In 2005, Socialist Worker controlled Residents Action Movement did well in the Auckland local body elections, securing a post on the Regional Council for Robyn Hughes and coming close in several other races.
Now another Socialist Worker linked electoral alliance has been established in the Hutt Valley.
Its called Valley Action Network and it is fronted by Socialist Worker Central Committee member, Grant Brookes.
Valley Action Network announced today that it will run for Hutt City Council at this year’s local body elections. VAN is a new coalition made up of ordinary people.
“We don’t plan to stand high-flier candidates“, said VAN organiser Grant Brookes. “We’ll be campaigning on issues, not personalities.”
“Under the guise of ‘economic development’, the current Council have handed out millions of dollars in rates remissions to big corporations.
“Meanwhile they threaten to cut services like libraries and swimming pools, and rates for struggling householders continue to climb.
“Council leniency to polluters has provoked widespread anger, while they drag their feet on environmental clean-ups.
“Climate change threatens Hutt residents with more extreme weather, more flooding and rising sea levels. But it’s a non-issue as far as this Council is concerned.
“Plans to scrap community boards last year show the Council’s contempt for democracy. The free rein for property developers adds insult to injury. It’s little wonder that Hutt residents have been up in arms.”
Nearly two thirds of eligible electors did not vote at the last council elections in 2004 – one of the lowest turnouts in the country.
“Unlike other candidates who want to defend the status quo, or tinker round the edges, VAN stands for change.
“We promise a new approach which promotes full accountability to the grassroots, and which encourages residents to come together to take action for social justice and environmental sanity.”
VAN’s website links to SW fronts RAM and Climation as well as the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective’s blog.