Joe Levy Young Greens Co-chair candidate answers Wales Young Greens Survey

1) What will you do to support the growth of Young Greens in Wales?

Joe : I am a firm believer in the idea that reaching out to those who are not currently party political is a great way of growing the Young Greens. My own experience in Exeter has taught me that many people have interests which directly relate to the values of the Green Party, but they might not always see it that way. I want to work with Young Green groups in Wales to develop community initiatives, projects and campaigns that reflect the areas they live in. This could be a free food initiative, or perhaps a public transport campaign. By having the support to have a greater presence within their communities, we can reach out to new supporters and enable them to be activists. I would like to visit different local groups and meet activists in Wales when possible, and use this as an opportunity to discuss what is currently lacking that might help grow Wales Young Greens.

2) What support will you provide to Wales Young Greens?

Joe : I believe that any support provided to any Young Greens group has to be tailored to the specific needs of a group, and this is best achieved by keeping regular contact, and whenever possible, visiting to take part in and support campaign activities. I have promised to produce electronic resource packs for setting up/supporting community initiatives, and I would love to have input from Wales Young Green groups on what kind of materials they’d like to feature. I am very keen to help set up more Young Green groups in parts of Wales where the Green Party generally has less of a presence or where the resources aren’t currently in place, but I’m well aware that this will mean working in areas with poor public transport or fewer volunteers initially. My home region of the South West is mostly rural and has limited public transport, so I’d be keen to liaise with other rural YGs groups in the UK and see how they are able to function successfully.

3) will you push for bilingual leaflets from both Young Greens and the Green Party of England and Wales, and ensure that materials and resources provided by the national party covers Wales and not just England as in previous years?

Joe : I am completely in favour of providing Young Greens leaflets in multiple languages, and I think this needs to be tailored to the needs of local groups. I would like to work with groups to ensure that communications are relevant to the cultural and linguistic heritage of their area. In doing this, I want to be able to provide Wales Young Greens with versions of national Young Greens leaflets in both English and Welsh, and push for the same to be reflected in the party as a whole. Given the Young Greens’ current resource limitations, I don’t anticipate us being able to make these changes quickly, however I think it should be high on our list of priorities. We can immediately start working out the best process for sourcing translations and begin estimating how this will change the existing budget for such resources. I would like to see more focused fundraising drives that support specific initiatives, and I feel this would certainly help speed up the process where we get to the point that we can produce bilingual/multilingual leaflets.

4) If you have already been on NEC what have you already done for Wales Young Greens? If you haven not what would you of done to help support the group during its creation at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016.

Joe : I have not been a member of NEC before, however much of what I would have done is really my answer to question 2. I think a crucial point is that whereas the regional YGs groups are very much regions within England, and comprise a number of distinct areas, Wales Young Greens is unique in that it covers the area of an entire country. I get the sense that Wales is too often treated as another region, and I think the establishment of Wales Young Greens should have marked a shift towards greater autonomy for groups in Wales. If this is desired, then I think that ought to have included the transfer of responsibility and resources, with the ultimate aim of bringing the relationship between the Young Greens and Wales Young Greens onto the same level as is currently the case with the Welsh Green Party and the Green Party of England and Wales. This would allow Wales Young Greens to operate its own regions within Wales, acknowledging the cultural and geographical distinctiveness between different areas. Nonetheless, it is still early days and it is definitely not too late to set this process in motion.

5) Finally why should members of Wales Young Greens vote for you to be Co-chair of Young Greens England and Wales?

Joe : The main principle of my campaign is the idea that wherever there is a Young Greens presence, communities should be better for it. I will champion the efforts that local groups make to stand up for their community, whether it’s the geographical community they live in, or whether it’s a community of people facing oppression. I have spent a significant amount of time travelling around the UK visiting local parties and groups, working with them to find out how they campaign, both learning from their work but also offering insights from my experience. If elected Co-Chair I’d be able to do this even more, and in particular would like to spend time helping new Young Green groups develop in Wales. I want Wales to be treated more like a country and less like another region and I am keen to listen to views on how this can be achieved, perhaps through devolution of power from the Young Greens of England and Wales to Wales Young Greens. I intend to put liberation groups at the forefront of future development in the Young Greens, as I believe that our role as a party is to give voices to those whose voice is currently oppressed. This gives real scope for local groups to be champions of liberation issues in communities where these issues aren’t often discussed and could really make community spaces become more inclusive and accessible. The Young Greens has the potential to grow into a true grassroots organisation that empowers the oppressed and draws in new voices. I want to ensure that Wales Young Greens has genuine control and representation that it needs in order to flourish and reach out into new communities, and I hope you will trust your vote in me to help you achieve this.

