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Should LUU join Leeds Citizens?

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Name of proposer:
Liron Velleman

What the idea is about:
LUU to become a member organisation of Leeds Citizens.

Leeds Citizens is a new local branch of Citizens UK, the largest Community Organising alliance in the UK. Community Organising is a very effective way of campaigning and strengthening organisations, with a proven track record of success.

Leeds Citizens brings together diverse groups who want to work for the common good, harnessing their power to make Leeds a better city. Organisations in Leeds who have already joined include Unison, Leeds Trinity University, the Mental Health NHS Trust as well as local schools, sixth form colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues and residents organisations.

Nottingham, Middlesex, Queen Mary and University of East London Students Unions are also members of Citizens UK and have already used Community Organising to train students, build relationships with the local community and wins various campaigns to improve the lives of students.

Joining Leeds Citizens costs £3,000 a year. In return, LUU receives dedicated support from a professional Community Organiser, free training for students, the ability to vote and decide city-wide campaign priorities and the support of a wide variety of community groups in running campaigns.

Why have you proposed it?:
It will make LUU more powerful.
With 33,000 members, we are the largest and ought to be the most powerful organisation influencing decision makers in the city. However only a small proportion of Leeds students are engaged in making change in Leeds. On issues from transport to healthcare to crime and safety, organising with Leeds Citizens will allow students to have a stronger voice in Leeds.

It will improve the reputation of students.
Leeds Citizens is an effective way to build relationships in the community and offers students many opportunities to work alongside other residents on campaigns. Community Organising training will develop these skills among students and demonstrate LUU’s commitment to the common good of the city.

Community Organising works.
Citizens UK has a track record of campaign wins, from raising over £210 million in Living Wages for workers, to getting CCTV cameras installed in Nottingham taxis, to ending the detention of child for immigration services. This exciting opportunity is just about to begin in Leeds and LUU should play a leading role in improving the city. By joining such a powerful alliance, we can ensure that student concerns are at the heart of Leeds Citizens’ campaigns.

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