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All London Voices

Getting the views and concerns of young black, Asian and minority ethnic Londoners heard in the 2016 Mayoral election

In case it may have passed you by, Londoners are electing a new Mayor in May, when the huge political personality that is the current Mayor, Boris Johnson, steps down.

The campaign up until now has been quite subdued, with the Westminster village focusing on a referendum about the tiny matter of the country’s future relationship with Europe. Although it has so far failed to produce any fireworks, the substantive issues of the campaign are of profound importance to all Londoners and to the country. They focus primarily around economic prosperity, growing inequality and London’s housing crisis.

Some of the key challenges that face London’s BAME communities are demonstrated by:

  • Unemployment amongst Pakistani women in London is 28.6% compared to 15.7% for white women
  • Unemployment amongst black undergraduates six months after gaining their degree is 9.7% compared to 4.6% for their white peers
  • Around two in five Black African and Bangladeshi people in London live in overcrowded housing

What these figures highlight is the wide ranging impact of inequality across the capital and how it effects young ethnic minorities and can make it feel that they are locked out of the opportunities in one of the richest cities in the world. Engaging people in the democratic process is critical and voting levels are lowest for young people and ethnic minority groups.

CORE is an alliance of civil society organisations working to address race equality. It would like to produce an e-manifesto for change that reflects the views of young BAME Londoners. With the kind financial contribution of Trust for London, the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) – a CORE member organisation - will oversee All London Voices, a time-limited project with the aim of capturing the views of London’s BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) voluntary and community sector and young people and giving them a voice in the run-up to the 2016 London Mayoral elections.

BTEG will hold a series of community consultations with BAME organisations through our networks and beyond to inform the e-manifesto.  It will set out the ten main concerns and policy ideas of London’s BAME communities for the mayoral candidates to consider and for the chosen mayor to address over the next five years. Such issues as affordable social housing, welfare and tax credits reductions, unemployment, and pay gaps are likely to be high priorities.

There will be a hustings meeting of the candidates in late April, with an audience of young people, held at the British Library.

CORE is also conducting a survey of young people 16-30 and hopes to attract a 300-500 responses. Click here to view the survey.

This is a crucial election and our aim is to ensure that the views of young people from London’s BAME communities are heard.

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