Deputy Leader: Alexandra Phillips

We contacted all for deputy leader hopefuls and asked them the same questions. Here Alexandra Phillips gives her responses;

  • Which three policies do you think the party should prioritise over the next two years?

The next General Election will be about the Coalition, cuts and the economy. With that in mind, the Green Party should prioritise our policies on creating jobs, building council homes and investing in public services. Making society fairer, more equal has to be part of the narrative represented in each of our policies. With no other party defending the virtues of the state, the Greens should be champions of an active state that safeguards the planet and its people, before profit.

  • How do we retain new members?

Members are our most precious resource. An effective recruitment strategy also requires a strategy for retaining and developing our members. Communication, as a two-way process, is essential. In Brighton and Hove, we operate a system of ward coordinators where, if a new member were to join the party, the local ward coordinator receives their contact details and is encouraged to meet with new members to get a sound understanding of who they are, why they joined the party and their level of expected involvement.

A more significant part of a retention strategy, beyond communication, is success. New members are often excited and energetic, even if not always confident. Momentum and success, of which they might feel part of, is a strong self-motivator that keeps people with the party. If someone gives their time voluntarily, they must feel rewarded. More importantly though as with any volunteer experience, you have to have fun and enjoy yourself. When it starts to feel like a chore, that link between the individual and party weakens and the exit door looks closer. Communication, success, reward and fun are the four pillars of a retention strategy to build a stronger Green Party.

  • How should we, as a party, support local parties who are struggling or going through a difficult time?

I suppose it depends on what their difficulty is, but I think the Deputy Leader needs to be hands-on, and so visiting local parties, in person, up and down the country, is a way of providing support. There’s nothing that can replace face-to-face interaction and that’s precisely why I’ve spent the last couple of months visiting local parties, from Huddersfield to Solihull to Bristol. I’ve listened and learned about what they’re doing well, and what the new leadership team can do to support them better. And we mustn’t forget that there are many different tiers of the Green Party which offer support.

This campaign has seen from all candidates an emphasis on stronger regional parties, capable of organising across numerous local authorities. This extra support, from neighbouring Green parties, can accelerate the success of local parties and build confidence. A lot has been said about the West Midlands strategy and, a crucial element of this strategy is the Regional Support Worker (RSW). Regional parties should endeavour to operate in a similar way with an RSW, with match-funding provided by the national party.

  • What’s the most controversial opinion you hold?

I think my most controversial opinion is that it’s possible to canvass for five hours on the trot as long as you take a banana with you(!). On a serious note, I don’t think prostitution should be legalised. This isn’t in tune with existing party policy but, I think the selling of it should be decriminalized whilst the buying of it should remain illegal.

  • Contact

Email: Alexandra@AlexForDeputy.org.uk

Twitter: @AlexForDeputy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlexForDeputy

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