I am standing for election to represent the people of Athlone and Longford/Westmeath in the next round of elections in 2019.
I enter politics as a member of the Social Democrats: a progressive party that is working hard to alleviate the problems facing our nation and its citizens.
Our country currently faces many crises: widespread homelessness; rising levels of child poverty; an over-burdened health service; and failures in the provision of healthcare for women. These crises have brought misery for many people in our community. The housing crisis is one that affects so many in our town. Rents are rising and people are being priced out of the market. Landlords are refusing Housing Assistant Payments (HAP) and rental allowances, while picking and choosing who they rent to and for how long. Families are left without basic shelter and security because both local and national governments have failed to plan for and deliver the required housing. This is unacceptable and it is a stain on our society.
The myriad excuses for inaction and delays are unacceptable. Our councillors and representatives are tasked with holding powerful institutions to account but too often they fail in this task. It is true that there are local plans for new developments and new houses. These are very welcome but it is taking far too long for plans to become reality. We need to see results that bring improvements to people’s lives. We need to keep lobbying, agitating and demanding a better response from our government and our representatives.
As the Social Democrat candidate for Athlone I am standing for election to represent all of our community. I cannot accept that some people fall between the cracks in our society, nor can I ignore the reality that many people are not heard, not seen and not represented. I’d like to make our society, our town and our local area a fairer and better place: one that is more representative of today’s Ireland. So, I’d like to offer myself as your voice in your local council.
In order to run a successful campaign, I hope to raise funding to finance, leaflets, canvassing cards and posters. These are essential items for any political campaign and they will play an important part in my early efforts to engage the local community and to introduce myself as a new candidate in the area. Therefore, I am asking anyone who would like to support me, but who struggles to find the time, to support this campaign fund instead. I promise to spend contributions only on necessary campaign costs and publicity. No contribution is too small!