Hackney is a great place to live but too many people do not feel heard or are excluded from what makes Hackney great. I want Hackney to be a healthy and happy place for all.
Healthy planet, healthy people
I’m proud to have worked in the public and voluntary sector for over 10 years with senior roles in public health, adult social care and children and young people’s health services. I currently work for the NHS where I listen to residents and voluntary and community sector groups and tell senior decision makers how we should spend NHS budgets to meet people’s needs. Using what I know about the health system, I’m committed to tackling inequalities and the root causes of issues particularly those caused by the systems and structures in our society.
The impact we are having on our planet needs to be addressed urgently and needs to be considered in all we do. We can improve Hackney, help people, and play our part in tackling the climate emergency all at the same time. The climate emergency is a health emergency and the effects on people are being experienced unequally. It is also a housing emergency, with many people living in cold, bad and insecure housing. We need to address social injustice alongside the climate crisis and move to a sustainable way of living which is fair for everyone.
People led plans and decision making
People tell me that they are losing the things they love about Hackney and that life is getting harder.
I’m passionate about listening to people and making sure that the changes in the borough are what people want. I will stand up to corporations to protect our land and buildings, putting the views of residents first. I want to restore people’s faith in the council and work for you, through people and community plans for local areas – plans which are led by residents and community groups with you telling me what is needed so that we can create a better Hackney together. It’s important that all residents have ways to participate in local decision-making including how their money is spent.
Hackney is facing growing inequality with an economy that is unfair.
I will put people before developers and big business. I will focus on creating good jobs and safe and secure homes for local people. I will support charities, small businesses, artists, market traders and all other essential parts of our local economy to thrive.
I’m an active member in the Save Ridley Road campaign which is supporting the artists, traders and small businesses and protecting the social and cultural heritage of Ridley Road.
I also volunteer at a community bike project which is focused on reusing old bikes parts and giving people skills to fix their own bikes (on a pay-what-you-can basis); groups like this need to be recognised as community assets and supported to continue to make Hackney the great place that it is.
My work in the Green Party
I have been a member of the Green Party for almost 10 years and I’ve volunteered in every election in this period. Most recently, I worked with Sian Berry on her manifesto for the London 2021 election. I am also co-convenor of the Green Party’s Drug Policy Working Group and in 2019 I co-led a review, working with experts (people with lived experiences and researchers), which resulted in the Green Party adopting the most progressive drugs policy of any major party, pledging to decriminalise and regulate all drugs as part of an inclusive, supportive and socially just society.
I’m chair of my estate’s Tenants and Residents Association – we have wonderful community gardens and I enjoy looking after these with my neighbours. I work hard to improve things for people on the estate and also organise events and get togethers.
I’m a private renter, I have lived in many places across Hackney – including Clissold, Homerton, Hackney Wick and I’m currently in Dalston. I live with my friend who is a hospital doctor and climate campaigner.
Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:
“Zoë is an incredible, hard-working local campaigner. She has a real ability to listen to people and work alongside them to improve their lives and communities. As we face up to growing inequality and the climate emergency, Zoë is the Green Mayor that Hackney needs.”
Althea Russell, Hackney resident, said:
‘Working alongside Zoë on our estate TRA, I’ve seen how committed she is to helping people improve their lives and neighbourhoods. She would be a great Mayor because she is totally dedicated to fixing the big problems we’re facing here in Hackney.”