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Photo: Francisco Conde Sánchez, via Wikimedia.

 

With ballots for the Green candidates for London Assembly and Mayor being sent out today to all London members of the Green Party, Bright Green invited all of the Green candidates for the London Assembly to submit a brief statement about themselves and what they would bring to the role and the campaign. Here are their responses.

Voting opens today and closes 30th August. The result of the selection is due to be announced on 2nd September. You can find more of Bright Green’s coverage of the London Assembly and Mayoral elections here.


Shahrar Ali

Shahrar Ali

Party interest. This contest isn’t about who wants or deserves it more. It’s about which of us is best placed to pursue the interest of the Party — both to maximise our complement of Assembly Members and to advance the Green agenda when we get there — for the good of all Londoners.

Front-of-house and accountable. There’s no such thing as an ordinary Green. We’re expected to be able to outperform others in high stakes media interviews, to enjoy total command of our brief, to articulate flawlessly and to persuade. And we must submit ourselves to our party — for accountability and direction. I see this relationship as a vital bond not an encumbrance.

Radical and revolutionary. I’ve heard it reported that ours will be a ‘credible’ campaign. Credible doesn’t cut it. Even our management of past election campaigns on a shoestring budget demonstrates howincredible we are! I want to hear it said and imagined of our campaign that we can inspire, that we will turn things around, revolutionise politics and society.

Politics of imagination. This leaflet sets out my track record, experience and political priorities. I am grateful to supporters for setting out their reasons, too. We need Greens who can both pull their weight and punch above their weight.

Let’s have an incredible, inspired campaign!

Twitter: @ShahrarAli

Facebook: https://facebook.com/Shahrar4London

Website: http://shahrar4london.weebly.com


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Jonathan Bartley
It’s time for a new generation of Green leadership at City Hall.

Greens need to be constructive and build alliances to get things done, as I did in the House of Commons where I worked cross-party to improve London’s inner city areas.  I have achieved this outside Westminster too; over 20mph borough-wide limits, the Living Wage and supporting High Street safe ‘havens’ for young people in trouble.

But people also need Green advocates. Councils, this Tory Government and the London Mayor must be held to account.

I know what it means to battle for something without help.

I won a two year struggle to get my son into our local school, because he was disabled.  After my subsequent encounter on the street with the Prime Minister David Cameron, Channel 4 FactCheck found the Prime Minister didn’t understand the terrible impact of his own manifesto.  At the last general election I challenged Iain Duncan Smith about his benefit deaths cover-up, exposing the terrible impact of his policies.

The campaigning knowledge I have isn’t widely available. But the stakes are higher than ever.
Working in Lambeth, we won improvements at a dangerous junction where three people had died.  If we hadn’t saved a sheltered housing community from being destroyed, older and terminally ill residents would not have survived the trauma of losing the homes they loved.

I joined the Green Party to give a voice to those who have none.  I want to do it for London as a Green Assembly member.

Twitter: @jon_bartley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.c.bartley

Website: http://jonathanbartley.london/


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Sian Berry

I’ve been a Londoner half my life and seen it get better in some ways and worse in others. It’s amazing how many of the improvements Darren and Jenny have had a hand in, and I would relish the chance to do their job.

Representing our issues in the media for more than 10 years, I cut my teeth on Richard and Judy talking 4x4s with Top Gear presenters, and this year Nick Ferrari called me a “doughty veteran campaigner”. As Principal Speaker and candidate for Mayor, I’ve handled everything from bins to banks.

I will hold the Mayor to account. In my job at Campaign for Better Transport I’ve exposed bad decisions, such as ministers pushing road funds to a Lib Dem constituency. As a councillor I recently revealed Camden Council’s quiet deal with developers to cut social housing in Kings Cross.

I’ve often helped persuade other parties to adopt new policies: £500 million for greener transport from Tory ministers, a boiler scrappage scheme from Labour and a gas guzzler charge from Ken Livingstone.

This work is about putting properly researched ideas in decision-makers’ hands, but also showing public support and working with allies – from campaign groups, industry and other parties. I’ve always been this kind of campaigner as well as a politician, and that’s what this job needs.

