Daniel Juett, Dominic Hinde, Zara Kitson, Liam Hainey and Stuart Leckie are all standing as candidates in the Scottish local elections this May.
Some of us have a serious chance of being elected, while others view this as an important opportunity to provide a Green voice in areas where we are running as a dark horse candidate.
Wherever we are standing and whatever our chances, we believe that young people are capable of making an impact on the way our local government is run.
Standing for election is often a step taken by older party members who have the financial means and career security to commit to the demands of being a councillor. People under thirty who are still finding their way in life and taking tough decisions about jobs, relationships and education can easily become marginalised in the political process. However, they are the people who can be helped most by the fair, democratic and sustainable politics which Greens believe in, both today and tomorrow.
Local government can make a big difference to the lives of young people. Many of the community facilities which our councils are responsible for are used by young people at the bottom of the economic ladder, whether it be the subsidised football pitches we play on or the bus services we use because we can’t afford to – or choose not to – own a car. Housing shortages force people into long term rents, many of which are overpriced and ill maintained. Affordable housing is well on the way to becoming a very serious issue for an entire generation.
There are also areas where young and old alike have a mutual interest. Whilst climate change acts can be passed in parliament, local councils have the power to radically reduce emissions, waste and pollution by taking simple measures. Green jobs create a future for today’s youth, integrated transport and serious cycling provision can change the way we travel for the better, and measures can be taken to diversify local business and prevent young people becoming nothing more than cogs in a Tesco economy.
More than anything else, when we stand as candidates we bring with us an ambition and vision for the future which stems from the problems we have experienced first hand. With some hard campaigning and a bit of luck we hope to get Young Greens into the heart of local politics, looking after our cities, towns and villages for today, as well as building them for the benefit of tomorrow.