Hannah Ellen Clare Co-chair Candidate answers Wales young Greens Survey

1) What will you do to support the growth of Young Greens in Wales?
The loss of a dedicated Young Greens staff member this year has meant that we were unable to support local groups to the best of our ability. That’s why I’ve focussed on both membership support and the return of staff as part of my top three priorities.

Hannah : Unfortunately we don’t have that many young greens groups in Wales, but I believe there are a few simple steps we can do to kick start this.

Contact local parties and see if they have any active young greens and get in touch with them. Ask those Young Greens to be a “buddy” for any other young members who are in their local party
Ask local parties to put a young greens welcome in their emails directing them to Wales Young Greens
Contact young greens in Wales directly and offer them support in setting up a group

Once they’re started, I think there is a lot more we can do to support our local groups, and I have already spent my year working on producing a lot more guides, due to be published later in the year and covering both campaigning as at school and college and running Young Greens events. What I would like to see in the next year is regular online training sessions for local group chairs and template events.

I believe this task will be a lot easier when we have a staff member who can prioritise their time on membership development, and I am proud that I fought for this return to be in the top 3 reinstatement priorities in last year’s budget. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it in the meantime and I am happy to support Wales Young Greens in doing all of the above.

2) What support will you provide to Wales Young Greens?
I’m really proud that we’re finally seeing Wales Young Greens / Am Gwyrddion Ifanc Cymru working off the ground and I want to do all I can to help this success continue.

Hannah : As one of the founding members, I am a huge supporter in the role of the Young Greens Senate in supporting regional groups. Being a regional co-convenor is a really tough job and a strong Senate can help support the Co-convenors do a good job. Ensuring this happens is a key priority for me but as outlined in other questions, I am happy to visit, give advice and generally fight for all Young Greens in Wales.

3) Will you push for bilingual leaflets from both Young Greens and the Green Party of England and Wales, and ensure that materials and resources provided by the national party covers Wales and not just England as in previous years?
Hannah : I have been leading on the production of freshers materials this year and have tried as hard as I can to ensure we have covered this. Along with editing the voter registration cards to ensure that they don’t reference the educational maintenance allowance, I have attempted to get a translation of our two major leaflets (join, voter registration) done.

Unfortunately at this time we have not had the translation back however we do still have the budget to produce these and I hope to get them printed nonetheless. I would like the next review of our youth manifesto to be completed bilingually, building on the youth manifesto produced for the assembly campaign this year.

4) If you have already been on NEC what have you already done for Wales Young Greens? If you haven not what would you of done to help support the group during its creation at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016.
Hannah : I attended the founding AGM to run a training session in debating and to generally support the group in its foundations, including in the creation of the constitution. I also attended the launch of the Youth Manifesto and the action day in Cardiff the following day, filming a number of clips for Young Greens social media. I am happy to attend in future upon invitation.

I have also provided online support when asked, a quote for the #NonBinaryExists campaign and created a mini-site for Wales Young Greens / Am Gwyrddion Ifanc Cymru http://younggreens.org.uk/local-groups/wales/.

5) Finally why should members of Wales Young Greens vote for you to be co-chair of Young Greens England and Wales?

Hannah : I mentioned in my statement that I have three priorities that I think will help the Young Greens work better operationally and I really do believe there is an end goal. By laying these essential foundations, we can get down to the real stuff.

Young people are effectively locked out of local councils. The average age of councillors is 60, and only 1 in every 43 councillors is under 30. In our Tory dominated dystopia, we need to use these foundations, and put them to work getting more Young Greens elected to protect both people and planet in our local communities.

Currently there are two Young Green candidates standing in by-elections in Wales and I’d love to be in a position throw as much support behind them. I’d also like to continue the foundations laid this year by working to get Young Greens elected into the assembly.

My knowledge, skills, and experience gained over the last year place me in the ideal position to deliver what we need. I have a good track record of supporting Wales Young Greens / Am Gwyrddion Ifanc Cymru and I hope it speaks for itself.

