My Life My Say (MLMS) is so excited to be involved in National Democracy Week, a series of celebrations of community engagement, political activism and democratic involvement.
This week is especially important as it marks 100 years since some women gained the right to vote, and 90 years since universal suffrage. We have continued our mission to be an active promoter of democratic representation across the United Kingdom. We recently launched the “ListenUp!” pledge in partnership with UKYouth and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People. This pledge is a testament to the continued determination to hold decision-makers accountable on behalf of the youth.
The “ListenUp!” pledge was created to lobby Members of Parliament to create a Brexit deal that rightfully reflects the views of younger generations. It calls on Members of Parliament to speak with 20 constituents who are under the age of 30 before the final votes on Brexit in autumn. The pledge was signed by 35 Parliamentarians, including Jeremy Lefroy MP, Anna Soubry MP, and Tom Brake MP. As Mr. Kinnock said, “this is really important for an MP going into critical votes, that you’re not going in based on what you were told in the members’ tea room or inside the Westminster bubble” but instead based on what those that will live with the outcome the longest – the youth – want to see from the negotiations.
The Open Letter is a tangible example of the many ways in which we endeavour to put young people at the centre of the political conversations; as the drivers of change.
This week was kick-started with a National Democracy Awards ceremony hosted by the Cabinet Office. The National Democracy Awards recognise the exceptional work of individuals and/or organisations that work to increase democratic engagement in the UK. We were humbled and honoured to have won the award for Changemaker of the Year! This award is granted to those who successfully forward their new ideas to increase the accessibility and participation in democracy, whilst demonstrating the value of opinions in democracy.
The award celebrates the changes that these activities are able to create that contribute to a good cause – such as political activism. The award is a testament to the power of our democracy cafe events in giving young people opportunities to participate in political discussions and equipping young people with the skills and experiences needed. These cafes help them create an impact in their own communities and within themselves along with increasing political knowledge and the will and encouragement to get involved.
We aim to keep the momentum going!
This week we are holding two of our Democracy cafes, one in Port Talbot with the chair of our APPG, Stephen Kinnock MP, and one in Streatham, with one of our APPG members, Chuka Umunna MP. We encourage any young people living in these locations to sign up and join us to #TalkDemocracy with their local MPs. You can get the details of future events here