CITIZEN 16

At Compass Youth, we are keen to listen to you to find out what issues really matter. We have also been asking our members the issues that matter to them and activities that excited them. Given that the top issues that mattered to our members were equality, international relations & citizenship/integration, we have focused our events on these themes. Given that the top skills members were interested in were writing articles/guides, campaigning and lobbying politicians we are developing activities around these. You can still tell us the issues that matter to you here.

We wanted to take a step back and get you to tell your stories of youth activism. It makes perfect sense that I interviewed Lorin Bell Cross, who has been at the forefront of championing our latest campaign - Votes for 16. Some snigger that the only way they would support votes at 16 when half a million 15- to 17-year-olds march on parliament demanding it. With activists like Lorin leading the charge, don't bet against that not happening.

Do you want to share your experience of being involved in campaigning, your thoughts on an issue that matters to you? Get in touch at noel.hatch1@gmail.com

Why did you get involved in your local branch?

After Jon Cruddas’ deputy leadership campaign got me interested in the Labour party I thought it would be interesting to attend the local branch meetings and help out with local campaigns. These include the election of Rushanara Ali in Bethnal Green and Bow and stopping George Galloway in Poplar and Limehouse

Why did you want to become youth delegate?

After I was offered the position I thought it would be good to give a different prospective on the political events at the GC. I think I can make positive contributions to the discussions at the GC on issues which effect many young people today such as Crime and Drugs/Binge drinking abuse and offer a different set of ideas to the older GC members

How did you become youth delegate?

I was the youngest active member in my branch and was asked whether I was interested and I agreed.

What are your responsibilities as youth delegate?

Branch youth delegate does not have any substantial responsibilities, simply to take part in the local campaigns and attend GC and branch meetings.

What activities & campaigns have you developed?

Outside of the Labour Party I arranged a speech from Peter Facey at my school.

How do you help young people/students get better involved in what you do?

At school I raise contemporary political issues or problems and debate or discuss them with friends.

What in your daily life makes you feel the most reassured or optimistic about your future?

I feel I am making good use of my education and will therefore be able to get into a good university and achieve a successful career in politics which I desire.

What gives you hope for the community you live in?

I can see that though some people are going through tough times at the moment, they are far more affluent than 10 years ago, and that hopefully the Olympics will help regenerate some of the most deprived areas in London.

What would you change to improve the quality of everyday life of yourself, your friends/family and your neighbourhood?

I don’t really feel there is a need to improve anything in my life or those of my family and friends, we all have what we need. To improve my neighbourhood I think perhaps more funding for youth facilities are necessary to keep kids and teenagers out of gangs. Furthermore, prevent the segregation of the white and non-white groups in the neighbourhood.

What does being "born free and equal" mean to you?

When people are given equal opportunities to achieve a successful career and life which they desire, regardless of their gender, colour, background or accent.

What is your first political memory?

Handing out Charter 88 leaflets with my father when I was about 4-5.

Who's your role model?

Clement Atlee and Dennis Healey.

What's your favourite activity outside of politics?

Rugby and reading.

What is the issue or campaign that matters most to you?

Education and affordable housing.


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