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.