Twitter: @sianberry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sianberrygreen

Website: http://www.sianberry.london/


Andrea Carey

Andrea Carey

I am an activist campaigner. My background is in independent advocacy – enabling people’s voices to be heard and representing their rights and interests.   I have advocated for older people, people with learning disabilities, asylum seekers and refugees, mental health service users, disabled people and looked after children.

The gentrification of our London Boroughs with the active ‘social cleansing’ of social housing residents to make way for exclusive expensive homes for the rich is out of control. I continue to campaign for a greater proportion of social and truly affordable housing and for rent controls.*

As an active member of KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) I am against privatisation of the NHS, and want to see Section 119 (Health & Social Care Act) repealed, and the PFI slate wiped clean which would restore Council services.

I am campaigning to extend Unison’s Ethical Care Charter across London – vital to protect Home Services, and to extend the Living Wage to Home Care Workers. I jointly led a No-TTIP coalition which resulted in Lewisham becoming a No-TTIP Council in June.

Younger people are a high priority for me: I have campaigned for an equal minimum wage for 18-20 year olds – and the ‘living wage’ rates being introduced should be extended to everyone 18+ (as should housing benefit rights).   I am against academies.

I campaign to stop benefit sanctions/forced psychological therapy for job seekers.

I would ban diesel cars/vehicles in London to drastically reduce air pollution to ensure a healthier London & planet.

Twitter: @greenandreac

Website: www.andreacareyfuller.com


 

Tom Chance

Tom Chance

I have three qualities essential for an effective Assembly Member: I’m an experienced spokesperson with extensive policy expertise, a community activist rooted in local campaigns, and I have a proven ability to work cross-party to get our agenda implemented under Labour and Tory Mayors.

Whoever is Mayor, we will need strong Green voices in City Hall to oppose airport expansion and the damaging demolitions. I can combine policy expertise and strong relationships with Londonwide groups like the London Tenants Federation and Friends of the Earth to achieve this.

Whoever is Mayor, there will also be opportunities to get our agenda implemented. I don’t want to just use the office to oppose; I want to make London greener. I have a track record of getting our agenda implemented, building cross-party coalitions as a local party activist to get Southwark Council adopt the living wage, and to stop a damaging scheme to build on Crystal Palace Park.

I have worked with Jenny and Darren as their researcher and team manager to get the Mayor to support a Community Land Trust in 2012, and secured the support of the Labour group on electoral reform and opposing workfare – in both cases moving them away from their national party positions.

I can make sure our new team of Assembly Members hits the ground running with a high media profile, connections with campaigners and an understanding of how best to use the position to further our cause.

Twitter: @tom_chance

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomchancegp

Website: http://www.tomchance.org


Barry Cooper

Barry Cooper did not submit a statement to us.


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Michael Gold

I’m a Londoner and have seen the changes in London’s government, from the LCC to GLC and now the mayoral GLA. All the changes have been about politics, not about what is needed by London, as a city or by its inhabitants.

I have spent my working life in the travel and transport industry and am fortunate to have lived and worked abroad; Germany, Holland, Greece, Ireland and post-apartheid South Africa.

There are three main, interlinked, priorities in London; housing, low wages and transport. These priorities are exacerbated by London’s growing population and the increasing inequality in society.

What needs to be done and can Green members push the GLA in the right direction?

My expertise is transportation and I believe that contracting out bus routes leads to private bus companies making large profits but taking no risk. There needs to be a new, up to date, independent comparison between the real costs of private bus companies and having all buses operated by Transport for London.

Crossrail will ease some of the east/west congestion but the tubes will still be overcrowded and again cost comparisons will be needed to see if the extensive use of private contractors is cheapest.

I stood as the parliamentary candidate in Walthamstow, enjoyed the campaign and realised that I do have something to offer. I am a good public speaker, have a good all round political knowledge and can put in the work.

Twitter: @radicalmic

Website: www.radicalsoapbox.com


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Benali Hamdache

I’m incredibly passionate about London. We should be incredibly proud about the history, the people and the culture of this city. For those that love London we need to act to address the rising crises that threaten to stifle all that we love about where we live.

