Activist community

Op-ed: proACT a community movement to push for change

When there is so much uncertainty about 2022 – how many times will I put a swab in my nose, can I book a weekend, will property prices in Canberra stop rising – it is good to know that some things are certain. And one thing is certain, it is an election year, whether we like it or not.

Politicians may no longer be able to kiss babies and the sausage of democracy may be in jeopardy, but even in the time of COVID we will go to the polls at some point in the next four months and collectively decide who we will send to the hill to represent ourselves.

A year ago, a group of us looked forward to this election and said “enough is enough”. Enough of screaming at the newscast in desperation, enough of hitting the kitchen table in frustration, and enough of shutting down because the system seems to be down. If we want change – if we want community-centered politics, if we want urgent and meaningful action on climate change, if we want politics cleaned up, if we want a society where women are valued and if we want to live in a territory that can make its own laws – so we have to step up and do our part. And so proACT was born.

Inspired by the “Voices for…” model of the electorate in Indi and beyond, proACT was created as a grassroots movement that helps change the conversation we have about politics, pushes for change led by the community and find the right community-backed Independent to stand up for the Senate in the upcoming election. And we know we have the right candidate in David Pocock.

Throughout 2021, we’ve spoken with hundreds of people from Holt to Hackett, Cook to Campbell, Tuggeranong to Turner, Bonner to Bruce, Swinger Hill to Spence, Charnwood to Chisholm and beyond. When we asked them who they would like to be senators, they suggested journalists, academics and activists, but only one name kept coming up: David Pocock. Former captain of the Wallabies, longtime climate activist and genuine, decent human being.

We were fortunate to have two amazing candidates seeking proACT endorsement, but the community feedback was clear and David was chosen for his authenticity, for his values, for his track record on things that matter for us and for his ability to win. It’s going to be a tough race, but with a strong community-backed candidate and the right groundswell, it’s possible.

How refreshing to have someone who does not come from the usual political background of a political staffer, lawyer or trade unionist and instead brings a different life experience and perspective . How inspiring to have someone whose values ​​run deep and who we know will collaborate and champion the things the people of ACT care about. How refreshing to have someone who listens as much as
he speaks, a man who will be a champion of cultural and behavioral change in parliament. How exciting to feel energized by politics again!

To get real action on the big issues that matter, we need more independents like David in Parliament, people who are motivated to be there for the right reasons, to actually engage with and represent their community (and not just toeing the party line) and championing the big issues that matter to the ACT and the country. And it’s not just proACT that knows – the day David announced,
over 2,000 people have registered at to get involved.

So when you stand at the voting booth, belly growling for the COVID-safe democracy sausage waiting outside, make your vote count. And this year, don’t forget the Senate, because for the first time, there is someone who can make things happen. Who do you want to potentially hold the balance of power in the Senate? Who do you want to represent?

Clare Doube, co-founder, proACT,

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Canberra Weekly.

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