A very big thank you indeed to all those who donated to our crowdfunder, this has enabled us to really start intensifying our community efforts to get information out across the whole city!  This includes the production of nearly 150,000 leaflets for distribution.

We are now running the following up to the referendum date of May 6th (and especially up to the period when postal votes go out in mid-April):

  • A leafleting distribution effort across the city in all 28 wards
  • A social media campaign
  • Phone canvassing
  • Window posters to download are coming imminently and it would be great to see a good show of these round and about!

Thanks to all of you who are already involved and committing to getting the message out in a whole variety of ways, including at a very local level with friends, family and neighbours – it’s all important!  The referendum choice is pretty straightforward for the vast majority, once they know what the vote is about.  So the biggest challenge is to reach as many local citizens as we can, to inform them.

This is, of course, a mammoth city-wide task for a community group, with 400,000 plus voters to reach! 

Leaflet distribution and delivery is key and we have aimed to do this in as careful and effective way as possible.  For actual house to house delivery It’s Our City! volunteers are now out pretty much daily. 

As an essentially unfunded community group we have welcomed pretty much all assistance in getting information out about the referendum, and in encouraging people to vote for change.  For example, we have previously asked all political parties if they can assist with leaflet delivery.  Now some are helping deliver significant numbers across many wards and we thank them.  This is unsurprising as some parties have voiced clear and consistent support for a change to more democratic council decision-making.  Other individuals are also assisting, including those from the ruling group, providing local ‘intelligence’ and data, as well as assisting with leaflet delivery and canvassing.

It is good to see what a collective effort this is.  It should certainly be no surprise that we believe in positive collaborative work here across all kinds of differences, on a shared concern – indeed, that’s really one of the points about the It’s Our City citizen and community-led campaign! 

We have noticed a few on social media seem to think that working collaboratively on leaflet distribution with political parties (and with as many as we can, in working towards the most important vote in Sheffield for a long time) suggests particular political affiliations.  This always was, and remains, rubbish – although we are very used to being accused of (somehow secretly) being affiliated with the whole spectrum of political parties on a regular basis! 

In their comments on this, a few are seeking the endless continuation of divisive (and sometimes toxic) party politics in our city for its own sake, which only serves the few.  In fact, Sheffield communities are bringing an important and distinctive a message to our local politics about how we expect to see positive collaborative local politics wherever possible.  This, along with a range of different and better ways of working in the future, and certainly wherever there are opportunities to work together on shared concerns.  We are also a reminder that what happens in Sheffield is much bigger than narrow party politics – and many of us have witnessed the toxicity that this has sometimes unnecessarily brought to our city – and that local politicians ultimately always serve people and communities, not the other way round. 

And, the (loud and clear) call for good basic democracy and democratic governance in our city is supported by people from all parties.

Thank you again to all seeking to get the message out about our referendum choice between continuing rule by the few under so-called “strong leadership” or restoring democracy to Sheffield so that all the 84 councillors we elect in our diverse communities across the city have the rights to play a role in decision making – for all of us.