our resolve or make us scared, as socialists, as human beings, they must make us more determined to combat hate. In the referendum next week, in our communities and across Britain we must continue to work for the social values we stand by.
This is one of the reasons I want to stand as a Labour Councillor in the ward where I live, representing the streets where I walk every day.
This morning I was at the Bristol Estate Community Rooms where we have a volunteer led breakfast café at the weekends as a place for people to come and connect with their communities, and this afternoon I am asking you to select me to represent those communities.
I have run a cooperative café, set up a cooperative housing association, chaired the local party, been a local youth worker, represented youth organisations in Brussels and worked at the UN.
I’ve been a member of the Labour and Cooperative Parties for over 10 years, campaigning for our current leader Jeremy Corbyn to get elected and last year campaigning here in East Brighton for our councillors and Nancy Platts to get elected.
I believe that I have a breadth of experience and with the support of my union the GMB and, I hope, the co-nomination of the Co-operative Party I want to stand as a Labour-Co-operative candidate, for you.
We have achieved so much in the last year from the Brighton and Hove Labour manifesto but we still have so much to do.
East Brighton has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the city, two of the most economically deprived areas in the south east are in this ward and there are still too few homes for people.
I believe we must keep up the push to build more houses – at social rents, with secure tenancies for local families. We must ensure emergency accommodation so that those who are the most vulnerable are enabled to get decent homes and we can only do that with council owned, operated or socially managed developments in our ward; we can only do that with a Labour Council.
I remember as a child spending time at the Royal Alexandra and then after returning back to school being taken out of classes and offered the support I needed – that support has helped me and it should be offered to every child in our city, therefore the continuing push to invest and improve educational services in East Brighton will be close to my heart.
I want to support our councillors to continue to strive to keep affordable transport across our ward and finally I believe with my background in advocacy, conflict resolution and law I can help represent you, the residents of our ward for the better.
I hope that you will vote for me today