The out of control London housing market, inaction over air pollution and the rising toxicity of inequality threaten quality of life in an unheralded way. It is only the Green Party’s radical agenda which can really deliver much needed change.

We must build more affordable homes, aggressively reduce the causes of air pollution and work hard to ensure that everyone in London, irrespective of background, has an equal chance to succeed. As a mayoral candidate I would loudly campaign against inappropriate developments of luxury housing, for the establishment of an ultra-low emission zone across London and apprenticeships and regeneration for deprived communities.

As a Green I’m proud of my campaigning successes. I’ve successfully challenged homophobic sex education in schools, worked on campaigns addressing mental health stigma and put together our LGBTIQ and BAME manifestos during the general election. As equalities spokesperson I spoke at a range of hustings during the election, extending our reach to communities who’ve never before thought about voting Green.

I’ve got the commitment and the energy to serve on the Assembly as an activist and legislator. I’d bring a focus to underrepresented communities that the Green Party must reach out to. Do vote me #1 for the Assembly.

Twitter: @GreenBenali

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benalihamdache

Website: http://www.benalih.org


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Noel Lynch

A former Assembly Member, I am the only experienced candidate.

A party member for 26 years holding many roles in that time, including 13 years as London Federation Chair and now its Membership Officer.

Widespread support in all local parties – see endorsements. The only candidate endorsed by Green Left.

I have made London my home of choice after coming from Ireland 28 years ago. My daughter and grand-daughter were born here, it is the greatest city in the world.

The London Assembly needs a friend for trade unions, the homeless, those living in poverty, small business and to affect the 25 who die every day as a result of air-pollution.

I founded the GP Trade Union Group and was homeless about a decade ago.

We need to reach not just those natural Greens but connect City Hall to everyone suffering from Tory austerity in all 32 boroughs.

If elected, I will be that voice London-wide, and also in every community that needs an advocate.

I will be accountable to the membership and won’t give the next mayor an easy ride when it comes to: safe walking and cycling, building social rented housing, fighting attacks on trade unions, human rights, immigration, ending the complacent pollution mitigation and giving those in poverty and homeless hope with housing and an all-out fight against austerity.

As an Assembly Member, I saved a homeless centre, helped save several parks and saved London from fluoridation.

Please vote Noel Lynch No.1 and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

Twitter: @noellynchlondon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noel4london

Website: http://noel4london.org


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Rashid Nix

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

As a Green candidate, who only joined the party last year, I represent something completely different from the other candidates; I am definitely a Green baby!

However, when compared to the other candidates, I am the one with the track record for producing breakthrough results that many Green Party members are looking for.

I originally joined in 2014, because our local Labour politicians in south London were so awful someone had to stand, in order to give voters a genuine alternative at the ballot box. I coordinated the campaign in Brixton in May 2014 and Greens came in a very credible second behind Labour.

In May 2015, I was the Parliamentary candidate in Dulwich and West Norwood and increased the Green vote by 400% over the 2010 total. This result placed me in the leading 5% of Green candidates across the UK.

As I said before, I am definitely different.

More difference? London is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities on Earth. However, as Greens, we need to take an honest look at how effectively we have managed to mobilize and engage with different communities. Our Green policies are brilliant and they are what Londoners are crying out for.

Therefore our issues are not policies. Our issues are communication, representation and engagement. All necessary and achievable, if you do something different and elect Rashid Nix. Our time is now—London’s waiting.

Twitter: @RashidNix

Website: http://rashidnix.com/


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Caroline Russell

I have the experience, skills and competence to make the most of an Assembly seat both for Londoners and for the Green Party.

I’m a transport campaigner and national spokesperson on local transport and have a clear vision for the radical action needed to reduce traffic danger on our streets, clean up our air and make London a more liveable and healthy city.

As an Assembly member I would draw directly on my work as sole opposition councillor in Islington where I’ve gained valuable experience at holding the lead group to account, involving community in the work of the Town Hall and making a difference to people’s lives.

I stood in Islington North in the General Election and trebled our share of the vote. We ran the broadest campaign yet, engaging members new and old in more wards and on more issues than ever before.

