I have worked in social care since 1975 and now live on the beautiful Isle of Arran.
Working with people you quickly realise how unequal our society is. Many people are disconnected and excluded don’t have a voice or are unable to use it! Working across urban and rural areas I applied for the Citizens Assembly to make sure their voices help shape the future of Scotland and help to live in a fairer, more equal and representative democracy. I was curious to find out how ordinary folk would work together (even with all our disagreements) to reach a consensus on the questions we were asked to consider. Listen.
Citizen Assembly memories include: ensuring the voices of ordinary people were heard by the politician, learning more about Scotland and from each other and lastly seeing the process respond and evolve in respond as a result of members contributions and a global pandemic!
I have learned so much this past year about Scotland including how and who makes the decisions, about economics, the environment we call home and how the sustainability of our future relies on the right decisions now! I have learned what our core values are, what our hopes and aspirations are and how we see ourselves and want to be seen by others! Listening to one and other you realise no matter where we live or our age or status our ambition for our young people, our communities and our future are strong and filled with hope and compassion! In a successful, healthy and vibrant Scotland I want to see more Citizen involvement right across the entire landscape, in communities of geography or of interest.
What do I want to see change as a result of the Assembly? I’ll start with what I don’t want: I don’t want the report to be ignored or worse still consigned to a dusty shelf. I want the report to be read by the politicians and for the recommendations to be implemented and all existing and future policy to be measured and reported on. I want the voices of the people of Scotland to be heard and acted upon and that assemblies and other participative democratic processes are embedded in a new political structure and that the future of Scotland is forged from the voices of Scotland not just a tick box at elections!