London Citizens organises to put local people at the heart of all major decisions that affect our capital. So when London announced it would bid to be the host city for the Olympic Games in 2012, our membership caucused and discussed how we could use our power in order to gain the most for the East End from the billions that was to be spent.
Following on from hundreds of one-to-one meetings and a listening campaign across our institutions, in 2004 we signed a historic agreement with the London 2012 bid team, which set in stone precisely what the people of east London could expect in return for their support in hosting the Olympic Games.
The People’s Promises, as they are known, set out our demands for:
1) affordable homes for local people through a Community Land Trust and mutual home ownership;
2) money from this development to be set aside to improve local schools and the health service;
3) University of East London to be main higher education beneficiary of the sports legacy and to consider becoming a Sports Centre of Excellence
4) at least £2m set aside immediately for a Construction Academy to train up local people;
5) that at least 30% of jobs are set aside for local people;
6) that the Lower Lea Valley is designated a ‘Living Wage Zone’ and all jobs guaranteed a living wage
The 2012 Bid Team agreed to meet with London Citizens at our assembly and in September that year, wrote this response which outlined their commitment to making the People’s Pledges a full part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its legacy.
Now, with the Games just around the corner, and with public relationships built upon respect and negotiation over a number of years, London Citizens continues to campaign and engage with LOCOG, the ODA, the OPLC, the GLA and central government in order to ensure that these promises are kept.