Henry Leutner

I’m standing for the Young Greens because there are some pretty worrying trends going on at the moment. I want to do the best I can to stop these trends – to make our society and planet a better place, with tomorrow being more hopeful than today.

Having grown up in an off-grid eco house, I’ve been conscious of sustainability from a young age. People often ask me things like ‘what made you so green?’ And, sure, it’s all I’ve ever known, but it’s the prevalence of this question that shows how far we’ve still got to go in the climate justice movement. I think to myself, ‘why wouldn’t I be green?’. One reading of an IPCC report would be enough to politicise anyone.

I see climate justice as one of the most straightforward arguments to win. It’s almost ridiculous how one-sided it is, and that’s why I think having young people campaigning on the issue – relentlessly – is so important. We’ve already come such a long way, but we’re still a long way off mainstream politics treating the problem with an appropriate level of urgency. I believe the Young Greens can become a home for young progressives – especially those currently feeling disenfranchised – becoming a serious influence in campaigning for climate and social justice.

My experience in campaigning includes organising a large contingent of students from my school to attend a ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ in Canterbury, putting pressure on our school to improve their sustainability policy. I was also a key part of our recent Kent County Council election campaign, in which our candidate, Doug Wade, secured a 25% swing in vote share from 12% to 37%, securing us as the second biggest party in the electoral division.

In my role as campaigns officer, I would work closely with liaison officers to incorporate their concerns and ideas – from the grassroots – into our campaigns and messaging. I think this is the best way to campaign on behalf of and in solidarity with LGBTIQA+ communities, for example.

I would also like to increase the presence of the Young Greens at demonstrations beyond the core group of members in elected positions. To make this a reality, I will work closely with the digital communications officer to increase the promotion of demonstrations to our extensive social media following. As part of this mission to increase Young Green representation at protests, I would like us to have a seat at the table in organising demonstrations in collaboration with other like-minded movements. This way, we can get the voices of our amazing activists heard.

Another project I would like to pursue is working closely with the digital communications officer to create new media types, such as interviews and podcasts. I will use my podcasting and social media working experience to try and make this idea a reality. Such content will showcase the talent of the Young Greens as passionate speakers engagingly spreading our vitally important message. We can use these media forms to challenge the many injustices imposed upon the youth by our incompetent, self-serving government.

And, finally, a key ambition of mine is to get more Young Greens elected as councillors. This ambition is something that – whoever wins election as campaigns officer – will work so hard to make a reality. The importance of success stories and youth representation in ‘adult’ politics cannot be understated. Our current councillors are a beacon of hope in a dark political landscape and will have inspired young people to get involved in the political process, even if that’s just by casting their ballot.

Should I become elected as campaigns officer, I will judge my success on the membership increase of the Young Greens.

Thank you so much for reading. I would like to wish the best of luck to all other candidates – especially those for campaigns officer – who will all do a fantastic job if elected.

Please put me as your first preference! And remember – even if you’ve already cast your vote – there’s still time to change your mind!

This article is part of a series from candidates standing in this year’s elections to the Young Greens of England and Wales Executive Committee. You can find all the articles in the series here. Voting is open in the Young Greens elections from July 3 to July 18. 

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