The local government Green Party candidate for the Downpatrick District Electoral Area, Jamie Kennedy, has the full support of his party and MLA’s.
Speaking to Down News, the former Down High School student said: “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled to have been selected as the Green Party Northern Ireland candidate to contest the upcoming council election in Downpatrick DEA, an area with which I hold great fondness and an area which I would be truly honoured to represent.
“I am twenty years old and am currently in my second year of my degree in Politics at Ulster University. As a very proud former pupil of Down High School, where I completed my A-levels in 2017, I have an excellent grounding in environmental issues. Down High has a fantastic record of being an eco-friendly school, and I was very pleased to see that the school’s record on the environment is continuing and that Rachel Wilson’s work in the school to address the impact of plastics on our environment has been recognised. This is an issue that, if elected, I and my party colleague Emma Cairns in the Rowallane DEA would seek to address within the Council.
“My work with the Green Party has involved volunteering in Steven Agnew MLA’s office as a researcher. I found this work invaluable and it covered a wide range of topics that Stephen is addressing as an MLA.
“I am keen to see Newry Mourne and Down District Council follow the lead of Ards and North Down Borough Council by declaring a Climate Emergency. This is something I would be a strong advocate for if elected. An extremely alarming IPCC report published last year showed that we had 12 years to limit what would become a climate change catastrophe. The key to addressing this global climate crisis is by doing so at a grassroots level in our local councils and local communities, that is what I aim to push for in our district. Young people are now showing a strong interest in their future and the state of the global environment and I certainly hope I get their support to move this forward at local level.
“I was also encouraged to see that the Council had passed a motion supporting divestment from the fossil fuels industry from its workers’ pensions. This is something I would also be advocating if elected as this is of great importance to the protection of the environment and indeed something that often goes unnoticed by those whose pensions are being invested in the industry.
“In addition, I am passionate about giving young people a voice in local politics. Young people are the people who, sadly, seem to be the most disaffected and apathetic about politics. They are also the group that is least likely to vote in elections. I would appeal to them (and everyone for that matter) to come out and exercise their democratic right.
“Apathy is the friend of the status quo, and only by voting for something different do we effect change. I hope that the people of Downpatrick can put their faith in me and the Green Party to represent them. I have full party support and I am keen to begin this important work and hit the ground running if elected and provide a new energy in the new council,” added Jamie.