London Citizens annual assembly exploded in dance and song last night. "Taking responsibility in the economic crisis" achieved progress on a London living wage.
The London Citizens‘ annual assembly exploded in dance and song last night as progress was made against the key objective of a London living wage. Boris Johnson praised the organisation for its unique way of pursuing its agenda.
The Barbican Centre was filled with 2,000 Londoners representing 50,000 people from schools, faith groups, trades unions, and other community groups. The event was the biggest of its kind, and focused on “Taking responsibility in the economic crisis.” Dr. Luke Bretherton opened the event and said that its purpose was to “rebalance the power of money towards the power of people.” He went on to call for a better structure of borrowing and lending.
London Citizens traces its foundations to the same organisation that trained Barack Obama as a community organiser in Chicago. The agenda was developed from 1,000 one-to-one meetings and hundreds of house meetings across the membership in the capital to identify what issues people were facing. Five proposals were put by the membership to the politicians and businessmen present.
Key achievements of the evening included:
• London Mayor Boris Johnson asking bankers to give to organisations across London, including London Citizens, as well as agreeing to look at the idea of a Community Land Trust
• Mark Boleat announcing that the City of London Corporation would ask their contractors to provide the London living wage of £7.71 per hour
• Greg Hands MP announcing that a Conservative government would introduce a cap on interest rates on “store cards”
• Representatives of KPMG, PwC, Barclays and Linklaters outlining how providing the London living wage made good business sense
Stefan Baskerville, who has been involved with London Citizens for two years, said:
“It is hugely exciting to see an agenda put to politicians and businessmen by the people who have been affected most by the economic crisis. This agenda is owned by a lot of people so it is highly significant that all three major parties have agreed to a working relationship with London Citizens in the run up to the general election.”
The policy discussion was interspersed with performances from Visionz, St Charles College Sixth Form Dance Troupe, and the London Citizens Choir.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.