By Lucy Stone, Aaron Befekadu, Advocacy Academy, Rev Vanessa Conant, St Mary's Church Walthamstow, and Luke Murphy, Institute for Public Policy Research
Addressing the climate crisis has forced us to rethink the ways we live and how our neighbourhoods are designed. It’s not only highlighted baked-in inequalities, but has also brought neighbours together in mutual aid. Transitioning out of coronavirus and to a climate safe world gives us a chance to really address the inequality in accessing green spaces, public transport, cycle lanes, healthy homes and food.
After the sunniest recorded spring in UK history, and warnings of water shortages, we are reminded that climate change hasn’t gone away during the pandemic.
Citizens UK and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) believe there is a chance to ‘Just Transition city’ in London, to show how we can address the climate crisis in a way that improves people’s lives and provides opportunities.Read more
In the last five years, reports have confirmed that 646 Londoners have died sleeping rough on the streets of London. Shelters are full, support budgets have been slashed, and people are not getting the opportunity to live the life they deserve. This is not how things should be in the city we love!
In 2020, we will elect our Mayor. The Mayor of London has significant powers over rough sleeping that could save people's lives. This includes a budget of around £8.5 million. At such a key political moment, we have a chance to make sure that ending street homelessness is top of the new Mayor's agenda. To do this, London Citizens is organising an assembly at the Copperbox in Stratford on April 21st with 7000 members. If ending street homelessness is on this agenda, we know it can save people's lives.
It has been said that street homelessness is a political choice. If that is the case, then people that are directly affected by this issue must find space in the publish sphere to make their voice heard. This is that space.
There are three strands to this campaign. First, we do listening. This means listening to people that are affected directly by street homelessness, and also those who are working to support people sleeping rough. Second, we act. We learn more about the powers of the Mayor and shape winnable and worthwhile demands we could make at the Coppexbox Assembly next April. Third, we evaluate. For this, we have set up a learning community to be able to reflect on our practices. All of these groups are geared towards making the most of the opportunity that this political moment presents.
If you are serious about ending street homelessness in our city, please join the campaign by signing up.Sign up