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With campaigning already underway for May 24th’s local elections, we’ve asked each of those running to answer five simple questions about where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where they hope to take us all.
Especially given that they’ve all agreed to keep our town and village centres free from campaign posters.
Day by day, each entry will be given the floor, unedited, to express their plans and hopes, their dreams and schemes.
And to keep it fair, we’re doing this alphabetically. So, first up is Anne Waithira Burke, a new face in politics who has hitched her wagon to the Labour party.
Take it away, Annie…
What inspired you to become involved in local politics? Was there a Road to District Council moment…?
What inspires me to be involved in local politics and increasingly with time is my young family and the families who also live in this Municipal area, and their need to improve, create security and have a better future for themselves. I have a vision of a safe, equal and just society and a community for all. I believe that we can have that utopia with all people from varied backgrounds being represented in all aspects of decision making.
Of your work so far, are there particular achievements that you are particularly proud of?
Yes, I am proud to have initiated, facilitated and organized a multicultural and diversity day Intercultural Jam for the last few years (except last year) around my community and hope to have it spread around the whole county. On this day people can celebrate how vibrant, diverse their communities are and get to learn and appreciate the different cultures, religions, personalities, beliefs, food, dress and way of life. This was our way to change our family’s bad experiences of racism, discrimination and bullying. I honestly believe that education and knowledge can be used to combat the hate, stereotyping, racism, discrimination and fear.
Looking forward, what are the main goals that you would like to achieve over the coming years?
Be able to implement and work on an inclusion and a diversity strategic plan that will help families of a migrant background to be integrated and accepted.
Fight for the building of more social and affordable homes so our people have a roof over their heads and do not have the fear of sleeping rough or living in hotels.It is disgraceful that the amount of social and affordable housing built in the past few years is so little considering that a few hundred people are seeking public housing in our municipal area for a number of years. Everyone deserves a home!
Our transport system needs to improve immensely. I will work to try get a bus system which is more frequent for commuters. I will fight to get the Dart service extended past Greystones. Our train service needs to be more frequent and coincide with the bus timetable. Improved public transport will lessen the need for people to drive and thereby help with lowering our carbon emissions.
I will keep fighting to make our constituency be among the pilot areas on the mission for climate change. I will fight to allow each home have ways to use green energy like solar panels, home insulation, electric car charging points and increase the planting of trees. I will work with organizations, individuals and the council to make sure our carbon emissions reduce.
We need more provisions for our youth. Something for them to do that will make a difference in our community. I do believe by giving them a reason not to be in the streets we will give them a better chance in life, away from delinquency, misconduct and drugs.
To turn a fine Mayor Quimby quote into a question, ask not what you can do for your county, but what you can do for Greystones…?
I will work with and for the people of Greystones. I hope to work for misrepresented and underrepresented, work for the environment, work for the less able, work for youth and older generations, work for parents and everyone in our community to create a safe and equal opportunity community for all to live happily.
If being a politician doesn’t work out, have you got a Career B in mind? Dancer? Magician? Traffic warden.
Activist/leader. I will continue to fight the good fight for a better tomorrow.
You can find out more about Anne Waithira Burke on the Labour website here, or get in touch directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Anne on Facebook here, and Twitter here. There will be a chance to meet all the local candidates at Greystones Tennis Club on Tuesday May 7th, at 7pm.