Tuesday 2 May 2017

Brent Green Party reveals its General Election candidates

Shaka Lish, Green Party candidate for Brent Central
Shaka Lish has been selected to challenge Dawn Butler in Brent Central:
I am a life long Brent resident, conceived in Harlesden, born in Kilburn, grew up in Queens Park and now reside in Willesden. I wasn’t always political but like many, after the Iraq war I was left with so many questions about politics in the UK. Questions like, what makes democracy work for the people, not just the powerful? Since then, I have become more engaged with issues that I am passionate about and also more informed.
Since the global crash in 2008, there has been a change in the world. What appeared at first as an opportunity to change the way we are living – address climate change, inequality and neoliberalism – has actually appeared tighten the grip of disaster capitalism.
There comes a time when we have to stand up to be counted and take part in effecting the change that we wish to see in this world. By standing for the Green Party I believe I am doing just that. The local, to the national, to the global, are all intimately interconnected. We begin locally but this inevitably has echoes further afield.

I have been a professional singer pursuing a career in music since leaving school and been lucky enough to make music, travel the world and share my creativity on a platform. Although I still make music, I have nurtured another passion - for social justice and for helping others.
I recently became a mature student and finished an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and History and currently I am finishing an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation, at SOAS. Being lucky enough to get a grant to study, I know how enriching education is, so I am adamant tuition fees should be scrapped and that we should not create barriers to knowledge through eye-watering debt. Education is a social good for all.

My undergraduate dissertation was on the subject of climate change and it has been frustrating to watch how science has led the way but unfortunately our leaders have been slow to act. My priority would be to hold the government to account and to keep campaigning for investment in green initiatives, transport and technology.
I am passionate about community, the environment, equality, the NHS, animals and education. I often feel so inspired by what could be possible, how the country can be transformed for the good of all, not just the few. I see a country where we have clean air, renewable energy, we look after our environment, we care for the vulnerable, have meaningful and secure work and where everyone gets the opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential. I know this is possible but I also know it can only be achieved together.

My local campaign would focus around these areas –
  • Put pressure on the council to make commercial recycling mandatory, not optional.
  • Campaign for more local cycling hangers – and for this to feed into a more coherent transport policy.
  • Push for procurement of local land for community resources such as youth activities and allotments
  • Create a plan that gives locals more power to decide on their dominant energy sources and scrap any disincentives to renewables.
  • Strive for any new developments in Brent to be accompanied by appropriate services to sustain the growing population of residents – such as medical care, childcare, community resources and activities. Not just shopping facilities.
The opportunity to stand as an MP is humbling as it is a service to my community. Brent is a community that has given me opportunities and support and I would be proud to stand as a Green Party representative and spread the message to make sure people know, a better world is possible.
Michaela Lichten, Green Party candidate for Brent North
 Michaela Lichten has been selected to challenge Barry Gardiner in Brent North:
I’ve been a resident of Brent for over 30 years and am passionate about the built and natural environment.
So much of society is weighted against ordinary people and with the crisis in Housing and Education worsening, new and innovative solutions need to be found to halt further inequalities.
With Brexit now triggered The Green Party can ensure we don’t stop being Europeans. I’m proud to stand for The Green Party which has long been a feminist party, with policies including improved maternity services, quotas for women on boards and working with organisations to advance women's equality and employment opportunities.
I’d strive to be a good constituency MP concentrating on local issues such as housing, schools, open spaces, pollution and the provision of good quality care for the elderly that doesn’t solely rely on the, often unpaid, contribution of the families of those effected. I’d work to provide better support for carers.
There are around seven million carers in the UK with 700,000 being under 18; I’d work to ensure that young carers and young adult carers are given vital support throughout their education. Having been a carer myself, for my husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s, I identify with the many carers that are over 65 and struggling with their own health issues and who deserve better support.I
believe that it’s the duty of MPs to listen to, and be reachable by, the constituents that elect them. If elected I will work to raise the concerns of Brent residents with relevant Ministers ensuring a local influence at Westminster.
tweet: @michaelalichten
John Mansook, Green Party candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn
 John Mansook has been selected by Brent and Camden Green Parties to challenge Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Kilburn
I have lived in Brent all my life and I am also active in my community raising awareness and giving advice to residents. I believe because of my occupational and life experience I am able to identify and communicate with younger voters in Brent.
I am aware of the issues such as poor health, pollution, crime, cuts to youth services and lack of affordable housing all of which affect the quality of life of all residents in Brent especially the next generation. My daily exposure to different groups such as elderly and disabled people has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the impact cuts to funding has had on the quality of life for the most vulnerable society. This awareness has motivated and mobilised me into action.

I am a diabetes community champion and I attend community events to raise awareness about diabetes and to educate the citizens of Brent on health and wellbeing. I have also previously volunteered in Camden working with the Leighton Project as a swim buddy which helped disabled young adults overcome their fear of water and become self- confident in water and ultimately learn how to swim. I have also volunteered in Camden on health and activity awareness days promoting health and wellbeing within the Borough.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Brent Green Party showing more diversity, but would also welcome shorter paragraphs for the candidate statements.

For many people, large blocks of text can be very off-putting.

Alan Wheatley

Martin Francis said...

Thanks for the comment Alan. I've done a little editing to address your second point.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Martin.

I find that much more inviting. Like one of my favourite poems is by Spike Milligan and simply reads, "Hello." It's title? 'A Poem for the Lonely'.


Unknown said...

Brilliant poem. Thanks for the local politics.

Unknown said...

I actually prefer a bit more in the paragraphs, for example the first one. With bullet points on the main issues, bang on. As an undecided voter doing my research, a bit more information or links to a website with more would be helpful.