At the AGM of Tottenham CLP, I sought election to serve as its BAME Officer for 2017/18. In total, 16 branches (9 wards and 7 Trade Union/Affiliate Branches) participated in the nominations process. At the AGM on 26 July 2017, the general committee members elected me overwhelmingly to serve as Tottenham CLP’s BAME Officer.
Below is the speech I gave to the general committee members seeking their support.
Sisters, Brothers, Comrades
Good evening! Let me introduce myself.
I am currently secretary of the Tottenham Green ward, which is where we are right now. I am a solicitor by profession and a community organiser. I have been living in Haringey especially Tottenham for the last 23 years. I moved to Tottenham in 1993 with my family from Bangladesh as a 12-year-old boy.
The role of the BAME officer in Tottenham is important, because our Party locally is not representative of the community in which we live. For example, it is certainly a problem that we are not engaging with sufficient numbers of working class people of colour from our council estates as Labour Party members, when the Haringey Development Vehicle is the most contentious issue locally.
So, I have a plan to increase the participation and engagement of people from ethnic minority communities.
In Tottenham Green, we elected a BAME officer in the recent AGM: a local activist called Bhavini.
I would like to work with the other branches to elect or select a BAME officer in the coming months. Once BAME officers are in place, the first thing would be to engage with people from ethnic minority communities who are already Labour Party members and encourage them to become more active. Secondly, we will actively seek out opportunities to recruit more members from various under-represented groups to join the Labour Party.
Eventually, we want to get to a position where we would be able to ask for a quota to increase participation, like we have with the requirement that 50% all GC delegates and branch officers must be women. A similar sort of positive discrimination measure will help to increase the participation of members of colour.
Thank you and I would be grateful for your vote.