In these dark moments we look to our families, our neighbours, our communities, and the goodwill of strangers.
Amongst the many restrictions affecting our lives, local elections have been postponed until 2021, so it’s with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that our election assemblies which were to bring together thousands of people in London, Manchester and Birmingham are also postponed.
The work that we’ve done, listening to our communities and agreeing priorities will not fall by the wayside. We’ll take those manifestos to candidates in one year.
But, now more than ever, we need one another.
We must build on the trust, relationships and power we have built over years of organising can be mobilised to support our communities and our country at a time of unprecedented strain.
We need to stay together, to listen and take considered action – so while we may have to distance ourselves physically, we increase our social solidarity, and our commitment to work together for the common good.
Citizens leaders and organisers have already begun to develop solutions such as:
- Working with schools and education partners to persuade supermarkets and Government to ensure no child on free school meals goes hungry if schools close.
- Planning to crowdfund for local hardship money to be given to people whose jobs, with cash to be spent in local shops.
- Lobbying the Mayor of London to speak out for those migrants for whom a loss of income could jeopardise their immigration claim
- Offering to put our people power at the disposal of local authorities to support the needs of the most vulnerable in their care, such as resettled refugees or those with social care needs.
But we’re going to have to do it differently this time. This rapid listening campaign will be carried out by phone and on-line, so we can hear how this situation is affecting our membership, particularly the most vulnerable, and what creative responses we can take.
We appreciate everyone’s first concern will be their loved ones. If you also have the motivation and ability to get involved, then we invite you to be part of this listening exercise.
We will be sharing what comes out of this in a week or so, as we mobilise civil society to respond to this crisis.
Stay Safe and With Best Wishes,
Ali Abdi | Community Organiser
& Citizens Cymru Wales Voter Registration Organiser
Grangetown Citizens (@GrangeCitizens) | Citizens Cymru Wales (@CitizensWales)