Environment, teamwork and scrutiny: Ronald Stewart, candidate for Green London Assembly list
In 2020, London will go to the polls to elect a new Mayor and members of the London Assembly. The London Green Party are now in the process of selecting their candidates for those elections. Bright Green is offering every candidate seeking selection an opportunity to tell our readers why they should be selected. One of these candidates is Ronald Stewart, and this is what he has to say:
I’m Ronald Stewart. I’m hoping for your vote to become a Green London Assembly Member. I want to bring a renewed focus to Londoners’ concerns about our environment. I know the only way the Green Party is going to achieve this necessary change is by working together as a team, building on each others’ skills and talents. And, I have the expertise to make sure the Mayor’s plans are thoroughly examined and improved for everyone in London.
I believe that London has a responsibility, as a global city, to lead by example on the environment. City Hall must make decisions which consider the environment in a complete way – whether that is energy use and our effect on global climate change, or our city’s specific problems including urban air pollution damaging our health and quality of life.
Every decision taken can have an impact – that’s why my priority in this election is to get more Green Assembly Members so that we can cover everything we need to. We must make sure there is a green thread running through all of the Assembly’s work.
I love Caroline Russell’s Assembly motion declaring a climate emergency, following the work of Carla Denyer in Bristol. The London Assembly has a continuing responsibility to remember this pledge every time a decision is made. Being environmentally-focused means taking action and making practical and pragmatic choices.
I led a study of nitrogen dioxide pollution levels with Haringey Green Party. We found this lung-damaging pollutant was more than double EU limits, busting through even what models predicted. The levels outside school entrances and on routes to school are a particular worry, with children’s lungs at risk of permanent damage. Without the hard work of the Green Party’s members and activists, we wouldn’t even know about this continuing health crisis. We must now take our expertise and be there, putting forward our Green values, whenever public decisions are made.
December, I coordinated a Green Party by-election campaign in
Haringey. Our candidate, Cecily Spelling, said: “I was inspired by
Ronald’s ideas and never-ending enthusiasm and energy, which helped
ensure we maintained our vote share against stiff competition,”
But, it was only with everyone’s input that this was possible:
finding ways to work smarter than our opponents while having fun.
Without a dedicated Green team, we are without hope.
A Green politician has no power alone – they must inspire, convince, build consensus with political allies, and challenge the status quo. I’m really excited about working together with the 21 other candidates who are on the ballot with me. Every one of us candidates should and could be a Green councillor if we have the right support structure backing us. We must use this campaign to improve our skills, share good practices, and build each other up.
I feel proud of the diversity and strength of the candidate roster for this London Assembly selection. I chaired the group that wrote the rules for this selection, ensuring that we will select a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) candidate in the top three on the list, and that BME women are acknowledged in the rules. This is something that I wrote myself and pushed for, and I’m glad that London Green Party were able to confidently approve the rules that I wrote.
The daily job of Assembly Members is to scrutinise the decisions of the Mayor of London and to find improvements for all Londoners. I enjoy this detailed work and have a record of success, examining policy proposals and making them work better for the Party.
I brought our first formal policy on sexual health and sex education to the Green Party’s conference, and was delighted to see it pass. My experience as a teacher means that I understand the challenges of educating London. I can bring this to the Assembly. The Green Party has fantastic policy in education and health, and we can do more to promote our good ideas.
Scrutinising documentation requires unglamorous, detail-oriented hard work. My ability to do this will bring about real and meaningful improvements, for all Londoners, that Greens can get behind. I’m committing to do that work, and so I’m asking for your #1 vote for the Assembly List.
Ronald Stewart is an active member of the London Green Party. He stood in the Enfield and Haringey constituency in the 2016 London Assembly elections.
Articles from all candidates can be found here.