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Political Engagement in Belmayne

Clúid resident Michelle McGoldrick from Belmayne has been working with local representatives on a project to get her neighbours engaged in the political process.

Speaking about a new initiative Michelle spearheaded, she explained, “Many people who are living in apartment blocks do not have the opportunity to speak to canvassers at their door. I saw this as an issue that needed to be addressed where I live in Belmayne. With a rise in the number of apartments being built, we need to ensure that everyone has equal access to the democratic process.

“All local representatives say every door knock and every interaction counts, so ours should too! I feel that people are more likely to engage in the democratic process if they have a canvasser knocking on their door and speaking with them directly. Here in Belmayne, we have a large number of lone parents as well. It is so much easier for them to speak with candidates at their door rather than having to go to public meetings or make appointments with constituency offices.

“I decided to run a mini social inclusion project in Belmayne where I made leaflets with information about voting and arranged for canvassers to have access to different blocks on the 11th and 18th of November. We also had a register to vote night in the community hub.

“The feedback has been really positive. Canvassers were delighted to be able to get access to the blocks. Some put in more effort than others, but that was to be expected! Still, the residents were grateful to those who turned up and engaged with them. We didn’t get too many coming to register to vote but that can be done quite easily online now, and we have instructions on how to do so on the leaflets.

“I am hoping to organise events like this again in the new year, ideally twice more before the elections. I also have a few local representatives coming to run clinics from the hub after Christmas.

“Projects like this are about more people having their voices heard. It’s a way for us to draw attention to the issues we are facing in our communities. Getting local reps in to speak to us creates an opportunity for us to work together and overcome these issues. Hopefully, it will help make this a better place for everyone to live.

“I would love to see similar projects rolled out in other apartment blocks as I believe it is so important to encourage as many people as possible to engage in the political process and to vote when the time comes. I hope hearing a bit about our work here in Belmayne will inspire other Clúid residents to organise projects like this for their neighbourhoods.”

If you would like to know more about this project, or have a community project of your own to share with us, please get in touch at myvoice@cluid.ie.

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