Thank you to the Labour members of Hanover and Elm Grove in selecting me to run for councillor. I'm really humbled to have been selected. Below is a copy of the three minute speech I gave on selection night, so you can hold me accountable to my words.
Hello. My name is Danielle Spencer, I have worked as a campaigner, activist and now a policy advisor on women’s rights for over ten years. I have worked all over the world fighting for the rights of the most marginalised and responding to conflict, war and displacement.
I rejoined the Labour Party in January 2016, when I realised that the party was changing and that Jeremy was staying around. Since rejoining, I have been an active member, served on Hove EC and I’m a member of the LCF EC as well.
I could choose to live anywhere in the world with my job, but I actively choose to make Brighton my home. I am also very pleased to say that I intend to move to Hanover and my wife and I are planning to start a family here.
Family is important to me and young people’s rights are important too. When I was a child my mother was in a domestically abusive relationship. A youth worker and the youth service saved me. I started volunteering as a youth worker myself, and that led me to where I am today. I was incredibly lucky. Lucky enough that there were services around that helped me tap into my potential. But I believe that we shouldn’t have to be lucky to achieve our potential.
And its deeper than the youth service, Brighton and Hove schools stand to lose £14 million, leading to fewer teachers, fewer support staff, larger classes and reduced subject choice. In Hanover, we even had our choice of secondary schools cut.
I will be the kind of councillor who will listen to young people and their parents’ concerns. I will resist further cuts to schools and other services.
I will also fight to ensure that housing and jobs are fair, that the rip off mentality of some unscrupulous employers and landlords does not continue simply because people have been painted into a corner - desperate for affordable housing; and a job that can pay for it when both are in limited supply.
Shockingly, nearly half of homeless families in England are in work. And last year Brighton and Hove had the second highest level of rough sleeping in the country. We are in the midst of a Tory manufactured, austerity induced housing crisis the likes of which have not been seen since the second world war.
The rises in HMO in this area are as a direct result of the lack of affordable housing. Landlords know that they can get away with anything, because people don’t have a choice.
We need to:
My name is Danielle Spencer, vote for me and I promise you, I will win and hope to be part of a truly transformative socialist council who will deliver this and more.