Throughout her professional career Mandy has demonstrated unremitting support for union membership and activism having been a member of the NUS, NAS/UWT, NUJ and UNISON through subsequent career transitions.
For the past four years Mandy has been active in UNISON as a Publicity Officer and Steward balancing the intense pressures of working as a Youth Justice Caseworker and now manager, with offering voice and support to colleagues in periods of immense change due to successive restructures.
Mandy has represented local members at UNISON’s Regional Council meetings, National & Regional Black Members Conferences, National Local Government Conference and the National Delegate Conference and last year was elected by the NBMC to represent the National Committee at the union’s Labour Link Forum and the Labour Party Annual Conference. She has also been instrumental in drawing members together to re-establish Black Members Self Organised Groups and raised collective awareness on issues like UNISON’s consultation and subsequent deal on pensions, strengthening union organisation, the adverse impact of austerity cuts on young people, women and black workers and how pay freezes have fuelled the growth in food banks nationally. She has further highlighted the national discrepancies between the disproportionate numbers of black workers being made redundant in relation to the numbers represented in workforces as a whole.
In one borough black workers were cited as constituting 31% of the workforce yet staggeringly made up 63% of the redundancies. She has spear headed calls for robust equalities impact assessments to be undertaken regionally and nationally.
These are sentiments she has echoed across the union’s principal forums and supported from conference platforms to expedite calls for the Coalition to address the on-going devastating impact of austerity cuts on workers and their families.
Through her direct Labour Link Forum liaison with National Officers and UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis Mandy pledges to task representatives like Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary to be true to his repeated promise to repeal the Coalition Health and Social Care bill when the next Labour government is elected in 2015. Mandy will continue to strengthen Party and Union unity by putting the party back in touch with grassroots union members, ensuring that any austerity cut fallout shouldn’t be amongst ourselves but instead firmly target Tories and the Lib Dems for their misguided steering of the economy.
David Morrissey – Actor / Director & Labour Party Member
In the year Liverpool was named as a European Capital of Culture, Mandy worked alongside me on a young film-makers initiative run by North West Vision looking for new original screen writers. The culminating event held at the BFI (British Film Institute) was supported by stage and screen luminaries such as Ricky Tomlinson & Ken Loach. The project saw new directors and writers whose screenplays she had been commissioned to shortlist launch their films on a national and international platform, giving young people the access and opportunity rarely afforded those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The films gritty subject matter which included poverty, mental health, racial intolerance, disability and urban tribalism were pertinent big screen projections of Britain’s fractured society.
As creative colleagues and political allies, through her work with Channel 4, the BBC and The Guardian I have known Mandy to be a staunch advocate for equality and in all that she does she has actively sought to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, to increase minority representation and promote the rights of ordinary citizens. Mandy’s GLA election result strongly indicates that she offers the most credible chance of regaining this seat by cutting through voter apathy and generating the necessary community commitment to beat the Lib Dems. That’s why I’m backing Mandy.
Lord Glasman – Academic, social thinker and life peer in the House of Lords
I support Mandy because she gets it. She understands that we have to listen to people, all the different people that make up the area. That politics does not begin with telling people what to do or what to think, but listening to them. I support her because she believes in the politics of the common good, the kind of socialism that begins with bringing people together to make their own lives better. She works with churches, trade unions, Islamic, Jewish and Turkish centres and pledges to forge further links with mosques and synagogues to build a politics which they can all believe in based on responsibility and mutual respect. Democratic politics is the best alternative to violence and Mandy not only believes in it but she does it. She’s clever and she can write but above all she’s a decent person and I really support her candidacy and will campaign with her to win.
Chi Onwurah MP – Shadow Cabinet Office Minister
I know Mandy through her Labour Black Women’s Network initiatives. Co-founder of the campaigning group Mandy campaigns on women’s rights and the realities of our shared experience in the work place, the home and society at large. She believes that more political representation of minority ethnic women is critical to tackling taboo issues that continue to blight our communities like domestic violence, the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young women and the licence permitted by new media and old in the perpetration of this abuse.
Mandy’s motivation to stand for political office stems from a passionate belief that mainstream politics is not currently reflective of the electorate it serves. Mandy knows the people she hopes to represent and can positively translate that knowledge and expertise into addressing the needs of the area. I believe she would make an excellent MP.
Hugh Thomson – A Former Labour Councillor & Deputy Council Leader
I believe Mandy has the energy, enthusiasm and ability to engage with and win over all sections of the electorate. I believe that her background working with alienated young people and her commitment to ensuring that they are given real opportunities is what makes her stand out. We need people who have worked at the sharp end in Parliament shaping the laws that can make greater social inclusion a reality.
Cllr Patrick Vernon OBE – Hackney Labour
I have known Mandy for a number of years where she has been an active member of the Labour Party in Hackney. She has played a pivotal role in developing Youth Participation initiatives in the borough and in her role as BLP Chair, EMF Officer and former Youth Officer Mandy has coordinated a raft of high profile events giving young people direct access to local and national decision makers such as parliamentary debates with the Labour leader Ed Miliband and Sadiq Khan MP. Mandy has a strong passion and commitment to young people, education and social justice. She clearly demonstrated in the 2012 GLA elections that she is a natural campaigner and organiser. She is the ideal candidate to win against the Tories.
Sophie Lusby – Public Sector Worker
I think Mandy has a forward thinking and relevant agenda. When I met Mandy I was struck by her ability to listen and discuss, respecting the bigger picture of winning parliamentary selection whilst keeping herself firmly planted in local issues. London is diverse with of the hallmarks of privilege as well as some extreme challenges for those of social disadvantage. Mandy not only thinks about these challenges but has also lived through them, working in local schools and supporting our youth. She believes strongly in respecting diversity and promoting social cohesion. In this current climate of negative politics and devastating cuts in public services, Mandy represents a positive force for change and progression. I am proud to endorse her candidacy and feel that the Labour Party would be very fortunate to have someone of her wit and integrity representing us in Westminster.
Jermain Jackman – Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP Youth Coordinator
Mandy has played a key role in making sure young people in Hackney like me make the most of opportunities provided by the youth services. She encouraged me, in particular to take my youth activism further, to the next level if I wanted to make real changes – that’s when I joined the Labour Party. The position of CLP Youth Officer that I now hold is all thanks to Mandy for the support and encouragement she gave me all through my political life. She has the ability to relate, understand and have empathy for people from all walks of life, she’s famously known to challenge every and anything that doesn’t seem right. Mandy will be a great asset t as your Parliamentary Candidate as she is a true people’s person.
Soraya Adejare Hackney North EMF and BAME Secretary
Mandy is an inspirational and passionate campaigner for the Labour Party with a unique awareness and knowledge of the problems facing Londoners on every level. With the vital ability to engage with all, she is the perfect choice for parliamentary selection. Mandy is committed to empowering the local communities and, in these difficult times continues to tirelessly campaign on the issues that are important to us all. As a Hackney’s EMF officer she has supported me in my first foray into formal politics providing support and guidance through the councillor candidacy process and the means for me to participate in the CLP and I hope you will give her your support.