Sam Murray Co-chair Candidate answers to Wales Young Greens Survey

1) What will you do to support the growth of Young Greens in Wales?

Sam: to support the growth of Welsh greens I want to back existing proposals to set up more regionalised specific young greens groups. There is currently a plan for a Cardiff young greens that allows not only students to join but also those in work and those under 18 so we can share a joint vision of our areas. I also want to work nationally to see how we can connect members on their own in some regions together and ensure they can find access funding to attend important events like the wales agm. Policy wise I want to fully support the recognising non-binary campaign and explore how we can call the seed and not just the UK government to account. I also support making strong move to differentiate Wales young greens from plaid and will refuse to discuss being allied to a progressive alliance with plaid without a Wales consensus.

2) What support will you provide to Wales Young Greens?

Sam: in terms of support to provide I want to offer platforms for visibility of campaigns and ensure Wales has a national not regional voice in debates, As a co-chair I would willingly react to senedd events not just Westminster. I would also keep in contact with the Wales Co convener and enable them to request additional Wales specific resources as to affirm their status as a nation.

3) will you push for bilingual leaflets from both Young Greens and the Green Party of England and Wales, and ensure that materials and resources provided by the national party covers Wales and not just England as in previous years?

Sam: Short answer Yes. This is the green party of England and Wales we should have bilingual literature. This will need discussions on exploring how professional translation can occur with limited budget and I hope the gpew will adopt this. Any time we will release materials and resources I will maintain an open chanel with Wales to ensure wyg are happy with results.

4) If you have already been on NEC what have you already done for Wales Young Greens? If you haven not what would you of done to help support the group during its creation at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016.

Sam: as a wyg member after convention in 2015 I worked with Rhianon from regional senate and Andrew current coconvenor on setting up Wales young greens acting as start up secretary to ensure we prepared a constitution and had an agm. I have also been a Welsh voice on nec helping run the Cardiff election action day and bringing an eu campaign event to Wales with Terry Reintke MEP. I also supported the Cardiff bid for convention and despite not succeeding feel applying next year could be successful.

5) Finally why should members of Wales Young Greens vote for you to be Co-chair of Young Greens England and Wales?

Sam: I want to be the Welsh voice on the NEC as the only candidate from Wales Young Greens up for election tot the committee. If elected cochair I will ensure parity in our organisational responses and continue to ensure Wales is treated as a nation. I will continue to support the Wales young greens coconvenors and will work to bring events to Wales. I also want one of our central campaigns to be Wales based for example we could look to explore how the future generations act can be used to call for action on climate change.

Young Green Contests in Plasnewydd By-Election

Michael Cope is Green Party candidate in Plasnewydd
Michael Cope is a 25-year-old activist who was born and raised in Cardiff. After four years at Exeter University, during which he campaigned around LGBTQ rights and gender equality, he returned to Cardiff and became active in local Green politics.

He said: “Plasnewydd represents everything that makes Cardiff a great place to live, with its vibrant arts and culture, beautiful green spaces, and thriving local shops and businesses. It’s a part of the city I love.

“However, having spent a lot of time speaking to residents, it is clear things need to change. People on the doorstep mention litter, poorly-maintained roads and pavements, anti-social behaviour around City Road, and traffic as serious problems. Residents also speak about getting no response from the Labour council and of feeling let down.

“Labour councillors are too busy fighting amongst themselves to come up with a plan to protect vital public services. I will work hard to give residents a greater say in how money is spent and how problems are solved. The answer to budget cuts shouldn’t be outsourcing services to a company with a track record of failure for other councils.”

Wales Young Greens Co-convener Contesting in Gilfach By-Election

Mx Andrew Creak, 19, has been selected and nominated as the Wales Green Party candidate in the Gilfach (Caerphilly County Borough Council) by-election on the 6th October. Creak, who is the co-convener of the youth and student branch of the Green Party in Wales and the Welsh Green Pride spokesperson, contested the Caerphilly constituency seat in the recent National Assembly for Wales election in May, increasing the party’s vote share to a new high.

Creak said “I am delighted to be accepted as a candidate in the Gilfach by-election, and as the first green candidate in any ward in the Caerphilly Council. I look forward to speaking to residents on the doorstep in the coming weeks.”

