The independent political movement aiming to hand power to the people in Birmingham has announced its first three candidates for the May local elections.
Two young members of human rights campaign group and an adviser on police stop and search powers are the first public spirited individuals selected as candidates for the new People Power Brum initiative.
They hope to break Birmingham City Council from the stranglehold of established political parties and involve a wider range of people in local politics .
And the group are holding open interviews at 6.30pm every Monday evening at the Impact Hub in Digbeth for enthusiastic residents looking to step up and stand as People Power Brum candidates. In return they will get campaign support.
Unlike the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems, the selections are held in public and while candidates are not tied to a political party line they must agree to some basic principles set out by the Something New organisation.
The first three candidates are:
• Aston ward: Asaybi Snape, 26. Born and raised in the ward she has a masters degree in International Human Rights. She is Co-founder and Director of GEMS, a youth-led human rights organisation in Birmingham.
• Newtown ward; Shardia Brisco-Palmer, 29. Also a co-founder of GEMs youth organisation, alongside studying for a doctorate in Political Science at University of Birmingham.
• North Edgbaston: Gino Bellavia, 55, has lived in Birmingham for over 30 years and his CV includes work in IT, research, sales and higher education. He works with the Police Independent Advisory Group on stop and search issues.
Asaybi said: “I wish to build a Birmingham where young people are at the forefront of decisions being made that affect them. I am passionate about youth and making positive changes that strengthen resilience amongst communities. Having studied in Law, Politics and International Human Rights, I’m passionate about using that knowledge to engage represent unheard voices within my community in Birmingham. I’m excited and ready to transform politics.”
Shardia is calling for investment in young people to allow them to achieve their aspirations and avoid falling into crime.
And Gino said that the current political system has stagnated and he wants to encourage more people to become actively engaged in the running of the city.
Co-founder of People Power Brum, Sunny Sangha, said: “Since we opened applications for candidates just last week, we’ve been amazed by the response. We hoped that we could provide a platform to support everyday heroes out there doing great work in Brum to stand in the election, and we couldn’t have hoped for three better examples of that than Asyabi, Shardia and Gino.”
Independent or candidates outside the political mainstream have stuggled to break into Birmingham City Council in the past. The only current independent councillor, Ian Cruise in Londgbridge, was elected for Labour before resigning from the party .