Deputy Mayor of Limerick shares insights with potential candidates from migrant backgrounds on running in local elections
Deputy Mayor of Limerick Abul Kalam Azad Talukdar recently participated as a keynote speaker in an online training programme for migrants who are interested in running in the next local elections. The session took place as part of the Migrant Electoral Empowerment Programme being run by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The newly launched programme is aimed at giving potential candidates from a migrant background insights into what is involved in running an election campaign, how to strengthen local connections, and practical information on canvassing and communications.
Taking place on Tuesday 4 May 2021, Fianna Fáil Councillor and member of Limerick County Council, Abul Kalam Azad Talukdar delivered the fourth keynote session of the programme. He shared details of the day-to-day work of a Councillor as well as the importance of migrant representation in politics and being a role model to the next generation.
Commenting on the Migrant Electoral Empowerment Programme to date, Teresa Buczkowska, Integration Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said:
“Migrant participation in politics is a vital element of integration. It is really important for people of migrant backgrounds to know that they can be involved in Irish politics – whether that is through exercising their right to vote, or becoming actively involved with a party or campaigns they care about. It is also important for wider Irish society to have diverse political representatives – reflective of the society we live in today.
“We are running the Migrant Electoral Empowerment Programme to provide clear information for participants on what is required to run and manage an election campaign. We are delighted that we have 18 participants from all over Ireland enrolled in the training and interested in running in the 2024 local elections. We look forward to hopefully seeing some of them on a ballot paper one day.”
Commenting on his involvement in the programme, Cllr. Abul Kalam Azad Talukdar said:
“As Limerick’s first ever elected Muslim County Councillor, it’s important to me to be able to give a voice to the migrant community in Limerick. I want my work to benefit the whole community, and for it to encourage interaction between different communities. I hope that I can show other migrants that they can do it too.”
The final session of the Migrant Electoral Empowerment Programme will take place next week (11 May 2021) with Cllr. Hazel Chu. She will share her experiences as a Dublin City Councillor and Lord Mayor of Dublin. The programme is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.