Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/553/6532
Fighting for youth in Lewisham
Interview with Natalie Powell-Davies, 14, recently elected as deputy youth mayor for Lewisham.
Natalie, congratulations on your win. Can you explain what the role of the young mayor and deputy young mayor is and why you decided to run for it?
Every 11-18 year old in Lewisham is entitled to vote to elect the young mayor and their deputy. They work with a larger panel of youth to discuss what needs to be done to improve life for young people in the borough. I wanted to stand because I want to make sure that young people's voices aren't just heard, but our ideas are actually put into practice.
What programme did you put forward as part of your campaign and how did other young people respond to this?
I put forward a programme which went down well at all the meetings I spoke at. I called for young people to unite and tackle discrimination, racism and violence. I wanted better youth facilities, including for young people with disabilities. In particular, my demand that schools should be more relevant for young people and that there should be more resources and specialist teachers got a lot of support.
What did you do during your campaign to get your ideas to other young people?
I was one of the only candidates to put a clear programme on a leaflet and to get it out to as many places as I could. I spoke at school assemblies and hustings organised at youth clubs and in the town hall. International Socialist Resistance members helped me to get leaflets into other schools and colleges too.
What do you plan to do now you have been elected?
I want to make sure that these positions aren't just created to make the council look good, but that real changes are made to help young people in Lewisham. I want to be a voice for youth, a voice that can't be ignored!
In The Socialist 22 October 2008:
Ford workers strike
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review