The future of our city lies in our hands.
Growing up as a young person in London is not easy. As a global city which offers many opportunities, many Young Londoners are unable to access these due of barriers such as poverty, crime, access to jobs and training as well as affordable housing. With the upcoming London Mayoral elections in May 2016, Londoners will be given the choice to decide who will be their next Mayor of London.
The numbers of young people being priced out of the city altogether, unable to find affordable housing or because they struggle to get to work due to spiralling tube and bus fares is outrageous. The average Londoner is now younger than the average for the UK as a whole, but the opportunities on offer to young Londoners haven't kept up with the pace of change in our city. We need to ensure that young people are given the equal opportunities to thrive and prosper in this great city.
Let no one tell you that young people are not interested, or do not care. Young Londoners rightly want to know what their future is going to look like. They are crying out to be listened to, to get involved, to be respected, not fobbed off, promised the Earth or ignored. Being called apathetic, lazy and disengaged will only turn them away from politics. Rather, politics needs to find a more appealing way in engaging with young people and allowing them a podium to share their love, concerns and suggestions to make this city a more prosperous place.
Now, engagement with young people is an ongoing and evolving process to help foster greater civic engagement. It shouldn't merely just be during election seasons. They should be placed at the heart of the debate in helping develop a positive agenda for a future London. They are essentially the next generation. They are the future of this country. Politics will continue to be an isolated domain where young peoples voices are hollowed out and their disillusionment with the political system will only become more and more entrenched. In order to drive real change for the better of our society and politics in general, young people need to given the necessary platforms to voice their concerns about key issues that affect them.
MYLIFEMYSAY is campaigning for the first London Youth Mayoral elections to take part online in 2017 to give a platform for young Londoners to have a say in how the city is shaped. Using systems provided by leading online voting provider Electoral Reform Services, this will provide the perfect platform for the diverse demographic of young people with differing political views to have a direct role and voice their concerns about the future of London.
MYLIFEMYSAY have also been interviewing London mayoral candidates on their YouTube channel, in order to find out more about their offer for young Londoners. You can subscribe to MLMS' YouTube channel to be kept up-to-date with these interviews and developments in the run up to the elections.
Let's have as many young Londoners as possible to have a say in our city's future - sign up today!
Get involved with the debate on twitter with @MYLIFEMYSAY #BeTheChange