I have been a committed, hard-working Green in York for 3.5 years, having come from Jersey where I was a founder member of the Reform Jersey Party, and my campaigning for a fairer and more democratic society really began. I won over 1,500 votes in Micklegate, an area I firmly believe is “the green Heart of York” when she stood in the 2017 by-election and came 2nd at the ballot-box. For I am active in many local groups including York Bus Forum, anti-fracking and YorSpace housing. Since January I haveb been running the Pay-As-You-Feel cafe, a ‘Real Junk Food Project’ at Southlands. My background is in research for public policy, with experience in disability education support and am currently a Research Assistant for York Food Poverty Alliance.
I’m Sam and I was born in Micklegate. In fact, when I was only 6 years old, I remember being evacuated from our house on River Street during the 2000 floods. I associate my upbringing in Micklegate with the wonderful smell of chocolate wafting over from the Terry’s factory, learning to ride a bike in Rowntree’s Park and the fabulous community around Bishy Road charity shops. Of course, Terry’s and the charity shops have gone now, but you get the idea.
I’ve been a lifelong Green activist (being the son of a Heslington candidate!) and am active within York Green Party to this day. When we say “environment” we mean more than birds and trees, we mean anywhere that people live too. So, when I say “I want to make Micklegate a great environment” I mean I want to improve life for our entire community, whether human, canine, feline or something more wild.
I see improving our environment as a holistic process. We need focused task-and-finish actions like adding swings to the parks, or installing new bins. But we also need projects to improve the whole ward such as action for clean air. Micklegate scores disastrously for air quality and changing that will improve everyone’s health.
Vera van Gool
I’m Dutch by origin, but I consider myself a true ‘Anglophile’: ever since I was little I had had this dream to live and work in the United Kingdom, the country that made me fall in love with its nature and rich history. I’ve been working towards realising this dream since September 2015, when I moved to the UK.
I became a member of the green party when an appeal was sent out to all Green Party sympathisers to become members if they identified as immigrants. This was distributed in response to the Brexit vote and, as an immigrant in the UK, I really appreciated this outreach. Particularly with the threat to European citizens’ rights looming. Identifying as a ‘young, European woman’ made me want stand up more for my political convictions. Through doing this I hope to represent some of the underrepresented groups in terms of age, origin and sex in UK politics.
I completed my bachelor at Utrecht University with a focus on both Philosophy and Environmental and Social Studies. I followed this up with a master in Applied Ethics – specialising in Environmental Philosophy at the same University. Then I was offered a PhD position in the same field at the University of Reading which brought me to the UK. After a year and a half I discontinued the PhD to pursue positions in the sustainability sector and politics. Being offered a job at the National Trust’s Beningbrough Hall made me decide to move to York in 2017. I’ve since been a delegate for the Green Party at the 2017 Global Greens Conference, then became vice-chair of YGP and will now be standing as a candidate for the 2019 local elections in Micklegate ward. I currently works in IT at Aviva Monk’s Cross, York and enjoy singing as part of the York Theatre Royal Choir, dancing at Northern Dance Academy and playing rugby for York RI Ladies in my spare time.