The reason I became engaged in politics and started campaigning was because I felt injustice and let down by our political system and politicians. I did not simply want to complain about the issues in my community to my friends, I wanted to be part of the solution to bring about the change that is needed. I did not feel comfortable about accepting the issues I knew other people from my community and young people across the UK were facing. Issues in relation to housing, education, crime, public health and poverty were normal where I grew up and I did not want that reality to be the same for the younger generation.
The highlight for me has to be every time a young person or an adult who was previously disengaged with politics reads my report and then becomes inspired to engage with politics or change British politics. I am currently editing The Kenny Report 3, entitled "Personalised Politics". I am looking forward to launching this report officially on 8 April 2015 (everyone reading this is more than welcome to attend). Unlike previous Kenny Reports this new one will cover 8 topics, including housing, employment and immigration. Most importantly, this report is written by a group of 32 inspirational and committed young people from different walks of life. Many of the co-authors of the Kenny Report 3 have never engaged in politics until being part of this report.
No matter what views young people have about politics, politics will affect our lives regardless. Decisions made by local, regional or central government dictate whether your local youth club will continue to receive funding, whether you will travel on the public transport for free or a discounted price, or whether your university tuition fees will be scrapped or cost £3000 or £9000. If we do not involve ourselves in the discussions that will shape our reality and future, if we do not register and vote, we risk being a generation let down by some of our politicians.
If you do not do POLITICS then POLITICS will do you.
Young people represent a small number of the population but this should not handicap our abilities to take power and change politics. As Margaret Mead rightly said; "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
I got involved in Parliament Week last week, as a panelist on the One Big Community - "On The Record" event held at Parliament. Parliament week is a UK-wide programme of events and activities that inspire, engage and connect people ged 16-24 with parliamentary democracy. It was great to see soo much people aged 16-24 in Parliament and getting involved in Politics and visiting Parliament. But I strongly believe that if we are serious about getting the younger generation engaged in politics, then Parliament Week needs to happen every week throughout the year. One week is not enough.