Thank you for taking the time to visit our crowd-funding page and for your interest in helping me become your Green MP for Bristol West.
I am a proud Bristolian and a committed environmentalist. I have worked for many years in the public sector, most recently managing the team that won the bid for Bristol to be 2015's European Green Capital.
The Green Party is the only political party whom the public still trust to take the long term view, and which has the courage to stand firm on some of the difficult decisions we as a nation face. We have achieved some fantastic local election results and seen the impact of the hard work of your local Green Party Councillors. Now is the time to do more of the same, but at national level. It is time for us in Bristol to help Caroline Lucas build on the amazing work she has done to create real opposition to the short term thinking of the coalition.
My top three priorities are:
- A fairer society.
- Improved public health & well-being.
- Action to tackle climate change, resource depletion and damage to the natural environment.
Another Labour or Lib Dem MP will not make a difference, a Green MP will.
Thank you for your support,
BEng MBA CMgr FRSA
"Bristol is a flourishing, independent, entrepreneurial and diverse city full of opportunity. The BBC, Bristol University, the floating harbour, Stokes Croft, and Gloucester Road are just a few of the things in Bristol West alone, that make our city so special.
Bristol might be a fantastic city in a beautiful area of the UK, but it is also congested, polluted and divided. Our public transport system is inadequate, our roads at a standstill daily, and our air quality is dangerously poor. Our children can expect very different lives depending on where they live, and next door to affluence, poverty and deprivation can be found.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
It’s time we had more independence from London to shape our own future. It is time Bristol’s distinctive voice is heard in Westminster; we must speak up for fairness and common sense, and it is our responsibility to sort things out and get things done.
I want to be that voice for you. I want us to take responsibility and work together to ensure everyone can prosper.
The Green Party stands for the common good, for justice, for equality. We want to go beyond party politics, negative campaigns and a culture of argument. We are guided by our values, and do not shirk from difficult decisions. We will protect the planet that is the source of life. Social and environmental justice go hand in hand.
We stand for a supportive social system with free healthcare, free education for all, effective public transport, and affordable homes. We want living wages, and a revitalised economy, driven by new green clean technology and local jobs. We want to deliver a green economy and a healthy future for our children, not one not based upon fracking and dependence on dirty fuels. We fight for human rights, we are welcoming, open and inclusive.
We are the only party with a vision built on values, not fear.
Bristol is a world-class city and in Bristol West we are its heart. How much better could we be if we had the chance to define and deliver our own destiny and to invest in the future we want."
Why use crowdfunding?
Unlike the big three parties, the Green Party do not accept large donations from corporations or unions. We are empowered by individual supporters, by ordinary people, to work for the common good. So crowdfunding is the perfect way for people who aren't necessarily members to show their support. The Green Party tries to be as egalitarian as possible, and we strongly considered only having the one donation amount. However, it would be daft not to allow those who can, do more. We also know that some of our supporters will not be able to give us money, and that is absolutely fine too. If so, we would love to hear from you so we can keep you in touch about the campaign and invite you to help in other ways such as delivering leaflets or putting up a poster. You can sign up here: http://darrenhall.org.uk/get-involved/
What will we use your money for?
We are aiming to raise at least £7,500, in order to:
Print targeted leaflets in each of our ward areas, that identify particular issues and invite people to have their say from their point of view. These will cost £1000 per edition.
Make a series of short campaign films about Bristol's issues and what we plan to do about them. Each film will cost around £500 to produce and promote.
Train 200 volunteer canvassers who will talk to people at home and in the streets, to carry out 60 second surveys, collect data and promote our values (£10 per person)
If we can, we would like to rent a campaign office with a shop front to enable people to come and see us whenever they like. This is likely to cost around £3000.
If we exceed our initial funding targets, we will also establish a series of specific campaign teams to research and tackle some of Bristol's most intractable problems; for example transport, housing, and air quality. These teams will work with our local Councillors to build on the great work they have already been doing to challenge the status quo here in Bristol.
"Riding the Green Wave"
In the 2015 General Election, I will be challenging Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams MP, and Labour's Thangham Debonnaire, who is also standing for the seat. The contest is likely to be a closely fought three-way marginal. Recent local election results show the Greens are currently in the lead with 28% support across the constituency, followed closely by Labour with 26%, and 24% going to the Lib Dems.
Polling websites such as www.voteforpolicies.org.uk (who also recently ran a phenomenally successful crowdfunding campaign) demonstrate that a majority of voters across the country prefer Green policies to those of all other parties, but many vote tactically believing that smaller parties don't have a chance in general elections.
"Bristol has always been a community that wants to stand on its own two feet. Only a Green MP can truly deliver a leadership that doesn't conform to old party lines, that is democratic, that doesn't let people down, that listens. As an MP, I would stand up for the people and interests of Bristol at all costs, rather than having to toe any party line."
Darren began his career as an RAF Engineering Officer. After completing an MBA with the Open University in 2000, Darren returned to public service undertaking a number of different roles for the Home office; becoming the Regional Crime & Drugs Manager located in Bristol as part of Government Office for the South West (GOSW); managing Gloucestershire's flood recovery programme on behalf of the Cabinet Office; undertaking a secondment to support Bristol's Local Strategic Partnership; and finally taking up post as Head of Organisational Development advising the GOSW Board. His most recent role was as Manager of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership where he project managed the team that won the European Green Capital Award 2015.
Darren is the founding Director of www.thepaleblue.org, and is the founder and editor of Good Bristol magazine (www.goodbristol.com). Darren sits on the board of Bristol's Community Land Trust and is a Trustee of the Making Waves Foundation. He is a keen surfer and cyclist and lives in Southville, Bristol.
Please ensure that you are on the electoral register as this is a requirement for donating to a political party - register to vote here. If you would like to pledge £500 or more then we will need your personal contact details and address, another requirement for political parties.