Ria Patel

Bright Green is offering all the candidates standing to be on the Green Party’s list for the 2024 London Assembly election the opportunity to set out why they are standing and their vision for London. This article is published as part of that series. The full series of articles can be found here.

I’m currently one of two Green councillors of colour in London. We need more diverse elected Greens that represent London. I’m standing for the Assembly List because people like me – a Queer, neurodivergent, Indian aged 21 – are under-represented in politics and I have the experience for the role.

I got involved with the Green Party after campaigning on social justice issues, like organising campaigns on migrant justice, Queer rights, and the climate emergency. The Green Party was the only party which had policies on social and environmental issues that resonated with me.

Having joined I became involved in the party’s liberation groups. Previously I’ve sat on the committee of Greens of Colour, London Young Greens, and the Democracy and Accountability Committee for the Young Greens. I’ve been Co-Chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens for two years. As part of this role, I helped to pass policy at conference and have worked cross-party and Europe-wide. I’ve also worked to get people of colour elected through co-chairing the Deyika Fund. This year I became the Green Party’s Equalities and Diversity spokesperson. I’m not afraid to be bold and I have a track record for fighting for social justice.

I know how to get elected. Greens campaigned in Fairfield, Croydon and my colleague Esther and I broke through onto Croydon Council in May 2022. Having been born and raised in Croydon, it has been wonderful to work to represent residents and make Croydon greener. In October, I became Chair of Croydon Council’s Scrutiny Streets and Environment Sub-Committee and have scrutinised the Mayor of Croydon’s plans on these issues.

I’m also currently a university student, studying psychology, and I’m acutely aware of some of the challenges students are facing in London. Alongside this, I mentor young, disabled people, as well as those leaving the prison system. Previously, I’ve worked as a support worker and as a care assistant.

I love London but I don’t love the inequities that exist within the city. We know that there cannot be environmental justice without social and economic justice. Green policies offer hope when both people and the planet are in crisis, and our Assembly Members have shown that Green policies are realistic alternatives for London. I’d bring my experience and creativity to the London Assembly. I’m committed to working towards a Greener London. Please give me your 1st preference.

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