Rick has been a Hackney Downs councillor since 2010.
He is involved in all aspects of community life: he regularly attends estate tenants and residents association meetings, co-chairs the Nightingale Estate regeneration steering group, sits in the advisory board for Linden Children's Centre and is a governor at Benthal School.
With his ward colleagues he holds monthly roving surgeries, going out and knocking on doors to find out what issues residents are concerned about. He is actively involved in the local campaign against the bedroom tax.
For his day job Rick works at the Institute for Public Policy Research where he focuses on public services. He wrote a ground breaking piece of research on the value of community pubs which has been used by local campaigners seeking to prevent pub closures around the country.
Michael Desmond has represented Hackney Downs since 2002, he is the founder and Chair of Clean Up Clapton, which holds an annual environmental improvement event, a governor of BSix College, and helps run Society Syndrome, a social affairs think tank which arranges a "Have Your Say Day".
Michael has worked with police and community groups, prioritising reduction of crime, better street lighting and effective use of CCTV. He encourages active participation in civic life and local democracy; during his successful term as Speaker (civic Mayor), he raised significant funds for St. Mungo's and the Fairbridge Programme of The Prince's Trust.
He has actively worked with Sporting Hackney and Hackney Ladies to promote football in the borough, supporting a new mentoring initiative for disadvantaged teenagers "Behind Every Kick," using sport to enhance education, self-esteem and achievement.
He is an active member of Hackney Synagogue in London Fields and a longstanding supporter of diversity and mutual respect in the community, something Hackney is rightly famed for.
Anna-Joy has worked for a decade creating opportunities for young people in the UK and abroad. This has included working with UK young people living in homes with drug & alcohol misuse, campaigning on behalf of trafficked children in the UK and supporting schools in Latin America and Africa to tackle youth unemployment.
She lives in Hackney Downs, is a governor of Nightingale Primary School and a volunteer for Foodbank.
She is also the founder of No One Ever Told Me About Politics, an initiative making politics make sense to people in their 20s and 30s.
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