My name is Molly Samuel-Leport, and I am a strong supporter of Zac Goldsmith because I believe he is the best candidate to continue Boris Johnson's legacy. I have met some very special people while campaigning for Zac Goldsmith, and we all share the same determination and commitment to see Zac elected as our next Mayor of London!
I grew up in the East End of London and can relate to the struggles that many people have experienced and faced in similar circumstances. This leads me to think to myself: how can this be changed? I became interested in politics, and realised that the only way to stop these struggles from happening to others is through voting Conservative. I have worked with schools, young offender organisations, families and taught young people in the fields of information technology, sport self-defence and provided motivational speeches, with the intentions of using my personal life story as an example to show people can change and better themselves.
I believe Zac Goldsmith's policies will work to enrich the life of Londoners. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Zac and Nick De Bois, his campaign director, as I was fortunate enough to have stood in Walthamstow as a Conservative Parliamentary Candidate. They came to Walthamstow to find out what issues were important in my area. The issues in Walthamstow are primarily homes and renting. People are unable to afford to buy houses, and renting properties is too expensive. I was impressed with Zac Goldsmith because he could have sent a representative like many others do, but instead in came in person.
The more I listen to Zac, the more I realise his reason for wanting change is his passion for this great city - London. This passion has then inspired him to dedicate long hours trying to help London and Londoners succeed. Zac believes he can make a difference through his "London Plan" and frankly, so do I. When I spoke with him about Walthamstow and the serious issues my area faces, he listened with real care and interest. He is a compassionate person with a burning ambition to facilitate effective changes for Londoners.
Zac has been a very successful MP in his own constituency, and the residents gave him a standing ovation by giving him an increased majority of more than 23,000 votes, compared to a majority of 4,000 in 2010. This wasn't an accident. Zac delivered on every promise he made. That's why I am voting for him: I know he will do exactly the same for London.
Zac's manifesto will give developers the power to build more homes for Londoners on average pay, and double the rate of houses by building 50,000 homes each year by 2020. He will appoint a "Chief Architect" and "flying planners" to provide expert support to boroughs. Zac will consult Londoners on what styles of new homes they want to see built. Zac will help communities in London to draft their own local design guide for developers, and will guarantee homes built on TFL land are ring-fenced for Londoners. This manifesto will help more Londoners buy off-plan through a new "Mayor's mortgage" scheme, and small builders will be given the chance to have first refusal on any public sector sites. In my opinion the strongest element to Zac's whole housing plan is that he will set up a housing fund to match public and private investment, and strengthen the London Rental standard.
The other element of Zac's manifesto which I think is particularly important is to do with knife crime. He's only the candidate for Mayor at the moment, but his has already managed to campaign to get Amazon to stop selling the so-called "Zombie Killer" knife online. These are knives that appeal to under-age young people. Knife crime in the capital is going up, and is one of the major problems with crime faced in our capital.
Protecting our pensioners' Freedom Pass will help them to continue to enjoy the opportunities to travel and explore places as opposed to being at home on their own. This is important because it's not just about providing people with free travel passes: it's also about ensuring the NHS does not cover the cost of the effects of inactivity which happens to so many of our pensioners.
In my opinion Zac's "London Plan" has concentrated on the key areas of concern in communities. It has found ways to make housing and renting affordable for all, addressed the problem of easy access of dangerous knives online through companies such as Amazon, and supports our pensioners health by ensuring they are still able to enjoy life through travel in their later years. Those are some of the reasons why I am supporting Zac. I have given 100% support to Zac and will continue to do so until Thursday, 5th May. I hope you vote for Zac Goldsmith not just as your first preference but as your first, second and third.
Molly Samuel-Leport MBE is the Deputy Chairman of Conservative Way Forward's Organising Committee. She is also the Chairman of the North-East London Conservative Women's Organisation, and is a Seven-Times World Karate Champion.
Follow her on Twitter.