An inspiring true story: How Jess became a Labour councillor and you can too

Guest blog by Jess Phillips

My name is Jess Phillips. I’m a working mum, and a newly elected Labour Councillor from Birmingham.

I live with my two lovely boys, Harry and Danny, and my husband Tom, and I go out to work full time at a local charity.

Jess's Story

I’ve been active in my local community since the street I live in was blighted by a spate of anti social behaviour a couple of years ago.

Last year I received an email from the Labour Party telling me about the Future Candidates Programme. I’d never really thought much about going into politics before and doubted if I was the kind of person they were looking for, but I thought I’d fill out the application form and see what happened.

I was shocked to hear a few weeks later that I’d been selected to take part. Through the programme I learnt about what it means to be a Labour representative and received the training and support I needed to get selected as a Labour candidate.

I never thought political parties were interested in people like me – ordinary people with families – being their candidates. But the Future Candidates Programme has shown me that is exactly what the Labour Party wants.

Perhaps you or someone you know have much you could offer your community and the Labour Party but haven’t thought about taking a step into politics before? Like I did last year, maybe you might think about applying for the Future Candidates Programme? And maybe, like me, doing so could take you on a journey which ultimately sees you having the privilege to serve a community that you care about deeply.

To find out more about the Future Candidates Programme, and how to apply, visit labour.org.uk/nextgeneration

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Simon Hogg writes… This video and the accompanying text in a welcome effort from the Labour Party to broaden our pool of candidates.

I can identify with Jess’s story as I grew up in the area of south Birmingham she now represents – and never saw myself becoming a Labour councillor. Now I happily juggle it with a job and a young family.

When I wrote to Jess about this blog, she replied: “Thanks very much I do hope it brings people forward as we really need as a party to ensure we represent our communities, I am glad that a fellow Northfielder is out there representing.”

If you would like more information about what a councillor does and how you can get involved please email me: shogg@wandsworth.gov.uk

UPDATE: On May 7, 2015 Jess was elected as Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley!

One thought on “An inspiring true story: How Jess became a Labour councillor and you can too

  1. “[I] doubted if I was the kind of person they were looking for, but I thought I’d fill out the application form and see what happened.” I do hope the Labour party remains the sort of place where Jess has a chance to shape the party’s future, as she is a terrific talent. Not optimistic at the moment.

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