Before last year I had not really been involved with the Labour party. I had not knocked a single door, attended any events or engaged with other members. At the time, paying my membership fees and sharing the same values seemed enough. Yet now, in my second year at university, I look back at everything I missed out on with regret. In the last year I have not only come to see the importance of being an active member but also the huge need for younger people to play a part in building a better future and making their impact. With a general election just around the corner, there is no better time than now to get active.
I’ve gone from deleting emails and dodging calls to travelling across the country for campaign days – sometimes as many as three in a day as part of the 3 Seat Challenge. I have met new people, seen new places and witnessed the impact our movement has on people’s lives. Young people across the country and throughout our party, who share Labour values and that commitment to better future, have been waiting for a chance to join the fight. Progress’ upcoming Operation Flight is that chance. A chance for anyone who is yet to campaign to get out on the doorstep and be a part of this election campaign.
I was honestly surprised when I went to my first campaign event at how enjoyable it was – knocking doors and talking to voters turned out to be an engaging exercise with real impacts. It enabled me to meet genuine people and learn about the problems their families and communities faced. I encountered the same concerns in Loughborough, Glasgow and Brighton as I found in my hometown of Stevenage – the same blend of dissatisfaction with the current state of things and acute optimism for the future that led me to join the Labour Party. Campaigning has shown me that I am far from alone in my concerns; rather, they are shared throughout our movement and across the country by people of all ages.
That is why I will be out on the doorstep for Operation Flight on 10 of January. I hope you will join me and I hope to see many more young people out in the nine seats across the UK. If you have never been on the doorstep before don’t worry! Everyone has been there once and I guarantee that after you have tried it, you will be hooked. The people you meet, the places you see and the impact you have are fantastic. The truth is that young people do have a voice in politics, but if we do not start to speak up now, we will not be heard.
You can sign up to Operation Flight here.
Tom Maisey is a member of Progress. He tweets @TomMaisey
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