In September 2012 I was lucky and privileged enough to become the Green Party election candidate for the Balbriggan Ward of Fingal County Council – and I have since of course been the Green Party representative for the people of ward , including Skerries, Balbriggan itself, Lusk, Rush and the often neglected areas of rural Fingal.
Between October and early December last year my committed and persevering Fingal Green colleagues and I knocked on doors and met many people across the ward. People spoke candidly to us about the difficulties they are facing and I was deeply heartened that so many people had good wishes not just for me but for the Green Party as a whole. Initially I was certainly not fully comfortable with donning the title of ‘politician’ or at least ‘aspiring politician’. No matter how committed, honest or hard working you are some people will still be sceptical of any politician. But the more people I met the more I realised that people are willing to see you for who are and what you can do, rather than just how you appear and what you say you can do.
I have helped people with various issues such as concerns that their homes will be flooded again, speeding traffic through residential areas and outside schools, no footpaths on dangerous roads that pedestrians have to use, rural communities isolated due to lack of a bus service, young families on housing waiting lists and elderly people in council accommodation with inadequate insulation, lack of access to school transport, concerns with reducing pension entitlements, people living with uncertainty of pyrite and sense of betrayal when there is pyrite discovered in their home and of course the ubiquitous potholes that can cause danger and damage to drivers and pedestrians alike.
It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Fingal and I look forward to a 2013 where I can meet and assist more of you and also to spread the Green message and help rebuild the Green Party in Fingal. In 2013 I hope to convince the people of Fingal that we need Green representation and Green perspectives and commitment back on Fingal County Council in 2014 – while it is early days the signs so far are promising.
The spring canvass schedule is planned and I am looking forward to building the momentum for 2014 and beyond. Just in the last week we have had two new people who have joined the push to help convince the public the importance and value of the Green movement in Fingal. Despite the hard times that we are living in people are recognising that Green politics is the most consistent and honest politics that there is, it is the only one that really looks further than the next election and it is also the one that has the capacity to bring true and progressive change to society – in the most fundamental ways in which we live, travel, work, raise our children and plan for the future.