We did it!

We did it!

On March 23, after many long days of scrutineering, Jonathan Sri, Greens candidate for Gabba, became the first Greens Councillor on Brisbane City Council.

By Jonathan Sri
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jonathan Sri, Brisbane City CouncillorAlright. I'm calling it. We won. We actually won.

Despite a tiny campaign budget, strong opposing candidates and every political commentator in Queensland saying it was next to impossible that we could achieve the necessary swing, we've actually done it.

This is a huge vindication of the policy platform we took to the election, and demonstrates to me that there's a strong appetite for positive social change. Housing affordability is the number one issue that every Brisbane politician should be talking about. Perhaps now they'll start paying attention.

I want to say a huge thanks to all the supporters and volunteers who got behind our campaign and to the residents of the Gabba Ward for placing their faith in me.

Props to the other candidates — Nicole Lessio, Sean Jacobs and Leon Lechner — for all the hard work they did.

Special mention to the amazing Helen Abrahams who has worked so hard for this electorate for so many years. Very big shoes to fill.

So, what's next?

Ok. Now that everyone's all psyched up and excited about the possibility for social change, I have a request for you all...

This marks the end of an election campaign, but more importantly, it's the beginning of an ongoing campaign to reclaim the right to the city. Our current political system has been hijacked and manipulated by big business, and is therefore woefully ill-adapted to respond in a timely and nuanced manner to the issues we've been talking about. As a lone Greens councillor, I'm not going to be able to push through progressive policies unless I have strong supporters behind me. We're gonna need volunteers to run neighbourhood councils and forums, hand out letters, go doorknocking and just generally shake up the system.

Winning a seat on council is step one of this movement. Step two is using the resources and legitimacy of office to mobilise residents in large numbers so that the pressure for social and political change becomes irresistible.

If you haven't already done so, sign up to volunteer. I'm gonna take a break for Easter, and when I get back we'll hit the ground running.

Adapted from Jonathan Sri's Facebook post of March 23