In the past year Creak has helped campaign groups Gwern Y Domen, and Keep Caerphilly Mountain Green to fight the Local Development Plan (LDP) voted in favour for by the Labour council, which included building on greenfield sites and areas of scientific interest.

“I was so relieved when the council finally caught up with the people of Caerphilly in recognising that the LDP was a bad idea; it’s just a shame it took such a lengthy period of public consultation for them to realise the obvious.”

Creak also launched Welsh Green Pride’s new campaign at Pride Cymru back in August. The campaign is pushing for non-binary gender acceptance, and has wide support, including Co-Leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley, who said “There is currently no legal recognition for non-binary people, despite the fact that tens of thousands throughout the UK identify in this way. This is clearly discriminatory and needs to end. I am very happy to support Welsh Green Pride’s campaign.”

Fantastic response at Pride Cymru

Yesterday We had a great response to our presence at Pride Cymru. Organised by Wales Young Greens; who raised the £318 needed to cover the cost of the stall; the event saw the launch of Welsh Green Pride’s new equality campaign #NonBinaryExists a campaign for legal recognition of non-binary genders.

Andrew Creak Co-convener of Wales Young Greens and Spokesperson for Welsh Green Pride said, “It was a fantastic day, we have a great response to our presence in the parade, and when it came to the campaign, we were having a ques of people waiting to sign! We even run out of printed petition sheets and we had to improvise!”

We also had many of the Green Party leaders with us helping to celebrate the launch, Including Alice Hooker-Stroud, Wales Green Party Leader, and Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.

Hooker-Stroud said; “The importance of a person’s gender identity isn’t seen by the majority of cis-gendered people as they were born with the gender identity with which they identify. It’s time for the UK government to move forward and legally recognise non-binary genders.”

Womack, who has been a great supporter of LGBTIQA+ rights has said this in regards to the new campaign “Policy-makers, as well as the wider population, need to take the time to consider the importance of gender identity. It is plainly wrong that people who identify as non-binary do not have the legal recognition they deserve and are forced to tick male or female.”

You can sign the petition HERE.

Wales Young Greens response to UKIP chairing the Welsh Assembly Climate Change Committee

We at Wales Young Greens are disgusted that the Welsh Assembly Government have appointed UKIP as the chair of the Climate Change Committee.

For Wales to lead the way in the pursuit of sustainability and fighting climate, Wales needs a forward thinking party to lead the way.
That’s why Wales Young Greens are so disappointed that UKIP have been appointed the chair of the Climate Change Committee.

Wales has enough natural resources to meet all our energy needs without burning any fossil fuels. We also have the skills and knowledge to develop sustainable industries and build sustainable houses, like the Solcer House in Bridgend, which produces more energy than it uses.

The UK Independence Party are not the right party or politicians to chair Wales’ climate change discussion. A lot of work needs to be done to protect the environment in Wales, and you can trust the Wales Young Greens will be working tirelessly for people, for planet, for Wales.

Response to Leaving the EU

Dear friends,

Last Friday was an awful day. Disappointment and devastation sums it up pretty well. This is not a complaint about the result, nor a whinge at the electorate, nor is it a finger-pointing session. The deconstruction and analysis of the campaign and the result can wait until we’ve dealt with the immediate fallout. Emotions are high and hope is low. We have to work with the hand we’ve been dealt.

The Wales Young Greens did campaign for a remain vote, but to stay in a Europe that can and will be reformed. This doesn’t go away – the fight is still on to democratize and make Europe greener. We will be, upon leaving the European Union in around two years time, surrounded by the EU possibly from all sides, and with a land border (or two, depending on what happens in Scotland), it’s in our interest to push for democratic reforms in the EU, even if we won’t directly benefit from them. We must and we will stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with our friends across the Channel and the Irish Sea to bring about what we were campaigning for – a people’s Europe.

 

This vote to leave has sent shock waves across the world both politically and economically. We are likely to face rising food and fuel prices, and times will be hard for the foreseeable future. Those who are taking us out will try and shift the pain on the poor and the young to cushion themselves. This can not and will not happen. We will fight tooth and nail to make sure that the many benefits that Wales receives as members of the EU will be replaced or enhanced, and that the leave campaign’s promises of further investment in public services will be met.

