So often in politics, we seek a leader who stands on a platform at the front of the room and speaks loudly to an audience of followers. We think we need a self-proclaimed expert who has all of the answers. Listening becomes a weakness and seeking community consultation appears indecisive when in actuality, deep listening and collaboration are the only ways to move out from under ignorance.
While action is my priority and advocacy is essential, I also commit to the practice of deep listening. I’m committed to listening not just to respond, pivot or have all the answers, but to make space for different experiences and complex ideas. This platform is a privilege. I commit to using my privilege to empower those who are marginalized, silenced, and stigmatized to tell their story in their own voice. I also commit to seeing people for their whole selves with unique points of view that inform their viewpoints and needs, not just as a category with a monolithic experience.
I’m committed to understanding how the systems in which we work, learn, and govern do not work for all people at all times and that inclusivity is about embracing the necessary discomfort that difficult questions and genuine change require. I commit to this, because in the London I envision, everyone matters.
Make no mistake, our country has a deep-rooted history of colonialism, discrimination and racism that still persists today even in our community. As a city, we should not stand for discrimination and oppression of any kind. Tolerance does not mean tolerating intolerance. Diversity of experience is something to be celebrated, not put up with.
I envision a city in which we overcome hate by moving past tolerance towards acceptance and appreciation of our many different experiences. We know we can do better. We have been doing better. Diversity is essential to the continued improvement of our city.