Andrew Johns grew up in Walthamstow, where he lived for 27 years before moving to Chingford. The 37-year-old father of two is a web developer for an IT consultancy. Since joining the Greens in 2014, he has been an active and committed party member, becoming joint coordinator in his first year of membership. He has been active in local campaigns on housing, education, cuts to local services and air quality.
“I am honoured to be the Green Party candidate for Walthamstow,” he said. “As my home town, I have seen how much it has changed over the years, but also how much remains the same."
Johns grew up in a council house with parents on benefits, an experience which taught him the value of social housing, and the importance of local services to low-income families. Now privately renting, he is acutely aware of the rising cost of housing and the effect it has on the area.
"In many areas of Walthamstow we're seeing renters forced to move due to ever increasing rents or landlords selling their buy-to-let properties. Social housing tenants being moved on, in some cases forced beyond Waltham Forest and away from friends and family. In some areas we have incredible resident groups, but in others, we're losing a sense of community."
On why voters should vote Green, Johns is clear that the value of a Green vote is as much about the message it sends for future elections as it is about the 2017 result.
"It's a chance to send a message, loud and clear, about the type of future we want. In the same way that UKIP pushed the Conservatives and Labour to talk about immigration and the EU, a Green vote encourages conversations on issues like climate change and resource depletion. The Greens are the only party that publicly states their vision of the future, not just environmentally, but economically and socially. It's this bold long-term thinking that demonstrates our ability to exert true leadership in a political world dominated by short-term expediency."
We welcome people with the passion to want to help communities in Waltham Forest and Redbridge. The Green Party have been successful in elections throughout the country, and we'd love to add to that.