We will fight to make sure that environmental legislation is not rolled back. These laws and protections were hard fought for thanks to the cooperation of our friends and colleagues in the EU institutions, in order to help protect the environment from governments that were hell-bent on causing untold damage for short term profit – and to get countries that were not doing much to protect the environment and our natural resources to do their part. We must not, and will not become “the dirty man of Europe” once again. Those days are behind us.

 

There is also now a real possibility that the UK could break apart – with the Scottish First Minister now calling for a second independence referendum, Spain now pushing for joint rule in Gibraltar, and leading republican politicians demanding a vote for the unification of Ireland – and could lead to years, maybe even a decade of constitutional uncertainty. Tough times are ahead.

However, it has been amazing how people have been able to put their differences aside to campaign in this referendum – at an Assembly or Westminster election you wouldn’t see Green, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru and Labour members at the same table, campaigning for a common goal (even if we had our differences about implementation).

We say it is time to work together, to put aside our differences and to unite to weather this storm, and even though the result is not what we wanted, we can campaign for a country to be proud of, that respects, understands and engages all of its citizens; and that protects its environment and its natural resources.

To quote Kodos from the Simpsons – “We must go forward, not backward; upward, not downward and ever twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!”

 

Yours sincerely,

Yr eiddoch yn gywir,

Cordialement,

Le saluda atentamente,

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Mise le meas,

Искрено Ваш,

S poštovanjem,

S pozdravem,

Med venlig hilsen,

Met vriendelijke groet,

Lugupidamisega,

Vilpittömästi sinun,

Με εκτίμηση,

Üdvözlettel,

Cordiali saluti,

Tuus ex animo,

Dejjem tieghek,

Ar cieņu,

Pagarbiai,

Mat frëndleche Gréiss,

Z poważaniem,

Atenciosamente,

Cu sinceritate,

S úctou,

S spoštovanjem,

Din tillgivne,

Atentament,

Adeitasunez,

 

Gwyrddion Ifanc Cymru – Wales Young Greens

 

We stand with Owen Jones

We stand with Owen Jones and are disgusted by the actions of the presenters of Sky news.

We at Wales Young Greens are outraged by the actions of Sky News for suppressing the voice of the LGBTIQA+ people talking about the mass shooting on LGBTIQA+ people.

All the points Owen were making were valid, and the straight cis people were trying to remove the LGBTIQA+ loss and were deliberately trying to remove all queer aspects of the tragedy.

Owen was amazing at standing his ground, this has proven that the media want to wash away all aspects of the Queer community, and try to place the guilt on followers of the Islamic faith.

The attack was against LGBTIQA+ people and Mark Longhurst and Julia Hartley-Brewer were trying to remove that fact. We live in a world where gay people are killed for who they love, where Trans people are killed for being who they are, and Mark and Julia were more than content to remove the queer victims of this attack on the LGBTIQA+ community. The attack has been named the worst gun attack in America and the worst attack on the LGBTIQA+ community since the holocaust.

We at Wales Young Greens call on Sky News to apologize to Owen for the actions of the Mark Longhurst and Julia Hartley-Brewer.

We Stand With Orlando

This morning we all woke up to the horrifying news of a mass shooting in the Gay club in Orlando called Pulse.

So far 50 people have been declared dead and 53 injured. Many were held hostage by the shooter after a gun battle with the police. The police later raided the club and shot the gunner dead.

“It’s so sad to see things like this happen in the 21st century. With at least 50 dead, our thoughts are with the victims families and friends and those who survived the horrible attack. This terrorist attack on gay men is disgusting, this is why the gun culture of America needs to end. This wasn’t just an attack on the LGBTIQA+ family, but an attack on the people of the world.”

Andrew Creak – Co-convener of Wales Young Greens

As well as this attack a man was arrested on the way to LA Pride with assault rifles and explosives in his car. This and the domestic terrorist attack at Pulse show that the Gun culture in the USA needs to end.

“This is a disturbing attack on the whole LGBT community. Greens here offer our thoughts to all those affected by this tragic event, and we hope action is taken to prevent further horrifying attacks like these in the future.”

Amelia Womack – Deputy Leader of the Green Party EW

We at Wales Young Greens send out our love and thoughts to the victims and their families, and those who witnessed this horrid event.