We need help to hold candidates accountable to the electorate

There are just 75 days until the London borough and European elections which will be held jointly on the 22nd May 2014. There will be local elections in all London boroughs and 128 other English boroughs around the country.  For Hackney, there will also be a Mayoral election. Hackney will also see changes to the current 19 ward boundaries, becoming 21 wards in total.

As the Assistant Secretary of Hackney Unites, I am leading on a project which will organise a number of public meetings in the run up to the May elections.  These meetings will be designed to bring the issues that our communities really care about to the attention of the candidates hoping to win our votes.  These events also aim to hold politicians to account.

Right now, these events will look like the following:
  • 2 hour event held in a community space
  • All local candidates will be invited to take part
  • 1st hour –themed questions from local residents (themes representing issues that have been raised by local community)
  • 2nd hour-CandiDating! Attendees can speak directly to candidates to ask a ‘burning question’ in 1-1 discussion
This is just a suggested format; it is flexible and Hackney Unites is open to any suggestions of the communities where the events are held.

Our communities face many issues in the face of rapid social change as well as the effects of austerity and the weakness of the economy.  The upcoming elections provide an important opportunity for local people to raise those concerns and to collectively make decisions about the right people to represent our borough at a political level.

Hackney Unites believes in bringing together and empowering our communities, through collective action.  While national politics may seem far away from our everyday lives, Hackney Unites aims to raise the voice of our communities so that they are heard; to bring the lived experience of our communities to the attention of those who make decisions about how we live.  If you haven’t already registered to vote, you can do so here.
So there are 2 things that we’d like you to do.
  1. Get in touch if you led or belong to a community group in Hackney interested in working with Hackney Unites to put on an event in your ward
  2. If you are a local resident that is interested in getting involved with this project and want to nominate your ward for an event, get in touch!

You can contact me directly at lmcallister.jones@gmail.com or hackneyunites@btinternet.com.

In other news

In the run up to the elections we will be working with the national campaigning organisation: HOPE not hate, and in particular we will be distributing a tabloid style newspaper defending multiculturalism and challenging some of the lies about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers. If you want to et involved, please sign up here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HackneyHopenothate
Dalston Futures
The people of Dalston are organising to maximise the benefit for the community of the redevelopment of Kingsland Shopping centre. There is a petition that you may wish to sign, and which you can help publicise: http://tinyurl.com/pgdhnsz
The group is also making a film about how local people feel about change, and are undertaking a survey http://tinyurl.com/p3ywalg you can also help by volunteering to distribute the following leaflets: 
BEMA event: Hackney Remembers Race, Belonging and the First World War
Monday 31 March, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
The Tomlinson Centre, Queensbridge Road, London E8 3ND

Few people realise the scale of effort and sacrifice made by the peoples of the Former British Empire during the First World War. This event is intended to be the first of many exploring the role played by these people, many of whose descendants have established communities in Hackney.
There will be a screening and discussion of ‘Whose Remembrance?’ a short film produced by the Imperial War Museum (IWM).
The event will feature guest speeches from Professor Gus John, honorary fellow of the Institute of Education and historian Jerry White, both of whom have a strong Hackney connection. Additional contributors include Diane Abbott MP, Patrick Vernon (Local councillor and Every Generation Media), Ngoma Bishop (Black and Ethnic Minority Arts) and Suzanne Bardgett (IWM). The evening will also include musical performances and refreshments.
Tickets are free but registration is advised: http://hackneyremembers.eventbrite.co.uk


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If you are on Facebook, or twitter, perhaps you can post the following link:

Hackney Unites: organising our communities, building HOPE, questioning politicians http://tinyurl.com/o97lr4x Pls get involved and RT


John Page
Hackney Unites