Youngest Barking and Dagenham councillor urges young people to get into politics following award success
- Credit: Princess Bright
Barking and Dagenham’s youngest councillor, who has just won a prestigious Universal Peace Federation award, has urged more young people to get involved in politics.
Princess Bright, 22, was given the Young Achievers Award at the NGO’s ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in recognition of her work mentoring young people with the aim of getting them into leadership positions.
She has been involved in politics since the age of eight and has helped with the election campaigns of Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas and her mother Sade Bright, also a Barking and Dagenham councillor.
She left a graduate programme at the National Audit Office to pursue her career in politics.
Princess, a councillor in Eastbrook ward, thinks more young people ought to engage with politics to influence the decisions that effect them.
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“Young people always say their voice is not heard and it is my view that if we get our voices heard then things can change,” she said.
“I am trying to campaign for more young people to get involved.”
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Young people are not engaging with politics because they find it intimidating and boring and have an expectation that politicians are all of a certain age, she said.
“I can be intimidated at times when I think that the age gap between me and the next oldest councillor,” she said.
However Princess thinks her exposure to politics from a young age means she has found serving as an elected politician easier.
“For a young person who has not had the experience I have had might find it more intimidating,” the Dagenham resident said.
The number of young people involved in political campaigns in the borough has increased, she said, and Princess wants to see the trend continue.
She argues that more young politicians are needed to inspire others to engage with politics.
“Seeing young role models like myself is important and might actually make them want to get involved themselves,” she said.
Princess said she is delighted to have received the award from Universal Peace Federation, an organisation that works to stop war.