- 2017 National Black Members' Conference
- 19 September 2016
This National Black Members’ Conference notes for the first time ever, a Black UNISON member was elected as Mayor of London. Winning the biggest personal mandate in the history of British politics Sadiq Khan has become the first Muslim Mayor of a major western country.
A great result in one of the most important city in the world.
Sadiq Khan is now a role model for young Black members to follow as Barak Obama did in America.
His success was very much based on his willingness not to run away from his true identity when under attack from the negative and divisive campaign run by the Tories. Instead through his determination and belief he was able to succeed and win the trust of voters. The positive campaign saw voters choose hope over fear and unity over division.
This gives all Black members a vision of great opportunity to follow his example by being proud of their identity and a willingness to learn and succeed.
This Conference notes UNISON’s long historic link with the Labour Party, and Black communities have traditionally voted Labour. After the disappointment of the 2015 General Election many Black members and voters generally felt apathy and disengagement with both Labour and politics generally.
In the Greater London Region the Regional Black Member Committee, through our political engagement working group, has sought to continue to promote the message that politics matter, make a difference and are worthwhile engaging in. This has seen us hold a Parliamentary event (hosted by Chuka Umunna MP) with more than 100 attending and several hundred more on a waiting list and promoting two successful ‘Be a Labour councillor’ events.
It is essential that our elected representatives reflect the diverse communities they represent. The election of Sadiq Khan, and also Martin Rees as Mayor of Bristol, are positive step towards this but there is much more to do.
This National Black Members’ Conference therefore calls on the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) to:
1)Invite Sadiq Khan to speak at a future National Black Members Conference.
2)Discuss with Labour Link how we can build links with the Mayor of London and other elected politicians to find solutions to current problems faced by Black members towards equality, employment, housing and health issues.
3)Consider how to best promote ways for Black members to find out more about becoming a Labour councillor through UNISON training and support.
4)Continue to consider ways to develop political awareness and engagement amongst Black members, particularly highlighting the influence they have and encourage them to take an active part in the politics of today.
Submitted by: Greater London Region
NBMC Policy: Support