Croydon organisation launched to encourage African and Caribbean communities to vote


TickIT is targetting communities ahead of the general election in May 2015.


By Emily Ray

An organisation to encourage people from the African, Caribbean and African and Caribbean communities to vote launched last month in Croydon.

TickIT, a grassroots politically non-aligned organisation, is targeting communities around the Midlands and London ahead of the general election in May 2015.

Walaa Idris, who looks after the campaign in London and the South East, said: “African and Caribbean people are at the bottom of the league when it comes to getting involved in the democratic process.”

She added: “We are always feeling no one is listening to us and why should we bother to vote?

“You can’t complain when people do not hear you if you do not speak up.”

A 2012 study by the Runnymede Trust showed that in the 2010 general election ethnic minority concerns were not well-reflected in the election manifestos of any of the three main parties.

The report suggested that Black Caribbeans are the group most likely to feel alienated by the political process, with evidence to show that they feel the British political system has treated them unfairly.

The findings from the report were disputed by Jonny Rose, 27, from Purley, who is half-Jamaican and who set up Croydon Tech City to encourage regeneration in the area.

He said: “My problem with the idea of ‘ethnic minority’ concerns is primarily that it marks ethnic minorities as some sort of distinct group that needs to be electorally catered to or indulged, when, in my experience, ethnic minorities have exactly the same needs, wants and hopes as the ‘majority’: equality of opportunity, personal safety, secure employment and reasonable tax rates.”

However, he said campaigns such as TickIT were admirable in their aims to encourage more people to exercise their democratic rights.

Turnout statistics at elections in the UK are notoriously low, with only 65.1% of the population voting in the 2010 general election, with the turnout for last week’s local election hovering around 36%.

Unlike Operation Black Vote which aims to encourage African British and Asian British communities across the UK to take part in the voting process, TickIT is focusing on constituencies in Birmingham, London, Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

The campaign is running in Croydon North and Croydon Central primarily because both areas have seats that are equally affected by the potential black vote.

In its attempts to reach their target audience, the organisation is spreading its efforts far and wide.

Walaa said: “We reach non-voters via the community, predominantly the church but also community groups and societies such as the black barbers and hairdressers associations, and any club or union.”

For more information on the TickIt campaign, visit

Photo courtesy of hugovk, with thanks.

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