A message from Rebecca Manson Jones…

Local councils have a huge influence in our day to day lives and women are under- represented on them meaning that too often the needs of women and vulnerable people are not given due priority.

WE exist to bring about a society where women are represented at every level: in parliament, culture, business, sport, media and public life; in our pay, parenting and caring rights; and WE exist to create a society that calls time on violence against women and girls and on a discriminatory education culture.

Outside of the 6 core policies, which all WE representatives agree to advocate for, I will be free to listen to Brockley residents and work on local concerns.

I have lived in Brockley for 6 years (it’s my Brockley Birthday on Thursday 13th (a neat coincidence but true). Brockley has become my home and that’s largely because of the community ethos I found here which led me to get involved in community events: the pop up ice-rink, the design treasure hunts with Brockley Design Project; and Brockley More at the Jam Circus for Brockley Max. I’ve held stalls and emptied the bins at Hilly Fields Fayre and helped kick-start the organizing committee for the Mass Photograph. I expect to grow old in Brockley and I want to continue to develop and strengthen the openness and community spirit that I first found when I arrived.

Over the last month, I have with the local team of activists and volunteers managed to knock on the doors of every household on the electoral register in Brockley. WE have done this because the Women’s Equality Party – as much as it is about creating a state of gender equality in the UK – is also about opening up democracy and political processes so that everyone can understand and access them. In Lewisham, our ethos is to work on the ground, meeting people, keeping it local, focusing on a positive campaign about the fresh perspective and new energy that WEP can inject onto the Lewisham Council.

I was always interested in politics but couldn’t see myself reflected in party politics. The Women’s Equality Party offers the possibility through its non-partisan approach of doing politics differently. It is this new energy behind and within the WEP that inspires me to think that WEP can and does really make a difference. Already the other parties are listening and our policy advisors and leadership are being consulted about legislation. Our 6 core strands are being paid serious attention in Parliament and City Hall.

Those of you who know my work increasing diversity and accessibility in theatre and arts, will know that I can do the work of a Councillor without fear or favour and will bring the level of integrity, rigour, humility and humour that a public servant needs to negotiate, collaborate and stick to her ground, on behalf of her ward residents. WE is gathering members and supporters all the time and Brockley has a unique chance to show the rest of London and the UK the way.

So I’m asking you to vote on 13th October so there is one voice on Lewisham Council advocating for women’s equality.

Your help could make a difference in this by- election. Your voice matters.

Thanks for reading this far!

Rebecca Manson Jones

 

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About justRMJ

Theatre Director, Artistic Director of Just Jones &, a touring theatre company (www.justjonestheatre.org.uk). Co-Chair of What's Next?-Lewisham, part of a national movement to place arts and culture at the heart of public conversations. Inhabitant and co-creator of the Happy City, freecycler, gardener and Action Learning Facilitator. Governor at Sydenham School, Trustee at Oily Cart. Founder member of the Women's Equality Party and candidate in the GLA election and first-ever WEP local council candidate in Brockley, Lewisham in 2016. Standing again in 2018. Blogging about all and some of those things, not necessarily in that order.
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