Emma Knaggs joined Make Votes Matter in June as our Grassroots Leader. Here, she explains what’s coming up in the movement for PR and how you can get involved and make a difference.
Make Votes Matter has a growing network of dedicated volunteers and local groups across the country, from Cornwall to Norwich to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Hundreds of people are getting involved and we’d like to invite you to join them!
For our upcoming Demand Democracy Day on 6th July, around 100 people have already signed up to run a street stall and our day of action is set to be even bigger and better than in 2018! There’s still time to join us - take a look at our map and see if there’s a stall near you as our volunteers would love to have your support on the day.
Coordinated action days are a great way of attracting attention and getting media coverage. Alongside these we need constituents lobbying their MPs, because voting reform can only become reality if Parliament supports it. And for MPs to endorse Proportional Representation, they need to know that it’s what their constituents want.
Together, thousands (even millions) of small voices can build to a crescendo of pressure on our representatives. Every single one of us can be part of the campaign to get Proportional Representation in the House of Commons after the next scheduled general election. There are so many ways to get involved.
To this end, I joined the team at Make Votes Matter in June as Grassroots Leader. My role is to grow and develop this vital network of volunteers and activists so that politicians can no longer ignore such a crucial issue.
Our targets are ambitious. The ultimate goal is to have a Local Group in each of the parliamentary constituencies in the UK and Northern Ireland. That’s 650 groups in total, bigger than any other cross-party campaign in the UK!
To achieve this, we need to lay the foundations now for a support structure that can encourage and guide volunteers without restricting their creativity or limiting their ambition. Make Votes Matter is a campaign about getting our voices heard; the same should be true within our growing network.
In the next few weeks and months, we are planning to put in place improvements and updates to a variety of things:
Easier sign-up through the website
Improved social media output and website updates
More easily accessible online resources and a toolkit for volunteers
A starter pack to be sent out to all new groups
Speaker training for those who want it
Empowering regional “ambassadors” to support other groups in their area.
There’s a lot to do to win PR, and it feels empowering doing it. If you’re already part of the campaign, thank you! If you’re not, what are you waiting for? Get involved today.