A Deptford school student has become the new Young Mayor of Lewisham after a record voter turnout winning against 33 other candidates.
Adam Abdullah, 15, a student at Addey and Stanhope School in Lewisham, received 1,981 votes and a record turnout of 59 per cent with over 9,600 young people who voted.
Abdullah is a political activist from a family living in Lewisham. His dream is to become a columnist and “maybe one day far down along the line become a professor.”
He described his politics as based on socialist values: “by the people, for the people.”
Abdullah will work with Nike Ajiola, 14, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy student, who has been elected Deputy Mayor, to improve the lives of the youths in Lewisham using £25,000. He told EastlondonLines: “When I was elected, I felt absolutely fantastic! I was stunned to hear so many young people placed their faith in me and my program. It showed people wanted change.”
His programme focuses on five main policies:
- Make contraception more easily accessible to young in Lewisham for free in order to tackle the HIV and STD rates.
- Tackle period poverty with free period pads for all that need them in Lewisham state secondary schools.
- Build closer links between schools and local universities/colleges
- Representation of youth at all local protests to support striking workers for better wages/conditions and gentrification.
- Enhance the communication with question times with police officials and politicians in school.
Abdullah also promised “equality, accountability and support for refugees” after visiting France on an aid trip for refugees in Calais when he was 14.
The Young Mayor said: “To summarise my program and manifesto, I guess it’s mostly about accountability, equality and the right representation.”
To communicate with the young community of Lewisham, he is often organising Q&A’s on Instagram or Snapchat.
The website VICE has already published one of his speech raising links to knife crime and poverty when he addressed Professor Philip Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights to the UN, who was visiting Newham to investigate poverty in the UK.
The student convinced his electors not only through his ideas but also with his previous experience in the political world.
He took part in campaigns for worker’s rights, in addition to taking part in several anti-racist demonstrations such as the counter-protest against fascism in Lewisham.
Abdullah said: “The priorities at the moment are to work on providing free sanitary products to all state schools in Lewisham and getting councillors and police officials into schools to take Q&A’s.”