Who we are
We're a mixed bunch — males, females, old and young; all sorts of jobs and no job; all sorts of religions and no religion; all sorts of hairstyles and - no... But we all have two things in common: we live in Hackney and we're Liberal Democrats.
Being Liberal Democrats means that we share certain principles: we want to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society which enables individuals and communities to live together with respect and freedom. It means sharing power, enjoying diversity and encouraging creativity. And that's all important in a place like Hackney.
So we get together from time to time to eat pizza and chew over political topics. We help to write and distribute leaflets. We campaign on local issues and support our Liberal Democrat Councillors. We help to develop party policy. We fight elections together. And some of us unwind once a month at a local pub.
Challenging and changing things together. That's us.
Some key people
Cllr. Ian Sharer
Ian Sharer has been the leader of Hackney Liberal Democrats since 2002 and represents Cazenove ward on Hackney Council along with Cllr Dawood Akhoon. He regularly holds the elected mayor to account at Council meetings, sits on the Planning committee and holds regular surgeries where he helps residents with local issues. Ian has been instrumental in building Hackney Lib-Dems to the effective campaigning force we now are. Ian is an Insurance Broker by day and knows pretty much everything there is to know about cricket and stamp collecting.
Keith is the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. His day job is in financial services, where he's responsible for implementing large-scale projects and business change initiatives. It took years of hard work for Keith to get where he is: he left school after failing his A-levels, and started his working life doing temporary shift work in factories and warehouses (the worst job earned him just £2 an hour). Determined to improve his lot, he spent his spare time in his 20's studying for an Open University degree. He graduated in 2006, being the first in his family to get a degree.
Keith got involved in politics to make a difference, and cares passionately about civil liberties, social justice, and equality. Outside politics, he's the governor of a state secondary school, with special responsibility for community cohesion. He also serves on a Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, representing the British Humanist Association.
You can find out more about Keith at his website www.keithangus.com
Dave Raval is the Lib-Dem parliamentary candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch, where the Liberal Democrats are in a firm second place. Like Hackney North, the Conservatives and Greens cannot win here. In his own words, Dave got involved in politics for three reasons:
"Firstly, I passionately believe that the world is full of problems, and that things are getting worse. We are facing major problems like a broken economy, climate change, growing unemployment, massive inequality between countries and within the UK too, lack of affordable housing, discrimination against minority groups — the list goes on. Then there are other issues like the funding of political parties, an increasing 'nanny' and 'surveillance' state, and the strangling of community groups and local high streets. But politicians and the media don’t seem to notice what is going on, or act on it properly. And all my life we’ve had years and years of Conservative and Labour governments who have got us into this mess – it really has to be time for a change.
"Secondly, I want to stand up for people who haven’t got a voice under our system. I know that may sound corny, but there are lots of people who feel powerless in our country. You only have to look around Hackney, where so much is decided by unaccountable local and national public bodies, and where we have elected politicians who don’t bother to even properly answer letters from the people who elected them. I get messages every week from people in Hackney who have tried all the official ‘avenues’ and just hit a brick wall each time. So, as best I can, I want to do my bit to properly represent these people.
"Finally, frankly, when I look at many of the MPs we have, I think I could do a better job than them. Far from being a 'career politician', I have worked outside of politics for all my life. You can see my full CV here , but in summary I have been:
• an engineer and production manager, leading teams of 50 people,
• chair of trustees for a charity providing assistance to people suffering discrimination in employment,
• head of technology strategy for 5 London Underground lines,
• trustee of a local Arts Council, and
• was until recently one of the top 40 football referees in London, officiating in semi-professional leagues.
"I am born and bred in London, and have lived and worked all over the UK as well as in Germany and the USA. But now I am back, I live in Hackney, and I want to be your MP. So if you want to choose a candidate who has enough personal skills and experience in life to be a first-class MP – someone different from the rest - Choose Dave Raval."
You can read more about Dave at his website www.daveraval.com