My election to Islington Council in 2014, was in a breakthrough ward by just an eight vote margin.  I know every vote counts and the work required to earn the trust of voters.

A new team in City Hall should build on the huge achievements of Jenny and Darren over their 16 year tenure and find new ways to use our elected voices to champion local campaigns and concerns of people across London.

If we are going to get Greens into City Hall, we must inspire voters of all backgrounds that Green Party leadership can make London a better city.  I can do this.

Twitter: @highburyonfoot

Website: http://www.caroline-russell.london


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Dee Searle

I’m a Londoner through and through. I was born and raised in Hackney and I’ve lived in 10 inner and outer London boroughs, north and south of the river. My first Green action was at the age of 10 when I organised a petition against the proposed demolition of Clapton Pond.

An active member of Camden Greens, I stood in the 2014 local council elections and convened a new social media group. I was the Green Party 2015 General Election candidate for Tottenham where we came third with 9.2% of the votes – four times more than 2010.

I started out as a journalist, including as a foreign correspondent covering the overthrow of communism in Eastern Europe and as launch editor of Red Pepper magazine. I’ve held senior staff or voluntary leadership roles in numerous organisations, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, Unicef, University of the Arts London, Home-Start Camden and the Weekend Arts College. This provided insight into many of London’s key challenges, such as poverty, housing, health, policing, education, youth, the creative sector and young families.

London is the most unequal city in Britain and it’s becoming more so. The impact of this inequality is being felt most by young people and those from black and minority ethnic communities.

We need a strong, radical Green presence in City Hall to push for an inclusive, fairer future for London – one that links our bold vision with practical solutions to protect our communities from the ravages of the free market.

Twitter: @deesearle

Website: http://deesearle4londonlist.weebly.com/


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Peter Underwood

I’ve stood as a candidate in council and general elections. My ability to present policies clearly and think on my feet has won arguments and gained respect with people from across the political spectrum. I’m a firm believer in social justice, equality and caring for the environment and we shouldn’t be afraid to argue that these policies are good for everyone. I was the only candidate at my general election hustings to get applause from both Class War and the Tories.

I used to be a civil servant and I worked in a wide variety of roles – processing benefits in a Jobcentre, working in Parliament, representing the UK at EU conferences. I’ve developed UK wide strategies, written speeches for Ministers, and worked with Parliamentary scrutiny committees. I know how Government works from the inside and I can use this expertise to maximise my impact in the London Assembly.

I now work for a practical environment conservation charity and I’m also chair of Croydon Friends of the Earth. I’m happy marching in protest, analysing policies, writing articles for the press, or getting my hands dirty clearing rubbish and planting trees.

The Green candidates need to work together and one of my strengths is bringing people together and getting the best out of everyone. I’m asking you to put me as your first choice for the Assembly not just because of what I bring as an individual but also because I believe that I can make us a better team.

Twitter: @GreenPeterU

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GreenPeterU


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RoseMary Warrington

I have been in the Green Party for nearly six years. I am now just completing my third year as secretary of London Green Party and also as secretary of Green Party Women. I have met some of you briefly at new members meetings and at other events.

In the London Green Party I make sure its actions are reported as clearly as possible. My priority is to make sure the record of its plans and actions are accountable and transparent.

I am one of the people who gets things done – I was one of the organisers for the Green bloc on the 20th June demo – joining up volunteers and infrastructure so that banners, placards tables etc arrived in time, the stall was staffed and materials collected.

I have been a member of Amnesty International and Liberty for many years and am also on the committee of my residents association, the steering group of Transition Leytonstone and the committee for Waltham Forest LETS (Local Exchange and Trading System).

I am driven both by social justice and the urgency of counteracting climate change as well as the need to preserve the diversity of our biosphere.

I would bring a professional approach the role of London Assembly member. I was a business analyst in IT for most of my career. Processes and procedures matter – how we work as well as what we do.

Please put me high in your choice of candidates for the London Green Party Assembly List.

Twitter: @rosemarywa

 

William Pinkney-Baird

About William Pinkney-Baird

William is one of the Co-Editors of Bright Green.