Date :09th May Location : Blantyre Miners Welfare Time : 19.00
Who is Deena Tissera
I am of Sri-Lankan dissent, having moved to Scotland in 2011, I am currently a Scottish Labour Councillor in Aberdeen.
For over a decade I have campaigned for Labour’s founding principles of social justice and equality.
Born into the pain and suffering of a civil war in Sri Lanka I engaged in humanitarian work volunteering in war zones from an early age. Like many immigrants, I moved to Scotland hoping for a better life.
Following my BSc in Medical Science and MSc in Global Health and Management, I started my PhD in Public Health and have worked in the field of public health for over a decade. As a young female entrepreneur, I started my business in education consultancy to provide education opportunities to students across the world.
As a Scottish Executive representative of the Labour Party, I’ve influenced progressive and inclusive policies in energy transition, tackling food poverty, representation politics, teacher's strike, local government budget, and against privatisation of statutory services.
I served on the selection committees, LGC, and as the Vice-Chair of my CLP, campaigning in the last nine elections. I participated in the first-cohort of ‘Jo Cox Women in Leadership Program’. In 2020, I was named one of 35 under 35 rising political stars in Scotland and was nominated for the politician of the year award in 2022 alongside Anas Sarwar MSP.
As the first ethnic minority woman elected to my local council, I am the public health spokesperson on the IJB, while leading on important issues: such as women’s health, cost-of-living-crisis, and fighting for health funding.
I’ve led the fight on inequalities, food poverty, substance misuse, child poverty, mental health, housing, and asylum seekers rights and against discriminatory immigration policies.
I currently sit on the advisory board of former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown’s ‘Our Scottish Future’, where I work on constitutional politics to make the positive case for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.
What does Deena Tissera stand for?
Like you, I believe in social justice and I am committed to fighting inequality wherever it exists.
Recently I was reading a speech given by Keir Hardie in 1914 where he was reflecting on the founding of the Labour Party in 1900 and his election to Parliament in 1895. In the speech he said “I shall not weary you by repeating the tale of how public opinion has changed but, as an example, I may recall the fact that in those days, and for many years thereafter, it was tenaciously upheld by the public authorities, here and elsewhere, that it was an offence against laws of nature and ruinous to the State for public authorities to provide food for starving children, or independent aid for the aged poor. Even safety regulations in mines and factories were taboo. They interfered with the ‘freedom of the individual’. As for such proposals as an eight-hour day, a minimum wage, the right to work, and municipal houses, any serious mention of such classed a man as a fool.”
I included this quote in my submission to you because I believe what Keir Hardie said back in 1914 is as relevant today as it ever was. I would argue nothing has changed.
The Tories and the SNP still fail to understand the right to food is a basic Human Right.
The Tories and the SNP still fail to understand or even care that poverty, inadequate housing and health are all intrinsically linked.
It took a Labour government to introduce a minimum wage and even now we are seeing the Tories introduce more anti trade union legislation, whilst the SNP talk about the need for more and improved council housing without taking any action to deliver it.
I believe we need to fight back against this continuing injustice. If we are to tackle these ongoing issues and effect positive change for our people and communities, we need strong Labour representatives in parliament. I know I have the skills and experience to fulfil this role and that is why I am asking for your support to make this a reality.
Why Deena Tissera?
For too long now the Tories and the SNP have peddled the myth that poverty and inequality is something that we cannot fix. Food banks have become the norm, children are denied the free school meal they were promised, and families are struggling to make ends meet as the Tories choose to put their own party-political interests before those of the people and the SNP consistently choose to create constitutional battles rather than working to improve our lives.
I know the current cost of living crisis is negatively impacting people right across our communities. Many of those I have spoken to tell me they are struggling to make ends meet and they are constantly worried about affording even the basics of life. I want to change that. I want to represent you in Parliament and bring forward proposals that will eradicate poverty, tackle inequality and ensure that those who can afford to pay do so, and those who need our help receive it.
Jock Stein the legendary Celtic manager once said “Cups are not won by individuals, but by men in a team who put their club before personal prestige”
I totally agree with him, for too long now Labour politicians have put self-interest before the interest of the party. That has to change if we are to win again, we must embrace collective responsibility and work as Team Labour. The same faces, the same arguments, the same problems and the same failed solutions. We need change and we need it now. I know I have what it takes to make that change happen and help propel the Labour Party to victory at the next General Election. By lending me your support you can ensure this constituency will have a parliamentary candidate who is committed to positive change and to working towards a better future for all.