Citizens UK Makes Westminster's Politicians Face Power of the People

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Citizens UK Makes Westminster's Politicians Face Power of the People

Saturday, April 18, 2015
The Guardian

One of a number of alternative hustings trying to boost voter registration and turnout, and expanding the frontiers of conventional campaigning in the process, is Citizens UK.  It is an alliance of 350 schools, faith communities, unions and voluntary sector organisations in areas such as London, Birmingham and Cardiff that, among a number of issues, has pressed hard for the living wage. Its aim is to recruit, train, encourage and involve citizens of all ages in “actions” so they come to believe that what they do counts, not just at the ballot box but in shaping the kind of society in which they wish to live.

Karyn Storey, 18, has been a member since September. She is taking four A-levels at a local college and joined because “my parents are very community-minded and I want to build character”. Annalisa Mensah, 18, who is going to York to study law in October, says: “I’m young, black, female, so out of self-interest why wouldn’t I be passionate about active citizenship? I know it makes a difference. Citizens UK grows every day and I grow with it,” she smiles broadly.