Monday, 4 April 2011

Dear Friends,

We have had a busy week, preparing for the our Who Runs My City flagship event on Thursday at Friends Meeting House. The event aimed to challenge and inspire participants about how and where the levers of power reside in London. Speakers included: Shaun Bailey (Director of My Generation and Parliamentary Candidate 2010); Ali Harris (Head of Equality Strategy for Citizens Advice), Jenny Jones AM (Green Party Assembly Member and London Mayor candidate) and Merlene Emerson (Head of Chinese Liberal Democrats and 2012 GLA Candidate). The keynote address was by LSE Professor and 'Mr London' Tony Travers. Thank you to them all and all those that helped out on the day.

I'd also like to particularly thank National Empowerment Partnership (NEP), London Civic Forum, and the Department of Communities and Local Government for supporting this important project.

We've managed to send out 10,000 booklets distributed throughout 6 boroughs, engaged 50,000 people through NEP project, held 48 meetings highlighting the Who Runs London project and built a website that has exceeded 50,000 individual visits just in the last three months up to April 1st.

In between organising this event we've been involved in the Yes to Fairer Votes people's launch on Saturday, and said goodbye to Anthea Buckeridge (Cultural Attaché), an OBV stalwart, who has been our eyes and ears at the US embassy.

It is because of Anthea that four of the OBV team and a number of our mentees have had the unique opportunities afforded by the US State Department international visitors programme - making links with our American counterparts, and exchanging information and advice on effective campaigning. Others who have taken part in this programme are the Rt. Hon Tony Blair, the Rt. Hon Chris Patten and the Rt. Hon Yvette Cooper. This programme obviously carries illustrious company and is yet another reason why OBV believe that mentoring is key to unlocking our community’s political promise.

Here's a selection of the key stories making the waves on the OBV website recently.
Check in with us next week when we’ll certainly have an update on the ongoing racial harassment court case, as well as the OBV AV rally.

Keep on keeping on.

Ashok Viswanathan
Assistant Director

PS If you're interested in learning more about becoming a Magistrate, please join us at one of our upcoming free seminars.