By Sara Gill, Hackney Green Party and LYG Committee member
I’ve been a member of the Green Party since just after 2015’s General Election. I joined because I wanted to do something real and positive about what I saw as a lurch to the right in the UK’s politics, rather than just getting angry on that big old echo chamber online.
Since I’ve joined, I’ve felt welcome and valuable. My first event was the London Young Greens AGM, where I was supported to stand for a committee position – and was elected. Since then I’ve literally got the (so hip and stylish) T-shirt – I’ve been involved in training, canvassing, demonstrations and socials. I’ve been encouraged to stand for other, national positions, as a candidate in an election and to write a policy motion for conference. My voice is sought and respected, even though I’m a pretty ‘green’ Green.
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The London Mayoral and Assembly elections in May and the Gipsy Hill by-election shortly after showed what a difference members can make – our time spent pounding London’s streets, door-knocking and leafleting together ensured great results: 3rd place in London overall and only 36 votes in it in Gipsy Hill!
Alongside other Greens, I feel like I am finally making some real-life change.
I’ve always felt closest to the Greens in terms of policy: belief in a fair electoral system (without tactical voting), positivity about migrants and obviously a commitment to environmental justice are all close to my heart.
September sees the Green Party Conference coming to Birmingham. It’ll be my first, and I’m excited. The Young Greens organise a Buddy scheme to make everyone feel welcome and help us engage with it all, so no nerves here.
Ordinary members put policy forward in advance and then everyone at conference votes on it: there aren’t delegates or bloc votes. I’ve just finished my prioritisation ballot, to collectively pick the order of motions.
This September, we’ll also be electing our new leader together (seems to be the season for it!). In the Green Party, it feels like we, the members, really do matter and are at the heart of shaping the party.
13 months on from joining the Greens, I once again feel like we’re entering a dark, difficult time for politics. If you want to be part of creating a progressive future, get involved and join us!