Simeon Hart’s first political persuasion was supporting the Conservative Party, following his parents. However, on moving to Liverpool in 2001, he joined the Liberal Democrats, then after completing a Master’s degree, he joined the Green Party in 2008. He is now standing as a candidate for Liverpool Central Ward in the local elections tomorrow [Simeon is pictured above with Green Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones] so we thought it was a good time to find out more about Simeon, his background and what he stands for.
How did you end up joining the Greens?
In early 2010, I met Tom Crone who lives on the same road as me, and we discussed politics positively. Tom is committed to supporting Deaf and Disabled people and felt if I joined, I would be a more creditable person to support the work. I agreed, and attended Liverpool Green Party. I’m very committed to the party because I found Liverpool Green Party is more committed to welcoming Deaf and Disabled people than the National Green Party.
Tell us more about your involvement in politics over the years.
I have experience of politics since the 1990s when I was involved in the working party on the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Broadcasting Act 1996 which was approved through the House of Commons and House of Lords. Those two acts improved the rights of Deaf and Disabled people in the society and employment and on TV, to have subtitles and in-vision British Sign Language interpreters and audio-description for Blind people. On moving to the Far East in 1997, I worked in the Philippines as a Voluntary Services Overseas volunteer, teaching Deaf Filipinos about Human Rights, Assertive, Confidence building and politics.
Is it easy, as a Deaf person, to communicate with voters?
No, not if I do it by myself. So I have had to recruit interpreters (who work on both voluntary or paid basis) to enable me to communicate with voters.
What are your policies/beliefs?
For Liverpool Central Ward, they are to:
1) Plant trees in deprived estates to help people to have better health, especially children
2) Clean up chewing gum on grounds in the city centre
3) Reduction of noise made by night clubs – install more sound proofing at night clubs
4) Reduce the amount of people who use excessive amounts of alcohol in the city – the North West is regarded as having one of the worst drink problems in the UK.
5) Support local communities in order to help them to meet their needs, especially in deprived estates
6) Reduce the number of young unemployed people
7) Improve Social inclusion, especially for Deaf and Disabled people in employment, through apprenticeships and education
8) Clean up the city pollution problem – reducing CO2 emissions with the aim to becoming a Greener Liverpool
9) Increase Neighbourhood Watch to make the city safer
10) New cycle lanes in the city
What do you think your chances are of getting elected?
Very hard to say, I have heard that the Lib Dems haven’t sent a candidate for this ward – it means the battle will be between the Labour Party candidate and myself, representing the Green Party. I hope that votes which may have been used for the Lib Dem candidate may come over to me. I’ve been meeting voters in my ward to try to make them consider carefully about voting Labour, because over the years they changes they have made haven’t amounted to much!
You can see a campaign video featuring Simeon signing in BSL below. From everyone at Limping Chicken, we’d like to wish him the best of luck in the election!
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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