Earlier this week, Hackney's decision to exclude Andrew Boffs election address, had the Tory mayoral…
Hackney resident and community activist Mustafa Korel today announced his plans to stand as an Independent mayoral candidate for Hackney in May 2014.
Korel said: “There’s a real urgency for us to change the way that the Council and our elected officials carry out business – Councils should be the beacons of innovation and not impenetrable fortresses.
“In Hackney, we have so much local expertise and local talent that is often sidelined. I will rebalance this and make sure that talent is nurtured and innovation and transparency are at the heart of what we do.”
“I feel passionate about Hackney – I grew up here and have an intimate knowledge of things that work, and most importantly recognise things that don’t.”
The 30 year old Hackneyite who works in the Third sector, attended Princess May Primary School and Kingsland Secondary School (now Petchey Academy) has lived in Hackney for over 20 years.
A former member of the Green Party, Korel was a Green Party councillor canditate for Hackney Central, last April. He is a founding member of Hackney First, a grass roots organization set-up to support candidates wishing to stand as independents in Hackney, as well as providing access to resources and hands-on training for those who want to represent their communities.
Korel says he wants more accountability and transparency, not less, and feels that party politics have done Hackney no favours, especially as it is ruled by one majority party – as a result there is no room for healthy challenge and debate, and instead any opposition is quashed and brushed away.
He has listed his five priorities as:
1. Championing democracy and open government
2. Better homes and neighbourhoods
3. Stronger, more sustainable communities
4. Prioritising social goals above corporate ones
5. Long-term solutions to long-standing problems
Korel added: “I can’t wait to get on this energetic and vibrant campaign started.”
Korel’s other civic contributions include playing an active role in the Turkish-Cypriot community and is a Trustee of the Turkish Cypriot Community Association. He is also Vice Chair of Hackney Unite. In February 2013, he exposed the lax attendance rates of Councillors in February 2013 and recently he trained over 1,600 young people to find their voices in their communities and has ran an Unreported Crime Project initiative spanning Hackney, Haringey and Islington.
For more information go to Hackney First.