ELECTIONS: Marvin Rees will make history if he is elected as Bristol Mayor
MARVIN REES, the Labour Mayoral candidate hotly tipped to win the November 15 elections in Bristol, is set for an historic ‘Obama moment’ if he is elected, a top black campaigner has said.
Simon Wooley, head of Operation Black Vote (OBV) says Rees, who if elected, will become the first directly elected Mayor of African descent across Europe, “will inspire hundreds of thousands of black people in the UK and beyond,” if he is successful.
“Marvin Rees is not the UK’s Barack Obama, but if he is elected, like President Barack Obama he will make history and he will inspire hundreds of thousands of Black people in the UK and beyond.”
He added: “If Marvin is elected on the 15th of Nov, he will become the first directly elected Mayor of African descent, not just in the UK but right across Europe. Equally, governing a major city with a nearly 400 million pound budget, he becomes on of the most powerful Black men in the country .
“Symbolically this too is a very big deal. Marvin stands before the people of Bristol to represent all its citizens fairly and honestly, but he could have stood before its citizens some 280 years ago as commercial chattel, or, crudely put, as a slave. Because from 1730-1745 Bristol was the main slave port for the UK.”
Rees, a former BBC Radio reporter, has received the full backing of Labour party leader Ed Milliband who last month visited Bristol to show support for Rees when they met to discuss his plans if elected.
The Labour leader described Mr Rees as a brilliant candidate who was incredibly committed to the future of the city. He told him: "You are running a One Nation campaign in which you are saying that no one in the city should be left out if Bristol is going to succeed."
Rees said his aim is to make Bristol a first class city by pledging to building 4,000 affordable homes, and attracting new businesses. He also stated that he will freeze council tax for a year if elected and would consider freezing it for his entire term in office.
The 40-year-old said: “My plan for Bristol doesn’t include big spending commitments and I will prioritise the expenditure to support my promises to Bristol – securing Bristol’s future on the world stage, tackling poverty and inequality and getting more people engaged in shaping our city.”
Wooley added: “Lastly, and also of critical importance, Marvin is a good man who cares about racial and social justice. There’s no doubt that he’ll be a Mayor who will inspire a generation, help unlock potential Bristol’s talent, and be a beacon across Europe. So whilst we celebrate Obama’s stunning victory lets ensure we support those individuals such as Marvin who seek to play their role delivering a fairer and more dynamic society.”