Name: Rita Harrold
European Constituency: Dublin
Preferred pronouns: She/her
Party: Solidarity – People Before Profit
Have you held a previous elected position? No
What are your reasons for running?
As a Repeal activist I saw the difference we can make when we fight for change. These elections are taking place on the eve of the Repeal referendum and we need to build on that success and challenge the system. I am running as a Socialist-Feminist voice for workers, women and the planet.
We are fighting for a society based on public need not private greed. As a 29 year old childminder struggling to afford my rent in Dublin city I understand the issues facing young people. I want to get elected to provide the movement with a platform in the European Parliament and be the best fighter for young people, workers and women.
Young people have an important role to play in social movements on women’s rights, housing, climate crisis. For the last six years I have been campaigning for abortion rights and I intend to continue to mobilise young people to step into action to fight on the issues we are all facing and which main stream politics continue to ignore.
What parliamentary group will you sit with in the EP and why? GUE/NGL
What do you think are the biggest issues facing young people in Ireland and what do you intend to do about them?
The Housing Crisis, low wages and precarious conditions, underfunded mental health services and the environmental crisis are some of the biggest issues. I will join with young people, workers and women in waging a battle on all of these issues.
We are calling for:
-Build 100,000 public homes on public land at affordable rates to rent or buy
-Ban evictions and vulture & cuckoo funds
-Controls to ensure affordable rents, house prices and mortgages
-Nationalise the banks and major construction companies under democratic public control
-Student accommodation should be covered in any rent control or rent pressure zone legislation
-A €15 an hour minimum wage & a serious trade union campaign against precarious conditions
-Young workers should not be enduring 0 hour or short-term contracts, tip theft or minimum wage exemptions
-Free counselling services for all who need them
-Increase funding to mental health services, de-stigmatisation and awareness raising campaigns won’t be enough when you’re put on a long waiting list when you do look for help
-Capitalism puts people under enormous pressure which can result in poor mental health, end the housing crisis and increase wages to remove the threat of homelessness and destitution
-A rapid, just transition to a zero carbon economy – public investment in wind, wave & renewable energy
-Scrap all fares for public transport – massive extension of trains, trams & buses
-A trade union-led campaign to end sexual harassment at work & massive investment in education & services to challenge gender violence
-Separate Church & State to remove barriers to fact-based, LGBTQ+ inclusive and consent-orientated sex-ed
CHILDCARE: Paid parental leave for two years & free community & workplace based childcare
What will you do to ensure funding for opportunities for young people (e.g. Erasmus & Youth Employment Initiative) is increased in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework?
As well as arguing for educational and other supports for young people inside the Parliament I would be an assistance to youth movements and protests outside the parliament trying to put pressure on the political establishment who dominate the European Parliament.
Any other comments?
We made history last year by repealing the 8th, let’s use these elections to continue the fight for full equality.