|Consultation:||Young Greens AGM|
|Agenda item:||A Reports|
|Proposer:||Nate Higgins (Newham Greens)|
EC3: Nate Higgins – External Communications Officer
In mid-December 2017, I was co-opted in a job-share with Niall Pettitt as the External Communications Officer. Previously, the role had often been split as a “Press Officer” and a “Social Media Officer”, meaning that there was quite a lot of work for the two of us to do. In addition to this, Niall due to personal circumstances had to become less involved throughout the year and I have been fulfilling the duties of the role on my own since early Spring 2018. Therefore, I am writing this report on my own.
Before I begin my report, I want to use the opportunity to personally commend the work of Georgia Whittaker, Young Greens Organiser, and Hannah Graham and Ben Parker, Young Green Co-chairs. I came into the role relatively inexperienced in the structures of the Green Party and the Young Greens, and a little unprepared for the high-paced demand of the role, and it is because of the support these people gave, along with so many others, that I was able to be even moderately successful in the demanding role while maintaining any level of personal welfare. I also want to thank Hannah Clare and Fay Whitfield, who have both served as co-chair of the Young Greens Media subcommittee, and also Ed Fraser who has been of immense help, really stepping up as a member of the subcommittee where ever he could.
Youth Question Time
Niall & I were co-opted on a pledge to organise a cross-party campaign to pressure the BBC into producing an episode of Question Time with an audience of under 30s, with the topics of the episode focusing on issues that particularly affect young people. Representatives from the Young Greens of England and Wales, Scottish Young Greens, Plaid Ifanc, and the Young Liberals all signed the petition, as well as hundreds of other individuals from a wide range of parties across the political spectrum. We coordinated with the main party to ensure highly influential individuals like Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley (both co-Leaders at the time) shared the petition. The petition was successful, and the BBC produced an episode of Question Time for Young People, bringing the issues that affect us to a higher platform, and holding politicians to account for their actions in this area.
The purpose of this was to gain attention for the Young Greens, and had Question Time invited a panel of young politicians like we had also requested in the petition, to generate media opportunities for the co-chairs of the Young Greens, Hannah Graham and Ben Parker.
During my time on the Executive Committee, the main party held a consultation known as the Holistic Review Commission (HRC). The HRC was designed to rewrite the structures of the party in a holistic manner to make the Green Party a stronger electoral machine. As part of this, I met with the HRC in my role on the Executive Committee to give representation to them about what the Young Greens would seek out of this.
Unfortunately, this review did not, in my opinion, go in a positive direction for the Young Greens, with the HRC proposing that the Young Greens be removed from the successor to the Green Party Executive, the Political Executive (PEX). In a personal capacity, but also informed by my experience on the Young Greens executive of how important this position is, I submitted an amendment to keep the Young Greens on PEX and argued strongly for it at conference. We were unfortunately not successful in this, but if re-elected I will continue to fight for Young Greens representation within the main party in my role on the executive.
In addition to this, I have submitted a paper to convention asking convention to give the Executive a mandate to produce a report guiding members through the upcoming HRC referendum on how this will affect the Young Greens as an organisation.
2018 Local Elections
During the 2018 local elections, I worked closely with Young Greens Organiser Georgia Whittaker in order to ensure coverage of Young Greens Candidates. This was in addition to standing as a Target To Win candidate myself. We enabled coverage for candidates from a wide range of organisations, including a BBC Article that began with a hero photo of two young greens target to win candidates. I also supported communications for action days Young Greens groups were organising across the country, including designing 6 different graphics.
Young Greens Media Subcommittee
Mid-way through my term on the executive I launched the “Young Greens Media Subcommittee”. This was designed to move the burden for communications away from solely myself and the Executive, who all had their own portfolios, to a group of people who had volunteered to work exclusively on communications. This was vital to ensuring my own welfare too. I want to thank Hannah Clare, Fay Whitfield, Ed Fraser, Alex Nettle, Daisy Holt, and Samy Rostron for joining this subcommittee and putting so much time and effort into the subcommittee. The launch of this subcommittee also enabled the relaunch of the fantastic Young Greens Podcast. I hope to see it continued during future executives and for them to take a stronger and stronger role in our media operation.
Creating a whole new sign off procedure for content production, allowing us to produce content more efficiently and react to breaking news more quickly.
Appeared on the Guardian’s Instagram discussing tuition fees
Appeared on the “Sorry, Wot?” political debate panel as the Green Party representative
Wrote a speech for Hannah Graham to give at the Green Bloc in the first People’s Vote March
Wrote for Left Foot Forward on Nick Clegg’s knighthood
Wrote for the New European on Green/Liberal Democrats cooperation on Brexit
Managed the media for the second 10:1 Fair Pay Campus report, including a viral video about Amelia Womack being blocked from addressing a university occupation
Delivered social media training for 30 under 30
Wrote an article for Green World about the future of the Green Party
Designing an incredible amount of graphics and editing a large number of videos for various communications.
Handled the Young Greens communications for a large number of events, including multiple People’s Vote marches, the Green Party Leadership & Deputy Leadership elections, the Young Greens elections, two conferences, the Young Greens Candidate Community Launch, convention, and more.
Organised the Young Greens roundtable at convention
Attended two residentials, 30 under 30’s trip to Brussels, the 30 under 30 press and media weekend, two conferences, convention, and countless debates, marches, and protests.
Delivered a workshop to Young Greens residential on our values and how to communicate for the Young Greens
Attended all but one meeting of the Young Greens Executive, as well as chairing Young Greens Media subcommittee meetings, and one meeting of the Young Greens senate. I also joined the Events subcommittee.
This is not an exhaustive report of everything I have done on the Executive Committee as that would not be possible. Please do check out my monthly reports for more detail on the members website.